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The basketball Hall of Fame is considered easy to get into. Here are 7 current players with fascinating cases.

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The basketball Hall of Fame is considered easy to get into. Here are 7 current players with fascinating cases.
  • The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is known for being more lenient in inducting players.
  • The institution accounts for the NBA, collegiate, and international basketball.
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1. Dwight Howard

1. Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard in 2022.Rick Scuteri/AP Images

Current team: Free agent

Years in the NBA: 18

Career stats: 15.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.8 blocks, 58.7% FG

Awards: 3x Defensive Player of the Year, 8x All-Star, 8x All-NBA, 5x All-Defensive

Championships: 1

Other accolades: 2012 Olympic gold

Basketball-Reference Hall of Fame probability: 99.7%

His case: How much weight does the Hall of Fame give to a strong portion of a career? From 2006-2012, Howard was a top-five player in the NBA, a perennial MVP candidate, and defensive stalwart who took the Magic to the Finals in 2009.

However, back injuries, a reluctance to adapt his game, and a reputation for tarnishing locker rooms caused him to skip around over the last seven years of his career. He was traded four times from 2016-2019, didn't make an All-Star team after 2014, and nearly fell out of the league until the Lakers gave him a shot in 2019. That gamble led to a championship, as he was a valuable reserve big man, a nice piece of redemption.

The first 10 years of his career were so dominant that he likely gets into the Hall of Fame easily, but an up-and-down second half makes it more interesting than it should be.

2. Rajon Rondo

2. Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo in 2022.Seth Wenig/AP Images

Current team: Free agent

Years in the NBA: 16

Career stats: 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 45.6% FG

Awards: 4x All-Star, 1x All-NBA, 4x All-Defensive

Championships: 2

Other accolades: N/A

Basketball-Reference Hall of Fame probability: 60.6%

His case: Like Howard, Rondo had a strong first half of his career, followed by a journeyman arc. From 2008-2014, he won a championship, made four All-Star teams, led the NBA in assists twice, and became one of the top point guards in the league. But after a falling-out in Boston, Rondo got traded to the Mavs and has since played for eight different teams, never staying anywhere more than one season.

Still, he was an important piece of the Lakers' 2020 championship team. While the analytics community has criticized his shooting and on-/off-court numbers, teams continually employ him, and he has a reputation as a strong postseason player, which matters.

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3. Blake Griffin

3. Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin in 2022.John Minchillo/AP Images

Current team: Free agent

Years in the NBA: 13

Career stats: 19.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 49.3% FG

Awards: Rookie of the Year, 6x All-Star, 5x All-NBA

Championships: 0

Other accolades: College player of the year

Basketball-Reference Hall of Fame probability: 54.8%

His case: At his peak, Griffin was an athletic, versatile offensive force who transformed his game from pure dunker to a playmaker in the post and one-on-one bully. He finished third in MVP voting in 2013-14.

There are two problems for Griffin's case: the playoffs and games played. Griffin's LA Clippers were considered perennial contenders, but never advanced past the second round. And from 2015-2019 — the latter years of his prime — Griffin played just 69% of games, topping 70 games once in that span.

Chris Webber — a similar player to Griffin — had to wait 8 years to make the Hall, and he had a bigger postseason profile than Griffin.

4. LaMarcus Aldridge

4. LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge in 2022.Steven Senne/AP Images

Current team: Free agent

Years in the NBA: 16

Career stats: 19.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 49.3% FG

Awards: 7x All-Star, 5x All-NBA

Championships: 0

Other accolades: N/A

Basketball-Reference Hall of Fame probability: 50.9%

His case: Quietly one of the best players of the 2010s, Aldridge has an impressive resumé, but not necessarily a Hall-of-Fame one. Aldridge never made an All-NBA first team, never finished higher than seventh in MVP voting, and made it to the conference finals just once (where he struggled mightily against the Warriors). There's no signature LaMarcus Aldridge moment etched in NBA history.

Then again, how many players have averaged 21-9-2 across an entire decade? Aldridge ranks 48th all-time in points, currently surrounded by Mitch Richmond and David Robinson — two Hall of Famers.

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5. DeMar DeRozan

5. DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan in 2022.David Zalubowski/AP Images

Current team: Chicago Bulls

Years in the NBA: 13

Career stats: 20.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 46.5% FG

Awards: 5x All-Star, 3x All-NBA

Championships: 0

Other accolades: 2014 FIBA World Championship, 2016 Olympic gold

Basketball-Reference Hall of Fame probability: 20.9%

His case: DeRozan has developed into one of the NBA's best scorers and a player opponents respect. He's averaged an impressive 23 points per game over the last nine seasons — all while barely taking threes — and become a solid playmaker, as he shifted from a shooting guard to forward.

Despite impressive stats and growth, his career lacks a certain pop. He's never quite reached the elite tier of star players and there aren't any defining playoff moments in his career. His 2022-23 All-NBA season showed he has plenty left in the tank, but he still has something to prove to make a stronger Hall of Fame case.

6. Andre Iguodala

6. Andre Iguodala
Andre Iguodala in 2022.Isaac Hale/AP Images

Current team: Free agent

Years in the NBA: 18

Career stats: 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 46.3% FG

Awards: 1x All-Star, Finals MVP, 2x All-Defensive Team

Championships: 4

Other accolades: 2010 FIBA World Championship, 2012 Olympic gold

Basketball-Reference Hall of Fame probability: 12.6%

His case: Iguodala occupies a rare space between star player and role player. The 38-year-old wing was never a pure scorer — his stats belie his impact. Iguodala has always been a strong playmaker and an elite defender, a player who makes his teams considerably better on both ends. He played a key role in the Warriors' three championships from 2015-2018, even winning Finals MVP in 2015. Coaches and teammates almost unanimously praise him his impact on a team, but will a fairly light resume keep him out of Springfield?

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7. Al Horford

7. Al Horford
Al Horford in 2022.Jed Jacobsohn/AP Images

Current team: Boston Celtics

Years in the NBA: 15

Career stats: 13.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 51.5% FG

Awards: 5x All-Star, 1x All-NBA, 1x All-Defensive

Championships: 0

Other accolades: 2x NCAA championship

Basketball-Reference Hall of Fame probability: 12.2%

His case: Horford boasts an impressive resume — stronger than some of those with better Hall of Fame probabilities. Horford has long been known as a team player and one who makes all of his teams better. His selfless play hasn't always led to big stats, but Horford has always had an impact on winning.

He's played in the playoffs in all but two years of his career, made the conference finals three times, and the Finals once. Is a championship the missing piece? The Celtics are championship contenders this year, so Horford may be able to capture that elusive ring and move closer to the Hall.