Here’s the best centers the NBA has to offer. Second only to the point guard, the center position is probably the deepest and most talented spot on the floor that the NBA has to offer. Ranging from offensive juggernauts like Karl-Anthony Towns to defensive studs like Marc Gasol, the position is ripe with talent. So without further ado, here are the best NBA centers heading into the 2017 NBA season!
10. Joel Embiid
2016-2017 Stats: 20.2 PPG 7.8 REB 46.6 FG%
Joel Embiid finally got some time on the floor last season and the kid straight up proved he could hoop. His game is very reminiscent of Hakeem the Dream with his ability to protect the rim with the best of them and his sometimes deadly three point shooting ability. Embiid has the potential to be a top five center and maybe even the best center the league has to offer, but that can only be proven if he’s actually able to play instead of tweeting 24/7.
9. Al Horford
2016-2017 Stats: 14.0 PPG 6.8 REB 5.0 AST
Al Horford isn’t quite as effective as he used to be but he’s still a very solid NBA center. Still a decent defensive player he’s a valuable option to spread the floor for the Boston Celtics but if the Celtics have any hope of knocking off Lebron in the east he’ll have to look to become a more intimidating force down low playing defense.
8. Myles Turner
2016-2017 Stats: 14.5 PPG 7.3 REB 51.1 FG%
Myles Turner will look to prove he can be a franchise center as he’ll find himself as the best player on this new Indiana Pacers team. An excellent defensive player in the paint, Turner can easily become one of the best shot blockers in the NBA and he’ll only improve on the offensive end as his career progresses.
7. Deandre Jordan
2016-2017 Stats: 12.7 PPG 13.8 REB FG% 71.1
Deandre Jordan is a double-double machine but there’s kinks with his game that he desperately needs to be addressed. He chases blocks at times which creates defensive match-ups for his teammates and he’s still a TERRIBLE free throw shooter. If Jordan ever hopes to be franchise center that completely changes the landscape for his team he’ll have improve his shooting ability in a league that now expects it’s big men stretch the floor.
6. Hassan Whiteside
2016-2017 Stats: 17.0 PPG 14.1 REB 2.1 BLK
Hassan Whitesides’ journey to being a NBA stud has definitely been a long and impressive one. Hassan plays like he has something to prove, spiking opponents shot attempts into the crowd as if he’s playing volleyball, throwing down thunderous powerful dunks as if he’s angry at the rim, Whiteside has become one of the best two way centers the NBA has to offer and to see where he came it’s easily one of the best stories in the NBA.
5. Rudy Gobert
2016-2017 Stats: 14.0 PPG 12.8 REB 2.6 BLK
Rudy Gobert has become the best defensive bigman in the NBA… already. Going into only his fifth season in the NBA Rudy Gobert has turned himself into a dominant figure on the defensive side of the ball who can literally shut down offenses on that side of the floor. Now the best player on the Jazz, he’s my pick for Defensive player of the year for this upcoming NBA season.
4. Nikola Jokic
2016-2017 Stats: 16.7 PPG 9.8 REB 4.9 AST
Nikola Jokic A.K.A the Joker as he’s commonly known is already a triple double machine. He’s already shown the ability to score the basketball with ease, he can stretch the floor, and he’s a excellent rebounder. He may already be the best passing center in the NBA and he’s only in his second NBA season. Jokic is destined to be a great player and play so far has only proven that he’s a very special player.
3. Marc Gasol
2016-2017 Stats: 19.5 PPG 6.3 REB 4.6 AST
Marc Gasol has been the best player on one of the most consistent franchises in the NBA for almost a decade now. I don’t think anyone foreseen him becoming one of the best centers in the NBA nor do i believe anyone could’ve predicted him becoming the better of the Gasol brothers and putting together his own hall of fame resume. A former defensive player of the year and a 3x time all star, Marc is one of the best and most consistent players our league has to offer night in and night out.
2. Karl-Anthony Towns
2016-2017 Stats: 25.1 PPG 12.3 REB 54.2 FG%
Karl Anthony Towns averaged 25 and 12 in just his second career NBA season… I don’t think people realize just how insane that is. He’s already one of the most efficient and diverse scorers in the league with his three point shooting ability and his remarkable post game. Now with the presence of Jeff Teague and Jimmy Butler on the team I expect these numbers to drop but I still fully expect him to drop a double-double nearly every night and continue this trajectory of him possibly being the best player in basketball in the upcoming years.
1. Demarcus Cousins
2016-2017 Stats: 27.0 PPG 11.0 REB 4.6 AST
Demarcus Cousins is hands down the best big man in basketball and I don’t believe there’s much room to debate this honestly. An excellent scorer and shooter, Boogie can put the ball on the floor attack the basket just as well as any guard in the league, he can stretch the floor and shoot the three just as well as any two guard, and he’s a excellent passer for a big man at point last season averaging five assists per game. Thankfully Boogie is finally out of the hell-hole that is the Sacremento Kings organization and maybe now alongside Anthony Davis, we can see Cousins compete for a playoff spot that has eluded him his entire career.