The NBA season is quickly approaching, and with it, it’s time to start looking ahead at who the best players in the game will be at their respective positions.
We have several players coming off of excellent seasons, which have seen their stock skyrocket, and there are suddenly questions about some of the mainstays on this list.
Let’s get into who the best centers in the NBA are right now and rank them from 10 to 1.
Top 10 NBA Centers
10. Kristaps Porzingis, Boston Celtics
Kicking us off is Porzingis, a player with a new home this year in Boston. While his career has been up and down, mainly due to injury, he could finish the season as a top-five center in the NBA.
The veteran is coming off a promising campaign with the Washington Wizards, which saw him play 65 games – his most since his sophomore season with the Knicks. He averaged 32.6 minutes – the second-most of his career – and put up 23.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game on 49.8% shooting from the field and 38.5% from three.
On a team like the Celtics, Porzinigis is sure to maximize his offensive output, and his stock may improve to its highest point ever.
9. Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks
Capela is still one of the game’s best rebounders and interior defenders.
He allowed just 41.5% shooting inside of six feet last season, and his career defensive rating is a spicy 106 points per 100 possessions.
Capela lacks the all-around game many of these bigs ahead of him possess, and it’s hard to say he’s the best rebounder and defender. Still, it’s hard to argue against a guy who has averaged a double-double with excellent defense for the past five seasons.
8. Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
Lopez, the ageless wonder, lit it up again for the Bucks last season at 34.
He has improved his three-point shot since introducing it to his repertoire six seasons ago, going a career-best 37.4% from deep in 2022-23.
- See where the Bucks stand in our NBA Power Rankings.
Lopez is arguably the most underrated player in the game right now, playing a vital role on a championship contender and providing a ton of help offensively for a team that has struggled to score when Giannis Antetokounmpo can’t carry the load.
7. Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers
Allen is one of the best interior defenders in the game. He also averaged better than 14 points and roughly 10 rebounds per game for a second straight season.
The University of Texas product is peaking at the age of 25, and like Porzingis, he may find himself in the top five by season’s end.
Allen has some work to do to beef up his defensive numbers to elite levels, but at over a block per game with one of the better rebounding rates in the NBA, you’d take him as your starting center every time.
6. Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings
This is where it starts to get tricky.
This spot was a toss-up for me between Domantas Sabonis and Karl-Anthony Towns, but I’ll leave Sabonis here simply because he’s not as good on defense as some of the others on this list.
Still, Sabonis’ 11 rebounds per game ranked fifth in the NBA last season, and he coupled that with a scalding 120.7 offensive rating for the Kings.
If this list were only about offense and rebounding, he’d be in the top three, but he posted an abysmal 116.8 defensive rating last season.
5. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Towns had a weird 2022-23 season, playing in just 29 games due to injury and spending most of his time hovering around the three-point line to be a glorified catch-and-shoot weapon for the Timberwolves.
In doing so, he converted on 36.6% of looks from three, his worst mark since his second season in the NBA.
- Get ready for basketball season: Learn how to bet NBA odds.
KAT is coming off of a down year, but you’d still bet on his talent and skills in the post every time. He also posted an excellent 109.4 defensive rating last campaign, so at least he grew a ton on that side of the ball.
4. Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
Adebayo, like many on this list, isn’t a complete player.
He was again a solid presence for the Heat on defense, posting an efficiency rating of 111.2, but it was the worst defensive season of his career.
Adebayo did well in the post in the playoffs, and while he’s not the strongest rebounder, he nearly averaged a double-double.
He’s still a consistent option on offense, averaging a career-best 20.4 points per game last season, and skill-wise is a surefire top-five center.
3. Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
Davis is still the man if you’re not going with Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic at center.
While those two have Davis beat on the offensive end and are more durable, even if they have their own injury concerns, there’s still plenty to like. “The Brow” had another monster season with the Lakers, averaging 25.9 points and 12.5 rebounds, and carried the load at times with LeBron James missing significant time.
Davis posted his best-ever offensive rating a season ago, with the Lakers scoring 114.3 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor. His defensive rating stayed under 110, and he led the league with 3.1 blocks per game.
2. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Here comes the timeless debate of Nikola Jokic vs Joel Embiid.
We could sit at a bar for hours and debate who is truly better, but for my money, the shot creation of Embiid is what puts him ahead of Jokic.
Still, it’s hard to argue that Jokic isn’t in the top two. The two-time MVP nearly averaged a triple-double last year for the NBA champions, dropping 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 9.8 assists per game.
- Can “Joker" reclaim his title? Find out in our 2024 NBA MVP odds.
Jokic does it all, playing excellent matchup defense, shooting well from three and the free-throw line, and exhibiting incredible skills passing the ball.
If not for his unselfish play, Jokic could average 40 points per game.
1. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Embiid is the best center in the NBA because he can create offense on his own.
With the ball in his hands, it’s almost impossible to guard Embiid, who can hit a turnaround or step-back jumper in his sleep.
Embiid led all scorers with 33.1 points per game a season ago and added 10.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per contest.
In my eyes, he is still the NBA’s most valuable player, and the Sixers would be nothing without him.