In the NBA, the overall usage rate of a player is perhaps one of the most accurate measures of a team's dependency on him.
The usage rate determines the overall involvement of a player in his team’s plays, provided the play in question ends with a field-goal attempt, free-throw attempt or a turnover.
For obvious reasons, the average usage rate of a competent NBA player is around 20%. On that note, let's take a look at the five stars who have had the highest usage rates in the ongoing NBA season.
Players with the highest usage rate in the NBA this season
Two-way players or ones capable of impacting at both ends of the court have a higher chance of registering better usage rates over a season.
A player who is regularly involved in more than 25% of their team’s total plays is more often than not one of the stars in the roster. So without further ado, let's have a look at five players who have appeared in at least 30 matches, with the highest usage rates in the 2020-21 NBA.
#5 Stephen Curry - 32.6%
Stephen Curry’s talismanic performances this season is the biggest reason why the Golden State Warriors are in a comfortable position to make the playoffs. Widely considered to be the best shooter of all time, the Golden State Warriors player has been clutch for his team whenever he has played.
He is producing more than 31 points per game along with 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds; Curry is also registering 1.1 steal per game.
Stephen Curry has missed a fair number of matches this season but has been in exemplary form all campaign. He is averaging more than 35 points per game in his last five appearances and should see an overall improvement in his usage rate when the 2020-21 NBA postseason arrives.
#4 Donovan Mitchell – 32.7%
The Utah Jazz have been one of the biggest surprises in the Western Conference this season. The Jazz have a 49-18 record in the 2020-21 NBA campaign, thanks to Donovan Mitchel’s consistent offensive performances.
Individually, Mitchell has had the least number of turnovers among all five players in this list, and he is having his best-ever shooting efficiency of over 52%.
The Utah Jazz have been forced to compete without Mitchell in recent games due to his ankle injury. Mitchell has averaged more than 26 points per game and has 5.2 assists per outing too. He is also having his best-ever season from the 3-point zone.
#3 Bradley Beal – 33.1%
The Washington Wizards endured a terrible first half of the 2020-21 NBA season but have fought their way back into contention for the playoffs.
They are tenth in the Western Conference and have gone 14-4 in their last 18 NBA games. Through the season, Bradley Beal has been prolific and is second in the list of players with the highest points per game this season behind Stephen Curry.
He had a bit of a dip in late March and missed a few games but now looks at his very best again.
Beal, apart from Curry, is the only player in this list whose team hasn't yet qualified for the postseason. But Beal has found his proficiency at the best time for the Washington Wizards, registering 1.2 steals, 4.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and a whopping 31.1 points per game.
#2 Luka Doncic – 35%
Luka Doncic has the second-highest usage rate in the NBA this season and is a strong contender for the MVP award as well.
The Mavericks’ main man is producing astounding numbers and has improved his contribution at the defensive end of the court as well. Doncic has one steal and 0.6 blocks, along with 7.3 defensive rebounds per game.
He has a healthy shooting efficiency of 57% and is producing 28.4 points and 8.7 assists per match. Doncic is currently on a tear, producing two triple-double and a double-double in his last five appearances.
The Dallas Mavericks are missing multiple starters but have won six of their last seven NBA matches, thanks to the exploits of Doncic.
#1 Joel Embiid – 35.5%
Joel Embiid’s dominating performances at both ends of the court this season has meant that he is a strong NBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year contender.
Embiid has also missed a number of games this season, but his astounding presence has meant that the Philadelphia 76ers are the Eastern Conference leaders, ahead of the likes of the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks.
He is averaging over 29 points per game along with 2.9 assists and 10.8 rebounds. Embiid is also producing one steal and 1.4 blocks per game and is the second most efficient shooter among the 76ers’ starters.
Joel Embiid is shooting at 54% and is second only to Ben Simmons, who is emerging as a contender for the Defensive Player of the Year as well.