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Lillard, McCollum Ranked Among Best NBA Players of their Age

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Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports divides up the league by birth dates. Portland’s guards fare well.

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

NBA players are commonly ranked by draft class, position, and statistical prowess. Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum tend to fare well no matter what metric is used. As it turns out, ranking by age is no exception.

Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports has broken down the NBA elite not by draft year, but by the number of years they’ve spent on the planet. The results challenge some of our assumptions. Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is entering his seventh year in the league, but he’s only 24 years old. Karl-Anthony Towns wins the bracket for 23-year-olds. On the other end of the spectrum, Trail Blazers fans used to thinking of their team as “young” may be momentarily surprised by where their favorites rank.

Three Portland players make Ward-Henninger’s list.

CJ McCollum is the runner-up for 28-year-olds, understandably behind Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard.

Damian Lillard is the runner-up for 29-year-olds, somewhat more controversially behind another Clippers forward, Paul George.

Blazers fans can rejoice that forward-center Pau Gasol ranks as the best 39-year-old player in the NBA, edging out Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat.

Should George have been ranked above Lilllard? Does it surprise you that Portland’s starting guards are heading towards 30? Are we all just getting old?

Weigh in below.