10 best centers in the NBA today
Less than two weeks from the season tip-off, we countdown the top players at the center position.
Centers are a diminishing crop in the league right now, largely in part to the league's new up-tempo style of play. There are close to no centers, currently, that are the effective traditional back-to-the-basket type of big men like those from the 1960's, 80's or the 90's.
Better handles, shoot three's, to provide more than just a physical presence in the paint - that's what a new-age center must be in order to be relevant in this league.
The Golden State Warriors have not only made the concept of pace-and-space popular but they've also proven that it's successful, forcing other teams to adapt as well and the biggest victim of those changes are the centers.
These are difficult times for the 7-footers but just like everybody else they, too, are adapting. Adding a dependable shooting stroke and mobility to their dominance in the post puts them on the wanted list once again.
With less than two weeks to go for the 2017-18 to tip-off, here are the predictions for the top 10 centers in the league:
Honorable Mention: Joel Embiid - Philadelphia 76ers
Potential? Joel Embiid could be a top-3 center in the league if he wanted to, unfortunately, his knees want otherwise. From strictly, a talent and versatility perspective, Embiid has shown all the skills necessary to not only be effective in the league but be dominant.
In the 31 games last season, he averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.1 assists while averaging only 25.4 minutes on the floor. In the post, he makes complete use of his 7-foot, 250-pound frame but to make matters worse, he shoots long range shots as well. Embiid, last year, shot 36.7% from beyond the arc, which at least forces his defender to stay with him if he's on the perimeter.
All the talent for nothing.
Embiid played last season after having taken two years to rehabilitate from a surgery on his navicular bone in his right foot. The 76ers played cautiously under a minutes restriction yet they could not avoid him requiring to undergo a minor arthroscopic surgery to address a meniscus tear in his left knee at the end of last season.
The timetable for his return to action for this season is yet to be announced by the franchise.