The NBA is finally back!! With the first game of the regular season tipping off this week we conclude our rankings of the top 5 players at each position in the NBA with the 5 best centers in the league. Over the past 5 weeks we have released our rankings of the top 5 players at each position. If you want to see our other rankings the links are here:
Top 5 Point Guards
Top 5 Shooting Guards
Top 5 Small Forwards
Top 5 Power Forwards
5. AL Horford
Horford is probably the reason why the Celtics have been so good since he arrived as a free agent in 2016. Although he’s getting up there in age, there doesn’t seem to be any slowing down for the 12-year veteran. He just does everything at a high level, and the fact that he does everything so well makes him probably the Celtics’ most important player. When both Irving and Hayward sidelined with injuries, Horford still led the Celtics to an Eastern Conference Finals berth. He definitely deserves a spot on this list.
4. Clint Capela
Capela often gets overlooked, and it’s not hard to see why when you look at the Houston Rockets roster. But, in the last year, Capela has made it apparent that he is very important to Houston’s success. He averaged a double-double last season, and continued that average into the postseason. Notable performances for Capela include 26 points and 15 rebounds in a series-clincher and a whopping 6 blocks in a separate postseason game. While I do believe the addition of Chris Paul helped Capela bring his stock up, he still is one of the most talented centers the NBA has to offer.
3. Rudy Gobert
There is nobody in the NBA who is a better rim protector than Rudy Gobert. That’s why the Jazz made him their first round draft pick in 2013. The numbers Gobert puts up may not be eye-popping, but his impact goes far beyond just pure stats. With Gobert on the floor, his teammates are free to take chances on the perimeter which did lead to the Jazz having one of the best defensive units in the entire league. His impact was seen when he returned from injury toward the back end of last season, helping the team win 30 of their last 38 games. The reigning DPOY undoubtedly deserves to be in the conversation for best centers in the league.
2. Karl Anthony Towns
Although he may be inconsistent, Towns does a lot of things very well. The part of his game that stands out the most has to be his incredible shooting range. A guy who is 7-feet tall who shoots at 42% is something to marvel at. The dude has the ability to score with the best of the stars in the league, but if he can just become more consistent he can be one of the biggest stars in the entire league.
1. Joel Embiid
While it may have taken Embiid to establish himself as a star in the league, he surely has made it known that he is a force that should be known throughout the entire league. He’s good for at least 20 points a night, averaging a solid 22.9 PPG last season. He has the ability to carry the Sixers offense, and he’s one of the league’s top rebounders. He’s also a very good defender, had it not been for Gobert he probably had a solid claim at it. And he has an unbelievable impact on the success of his team. The drop in the plus/minus per 100 possessions of other 76er starters is astounding with Embiid on and off the court. It goes from a whopping +17.6 to a -9.1. He’s vital to the success of the Sixers, and also happens to be the league’s best center.