The NBA season is just under six weeks away so let the count down begin! Over the next few weeks, I am going to be breaking down each position in the NBA. These breakdowns will include the top 10 at that position finalized by a list of rookies to look out for.
All of my lists have been generated from past performances as well as potential for the upcoming season. Since I am displaying the best centers, I decided to focus on every aspect of the game. This includes statistics, athleticism, potential, and leadership. It is with these attributes that I was able to display the ten names listed below.
It is worthy to note that Tim Duncan, Chris Bosh, and DeMarcus Cousins are not on this list. I consider them Forwards who are forced to play the center position.
Top 10 Centers:
10) Anderson Varejao:
Varejao was great last season before his injury. He averaged a double-double and was extremely effective. Anderson finished the season with a 21.7 PER (player efficiency rating), which was the third highest among all centers in the league. When healthy, Varejao is one of the best in the league and can have a huge impact for the Cavaliers. Currently, Cleveland is making all the right moves and developing a lineup with no gaps. Anderson is the leader of the team and is the player that will spark their frontcourt to the top of the NBA.
9) DeAndre Jordan:
His dunk on Brandon Knight was one of the best anyone has ever seen. It was no fluke too. He is a true athlete and a great center for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Not many fans consider DeAndre Jordan a great center though. In a star heavy lineup, he is easy to miss. Jordan will never have the eye popping numbers that some centers tally in the final box scores, but he is efficient in filling whatever role is asked of him. As young as Jordan is, he has great potential.
8) Greg Monroe:
Last year was a break out year for Greg Monroe. He showed that he can hurt you with a number of weapons. He averaged 16 ppg, 9.6 rpg, and 3.5 apg. When Monroe was not scoring, he distributed the ball nicely to his teammates. The Pistons certainly found an excellent center in Monroe when they drafted him a few years ago.
With the addition of Josh Smith, Monroe will be expected to pass the ball a little more this season. His scoring will definitely be affected, but that is expected when a player is on a star filled team. I am expecting Monroe to continue to develop and be the leader of Detroit’s frontcourt.
7) Al Jefferson:
Last year, Jefferson averaged 17.8 ppg and 9.2 rpg. He showed incredible offensive skills and the ability to create his own shot. In addition, he contributed two assists per game which means Jefferson can also distribute the ball.
The Bobcats were able to sign this great center in the offseason. He is about to hit his prime and will be a nice asset to a young squad. On the offensive end, Jefferson is about as good as anyone, but defensively he is terrible. If Jefferson could focus more effort on his defense this offseason, we could see him on All-Star weekend.
6) Joakim Noah:
Joakim Noah is a coaches player. His level of hustle is unmeasurable. It is hard to name other players in the league who give a better effort every night like Noah. When Joakim came into the league, he was a raw talent that most franchises did not know what to do with. Not knowing what type of player they had, the Bulls took a chance and have formed him into one of the best centers in the league.
Last year Noah averaged 11.9 ppg, 11.1 rpg, and 2.1 bpg. While his shooting could always improve, Noah is an asset on the boards. He was one of only a handful of centers who averaged a double-double last season. His style of play may not land him an All-Star spot, but he is certainly a center most coaches wish to have on their team.