Predicting where LeBron James will end up on the NBA all-time assists leaderboard

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

LeBron James has a chance to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Could he take the No. 1 spot in career assists as well?

Over the weekend, LeBron James passed Magic Johnson and moved into sixth place in the all-time career leaderboard. It’s a remarkable accomplishment any way you look at it, but seems even more impressive when you consider there is a good chance as finishes as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer as well.

And, of course, LeBron is still remarkably productive. He’s in his 20th season and still averaging 6.6 assists per game, leading the Lakers. With plenty of games still ahead of him, where could LeBron end up on the all-time assist leaderboard?

Who is still ahead of LeBron James in career assists?

Here are the players currently ahead of LeBron James on the all-time assist leaderboard:

  1. John Stockton — 15,806
  2. Jason Kidd — 12,091
  3. Chris Paul — 11,071
  4. Steve Nash — 10,335
  5. Mark Jackson — 10,334
  6. LeBron James — 10,150

James will almost certainly pass Nash and Jackson before the end of this season but climbing any higher than fourth may not be in the cards. Chris Paul is nearly 1,000 assists ahead of LeBron and still active as well, under contract for two more seasons beyond this. Even if injuries take a tool and LeBron is picking up assists faster than Paul over the next two seasons, that’s an enormous lead.

And then there is Kidd and Stockton who may be completely out of reach. Since joining the Lakers, LeBron has become more of a passer, posting some of the highest assist totals of his career. But he’s also missed a lot more games because of injury. In Los Angeles, LeBron has averaged 8.1 assists per game. At that pace, it would take him about 240 more games to pass Kidd and about 700 more games to pass Stockton. Passing Kidd isn’t outside the realm of possibility but even that would take roughly four more mostly healthy seasons without a drop off in productivity. Anything is possible with LeBron but that sounds like a stretch.

So, all things considered, he seems like to finish his career at No. 4, behind Stockton, Kidd and Chris Paul. Not bad company.

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