The role of a center in basketball is to rebound and score points. In the NBA, a center should possess the size and also be able to score. They must be tall, have good hands, and have great footwork. But nowadays, this definition of a center has been under debate. Should they just focus on defense or offense? Should they be a complete package? What are the qualities of a center? So, let’s take a closer look at my list of the top 5 best NBA centers right now at this very moment.
Top 5 best centers in the NBA right now
|Rank||Player Name||Current Team|
|1.||Joel Embiid||Philadelphia 76ers|
|2.||Nikola Jokic||Denver Nuggets|
|3.||Karl-Antony Towns||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|4.||Bam Adebayo||Miami Heat|
|5.||Rudy Gobert||Utah Jazz|
1. Joel Embiid – Current Best center NBA
The Sixers have a lot of young players, but their best one is Joel Embiid. After one year of college basketball in Kansas, he got drafted as the third overall pick in 2014 by the 76ers. Multiple foot and knee injuries delayed his debut for two seasons until 2016–17.
Now that he’s healthy, he seems like the best center in the league right now. He’s bigger than most centers but faster than all of them. He can score on any defender close to the basket with either hand. He even makes three-point shots sometimes. This is insane because if you’re seven feet tall and can make three-point shots, people just give up and let you do whatever you want.
Embiid has received multiple achievements for his outstanding performance during his rookie season, including being named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, being selected as a finalist for NBA Rookie of the Year, and earning NBA All-Rookie First Team honors. He also earned All-Defensive Second Team and All-NBA Second Team honors in 2018, becoming only the sixth player in league history to make an All-Defensive team as well as an All-NBA team before turning 24 years old.
2. Nikola Jokic
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is one of the most talented and versatile players in the NBA. The Serbian big man was a second-round pick in 2014 but has developed into a cornerstone for the Nuggets and is now one of the best players at his position. While his shooting and passing numbers are insane for a 7-footer, he is also an elite rebounder. He recently appeared at number 26 in the ESPN 100 list of players for the 2019-2020 season.
Jokic is labeled a player with an old-school game in the modern NBA world. Jokic handles the ball well, and his court vision is unmatched for his size. His height also helps him with rebounds and rack up double-doubles or even triple-doubles. Jokic also has smooth shooting touch and range, making him a versatile player.
He won two Serbian League championships (2013, 2014) and also two Adriatic League championships (2013, 2014). He won Rookie of the Month for December 2015 and was also selected to play in All-Rookie First Team for the 2016 season. Furthermore, in 2018, he was voted as an All-Star for the first time and was named to All-NBA Second Team that same year. In 2019 he led the Nuggets to their first Western Conference Finals appearance since 2009 but lost against Golden State Warriors 4–3.
3. Karl-Antony Towns
In a league full of freakish athletes, Karl-Anthony Towns is a unicorn. He has been named an NBA All-Star in his first three seasons and was also awarded Rookie of the Year honors after his 2015-16 debut. Karl was born in Edgewater, New Jersey, and grew up in Piscataway, where his father coached his AAU team. That’s where he met his future Timberwolves teammate Tyus Jones.
Towns led St. Joseph High School to consecutive state titles as a junior and senior, earning Gatorade National Player of the Year honors in 2014. Towns lived up to the hype during his lone season at Duke, averaging 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game for a Blue Devils squad that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual national champion Wisconsin in the Sweet 16.
4. Bam Adebayo
Adebayo is fourth on our list of the top centers in the NBA. He is averaging 16 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game this season. However, he’s not just another big man on the block. Adebayo has also been a significant part of the Heat’s offense, and his offensive rating is 102.4. He also leads all centers in assist percentage (15th overall) and ranks second behind Giannis Antetokounmpo.
He has notable NBA achievements including 3rd Team All-NBA, 2nd Team All-Defense, and also 1st Team All-Rookie. Bam Adebayo has earned $33M over 4 NBA seasons which ranks 5th among active centers and 24th among active NBA players. He is now under contract with an average annual salary of $16M.
5. Rudy Gobert
Lastly, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz is the fifth-best center on our list. He makes the Jazz defense elite, and he’s a big reason why Utah has taken the next step this season. Furthermore, the Utah Jazz has become one of the best teams in the NBA by playing terrific defense- they have the league’s fourth-best defensive rating, according to NBA.com. He’s an intimidating force near the rim, and opponents don’t like to drive into the lane when he’s patrolling the paint.
Also, Check out: the best defenders in the NBA right now.
So here is the article on the best NBA centers right now. Also please leave your thoughts in the comment section below. The source of information for this article is Hoops Reference. The information in this article is subject to change, hence our website (www.beginbasketball.com) makes no guarantee that the information is completely accurate.