Top 10 Best Centers in the NBA Today 2023
In the ever-evolving landscape of the NBA, centers remain the foundation upon which teams build their success. These towering titans stand tall in the paint, controlling the game with their size, strength, and exceptional skills. From thunderous dunks and rim-protecting blocks to no-look passes, these elite centers epitomize the essence of modern basketball’s formidable interior presence. As we delve into the heart of today’s NBA, we embark on a journey to discover the top 10 centers who reign supreme on the hardwood. Each player on this exclusive list possesses a unique blend of talent and tenacity, setting them apart as dominant forces in the league. Get ready to witness the extraordinary might of the best centers in the NBA today, where strength meets finesse, and basketball greatness unfolds before our eyes.
Honorable Mention – Nic Claxton
Mark my words. In the next 2 seasons, Nic Claxton will be a top 10 center in the NBA. This 23 year old really impressed me last season. He stood toe to toe with some of the best centers in the NBA and had some great moments both offensively and defensively.
His strong suit is his defensive ability as he can block shots both in the paint and on the perimeter. If he can more consistently produce offensively, becoming a top 5 center in the NBA is not out of the question.
#10 – Rudy Gobert
Did the Minnesota Timberwolves make a mistake by paying up for Rudy Gobert? As of now the answer is yes. The 3x Defensive Player of the Year struggled in his first year with the Wolves, but still put his defensive prowess on display. The Timberwolves were one of the best defensive teams in the league which at least somewhat can be credited to this tower down low.
With a healthy Karl-Anthony Towns, this team will look a lot differently, especially offensively. They knew what they were getting with Gobert and that was not an offensive maestro by any means.
#9 – Myles Turner
This man has earned a reputation as one of the stingiest defenders in the NBA. Around the rim, you are getting nothing for free. But here is the thing.
Myles Turner is no longer just a defensive specialist. He is now something more. The 2022-23 season marked a career high in both points per game and field goal percentage. Turner has transformed himself offensively and it shows on the court. Add the fact that he is also a reliable shooter from beyond the arc and you have an ascending big man.
#8 – DeAndre Ayton
I try to put my personal bias aside when making these rankings. I have to mention this though. I hate DeAndre Ayton. Hate him. I think he is one of the softest players to play the game. Always whining, always flopping, and never consistent.
But damn, when he’s on he’s on. He’s extremely refined offensively and has a really good touch from the rim to the mid range. He refuses to dunk in most cases, but maybe that softness will preserve some extra years on his career.
#7 – Jarrett Allen
Jarrett Allen keeps getting better. He has improved every single season since being in the NBA and earned his first all-star appearance of his career. Credit that to his ridiculous paint presence on both ends of the court. It’s hard to miss him with that afro.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are finally a playoff team again. A lot of the credit can be given to the newly acquired Donovan Mitchell carrying this offense. But you best believe Jarrett Allen is the defensive leader.
#6 – Kristaps Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis has caught a lot of hate since entering the NBA, but since leaving the Mavericks he has quietly become one of the leagues best big men. This season marked a career high in points per game, assists per game and field goal percentage. He is finally living up to the hype.
This off-season, he was traded to the Boston Celtics and he should be over the moon with excitement. The Celtics are going all-in for the championship this season and Kristaps offers and extremely diverse skillset for the contenders.
#5 – Bam Adebayo
The Miami Heat were the darkhorse team this season and Bam Adebayo deserves a lot of credit. He had some of his best performances this season and most importantly over their historic playoff run.
This is the 3x defensive player of the year winner after all. He continues to wreak havoc defensively, but what has really turned him into one of the best centers in the NBA is his ever-evolving offensive game.
#4 – Domantas Sabonis
I’m sure a lot of people think that Bam deserves the number 4 spot over Sabonis, but hear me out.
The Sacremento Kings had no right at being the number 3 seed in the west going into this season. It was the play of Domantas Sabonis that has turned the Kings into legitimate contenders.
Nikola Jokic gets all the hype for his diverse skillset, but consider Sabonis a poor mans Jokic. He is an extremely skilled scorer who also averages over 7 assists per game and is a willing glass collector.
This is one of the most skilled players in the NBA that not enough people talk about. He may not be the same defensive stud as some of the other centers in the NBA, but clears most offensively.
#3 – Anthony Davis
A healthy Anthony Davis is a scary thing. But it’s almost as rare as Freddy Krueger showing up on Friday the 13th.
Jokes aside, this man is still a machine. His wingspan and athleticism allows for him to dominate both offensively and defensively.
The Brow will continue to be an intimidating force on the court, but he can’t do it all himself. It’s clear that he can be a leader for the Lakers, but not the leader. He can’t handle all the workload when the aging LeBron James is hurt.
#2 – Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid may have won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award this season, but he was not the best player. I don’t even think this is a hot take. But let’s give him his flowers.
This man is an absolute force offensively. If you opt to have your center cover him one on one without any help, you’re in for a long game. He just had a career-best 33.1 points per game on 54.8 percent shooting. That is absurd.
But what happened in the playoffs? That 33.1 points per game dropped to 23.7 points per game. Did that workload catch up to him? Did the big moment get too big?
Regardless of the answers to those questions, Joel Embiid is 28 years old and getting better.
#1 – Nikola Jokic
The MVP award means absolutely nothing. I repeat, the MVP award means absolutely nothing. After back to back MVP’s, Nikola Jokic had the best year of his career and came up short of the MVP. Let me explain.
Late in the season, it was pretty much 50/50 on whether Jokic or Embiid would win the award. Embiid continued to receive his ridiculously high usage rate, but Jokic, knowing his team was playoff bound regardless, opted to sit out and save himself for the playoffs. The smart move.
We then saw what we’re used to. Domination. The triple double machine picked up right where he left off and turned the Denver Nuggets into by far the best team in the playoffs.
There isn’t a weakness in his game. Jokic is the most skilled big man to ever play in the NBA and just locked himself in as one of the top 10 best centers ever even if he retires tomorrow.
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