The 75 greatest players in NBA history, ranked by Player Efficiency Rating (PER)

The 75 greatest NBA players of all-time, ranked by PER

Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant
Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant / Harry How/GettyImages
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53.    Dwight Howard-21.29

Future Hall of Famer Dwight Howard had a long and productive career, although he had a tendency to burn bridges and that was part of the reason he played for eight teams. His best season saw him average a stellar 22.9 points. 14.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game during the 2010–11 season.

Unsurprisingly, he had a monster PER of 26.1 and that was one of nine seasons in which his PER was higher than 20. Even though Howard wasn't highly regarded as an offensive player—a product of his being compared to Shaquille O'Neal—he still averaged nearly 16 points per game on 60.2 percent true shooting.  

Of course, Howard's bread and butter was on the defensive end of the floor, where his elite leaping ability and timing made him a menace as a rim protector. The Orlando Magic would even surround him with several questionable defenders but manage to rate highly in defensive rating thanks to Howard's efforts.

He won a total of four Defensive Player of the Year awards, and while PER tends to underrate defense outside of blocks, rebounds, and steals, he put up strong numbers on that end, resulting in his high placement.