NBA Power Rankings: Top 10 Centers in the NBA
NBA Power Rankings: Top 10 Centers in the NBA
The center position in the NBA is one of the most important yet over looked positions in the National Basketball Association. With the evolution of the game of basketball transforming into more of a perimeter orientated one the once most dominant and imperative in the sport is now unfortunately becoming obsolete as time passes by. This is evident by the recent decision made by NBA commissioner David Stern to remove the center position off of the NBA All-Star ballot and replace it three “frontcourt” players instead.
However I myself along with the good people here at Rant Sports not only find value in the center position but also cherish it enough to dedicate this piece to the top 10 centers that are currently playing in the Association. Here you won’t find any hybrid guys who go back and forth in between the four and five positions, nor will you find players who legitimately play the five position but who are too soft to grab a rebound or block a shot.
These 10 players are the best at what they do which is protecting the paint and rim at all costs for their teams and also have the low post skills to drop buckets when called upon. These are men’s men and should be recognized as so for the hard work and labor which they put in on a game-to-game basis. So without further adieu I present to you the top 10 centers in the NBA. If you have any discrepancies please feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section.
#10 Chris Kaman
Chris Kaman cracks the top 10 centers in the NBA because everything that you could expect for a big man in the Association Kaman gives; rebounds, blocks, a presence in the paint and buckets. Throughout his 10 year career the Dallas Mavericks new center has averaged 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 assists per contest along with shooting 48% from the field.
#9 Joakim Noah
The Chicago Bulls' man in the middle Joakim Noah is the epitome of heart, hustle and determination; on any given possession there is no one on the court who competes harder than the 6'11" New York City native. Throughout his six-year career Noah has averaged 8.9 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 51% from the floor as well as winning over some of harshest critics in the process.
#8 Roy Hibbert
During the 2011-12 season Indiana Pacers big man Roy Hibbert was selected to his first All-Star team and for good reason he is one of the NBA's better defenders in the paint who also possess the capability to score points as well. Throughout the 7'2", Queens, NY product's career he has averaged 11.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.6 assists per game while shooting 48% from the field. The best is yet to come from the 25-year old Hibbert who seems as if he is just hitting his stride in the Association.
#7 JaVale McGee
JaVale McGee may have been placed in this spot partly due to the fact that his upside is tremendous however there aren't many big men in the NBA that have a skill set quite like the Denver Nuggets center. McGee is averaged just 8.6 points, six rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting 53% from the field throughout his five-year career however those numbers are sure to rise dramatically now that he is with a coach that will hold him accountable and allow him to flourish (George Karl). Don't be surprised if this list is revisited in a few seasons and you find McGee's name in the top four.
#6 Al Jefferson
Utah Jazz big man Al Jefferson is not only one of the best centers in the NBA but is also one of the most underrated players in the entire Association and maybe all of professional sports. Throughout his nine-year career Big Al has averaged 16.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 assists per contest along with shooting 50% from the field. It seems as if Jefferson has been in the NBA for ever but at just 27 years old he still has plenty of work in front him which only means he is far from cementing his legacy just yet.
#5 Andrew Bogut
Since his arrival to the NBA eight seasons ago, Golden State Warriors big man Andrew Bogut has proven that he is one of the best centers in the NBA. Throughout the seven-foot Australian's career he has averaged 12.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 2.3 assists per game while shooting a remarkable 52% from the floor. The only knock on Bogut is that he has been injured from time-to-time in his career, but that hasn't diminished his play while healthy; in fact had it not been for those injuries you might find him a little higher on this list.
#4 Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler has come along way from being a skinny, unpolished prospect with the Chicago Bulls in the early 2000's to being the dominant enforcer on a NBA Championship team as a member of the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. Last season as the paint protector for the New York Knicks Chandler earned his first Defensive Player of the Year award and was also selected as a member of the 2012 USA Men's Olympic Basketball squad which won Gold in London this past summer. Throughout Chandler's career the 7'1" big man has averaged 8.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest while shooting an incredible 58% from the field.
#3 Marc Gasol
So Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol was supposed to be just a throw-in back in 2008 when the Los Angeles Lakers traded him to Memphis along with three others for his older brother Pau Gasol, huh! Some throw-in, since that deal was done all the younger Gasol has done is establish himself as one of the best centers in the NBA. Throughout his five-year career Gasol has averaged 13.2 points, eight rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 2.4 assists per contest while shooting 53% from the floor on everything from dunks to 20-foot jump shots. Gasol along with his Memphis forwards Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay make up arguably the best frontcourt trio in the game today; what a throw-in, every team should be so lucky.
#2 Andrew Bynum
The Philadelphia 76ers new exactly what they were getting when they made a trade this off-season to acquire Andrew Bynum for the Los Angeles Lakers in a four team deal; the second best center in the National Basketball Association! Throughout Bynum's career he has averaged 11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 57% from the floor. Last season Bynum showed exactly how dominant he can and will be as he was named to his first (of soon to be many) All-Star teams and put up 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks a night. The one thing that many people may forget because of the fact that Bynum has been in the Association for eight years now is that he is just 25 years old and if he remains healthy could go down as one of the top 10 or 15 centers of all-time; he's got all of the tools to do so.
#1 Dwight Howard
When the Los Angeles Lakers traded the second best center in the Association, Andrew Bynum during the off-season it could have only been for one person and that was the absolute best big man in the game today Dwight Howard. D-12, Superman or simply Mr. Howard; what ever you choose to call him has averaged 18.4 points, 13 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.5 assists per game along with shooting 58% from the field since entering the NBA nine seasons ago. Howard has been named to six All-Star teams, five All-NBA first teams, four All-Defensive first teams and the NBA Defensive Player of the Year on three occasions. If you're looking for a better NBA center trying turning back the hands of time and looking in a different decade!