All hell is about to break loose in the NBA. Teams need players (preferably good ones) to fill out their rosters. Serious runs will be made at lots of guys, especially the ones who play positions where the talent field is most thin â€“ point guard and center. That is how guys like Sam Dalembert are lining up for yet another monster free agent contract. Athletic 7-footers don’t grow on trees.
So who are the best of the best? Last week, one of the Dime Family ranked his Top 10 Point Guards in the NBA. Today, I’m ranking the game’s Top 10 Centers. And to echo that point guards post, this is about who is the best. Not who’s the best fantasy player or who’s the best long-term project. This is about which players I would pick to jump ball at center for me if I had to win a game today.
10. Roy Hibbert â€“ Big Roy making my Top 10 might surprise a lot of people, but I’m giving him the nod over characters like Chris Kaman and Kendrick Perkins. Why? Because Hibbert is hungry. He’s a legitimate 7-footer who has reportedly added 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason. He has soft hands, can score (averaged almost 13 points per game in just 27 minutes), can pass, can board, and block shots. He’s ready to make the leap today.
9. Brook Lopez â€“ I’m down on Brook. He should really be much higher in these rankings. 7-feet, 265 pounds, high basketball IQ and only managed six rebounds a game last season? Come on, man. But the fact that he can put the ball in the whole at a clip of 20 points per night gets him a spot on the list.
8. Andrew Bynum â€“ Bynum is awesome â€“ when he plays. He only averages about 50 games per season because of consistent injuries. If I’m picking someone to win a game right now, I want a guy I know I can count on.
7. Andrea Bargnani â€“ Sure, he’s a shooting guard trapped in a 7-footer’s body, but Bargnani can fill it up. He spends a ton of time time on the perimeter, which has a lot of say in why he only averages about five boards a game. But the threat of his jumper draws opposing bigs away from the hoop, where they can’t get the rebound either. You can’t argue that he isn’t one of the most skilled big men in the world, and he’s getting better.
6. Nene â€“ For lots of reasons, Nene is about to get paid. Among them? He’s tough, reliable, can run, and isn’t afraid of a battle. He’s the kid of guy you want on your side in a big game.
5. Al Jefferson â€“ 20, 11 and almost two blocks per game out of your center on a team with no other star to carry the burden? Yes, please.
4. Marc Gasol â€“ If the aforementioned Hibbert is hungry, Marc Gasol is starving. How much fun was it watching him battle in the playoffs last year? Gasol has officially arrived. He knows that he can not only play at this level, but he can also kick people’s asses. This is going to be a big year for him.
3. Joakim Noah â€“ I’m assuming you’re going to disagree with how high I have Noah on the list. That’s fine. While Noah certainly doesn’t possess the basketball skill level of an Al Jefferson, an Andrea Bargnani or a Brook Lopez, the dude gets after it every single night. He plays with passion and desire, runs the floor, and plays defense like his career depends on it. He was hurt for a good portion of last year, but unlike Andrew Bynum’s case, I know that Noah is always dying to compete.
2. Al Horford â€“ It seems like lots of guys either have the toughness or the skills to be an effective center in the NBA. It’s rare when you have a guy who has both, and Al Horford is one of the few who does. We’d love to see him at some point on a good team with a stable roster in a winning environment to see what he can really do.
1. Dwight Howard â€“ Pretty sure you saw this one coming. Despite the fact that he still looks lost lots of time with his back to the basket, and despite the fact that his foul shooting is still an adventure, there is no big man in the game today as physically dominant as Dwight Howard. He’s a true prize to be had on the free agent market and getting him to sign on the dotted line would have far-reaching effect on whatever franchise he picks.
The are my rankings. Who do you think are the best centers in the NBA today?
Other Top 10 Position Rankings:
– Top 10 NBA Point Guards in the Game Today
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