With the advent of the NBA in the late 1940s, it became clear that each team required a towering center to have any chance of winning the title. There have been many great centers to play professional basketball in a league that is still expanding after more than 70 years.
The NBA center position has a rich history of prominence. Many teams rely heavily on this position, and it has been filled by some of the game’s all-time greats. Defenders at the center position must focus on protecting the basket and securing offensive boards.
This particular position has enjoyed a revival in recent years, and in the previous two seasons, a player of this position was awarded the league’s most valuable player trophy, marking the position’s pinnacle. Thus, big, skilled players are returning to the position in droves. These are the three best centers in the NBA right now, who are still yet to reach those highs, as per NBA.com.
3. Bam Adebayo
Adebayo’s case for being the top defender in the NBA right now is strong. His absence from 26 games last season cost him the chance to win the league’s Defensive Player of the Year title, which went to Marcus Smart. Adebayo placed in the bottom four. The Heat, who missed out on the NBA Finals by a single game, allowed a league-low 41.3 points per game to be scored in the paint in the 2021-22 season.
2. Joel Embiid
Embiid averaged 30.6% of the team’s points last year, making him the first center to lead the NBA in scoring since Shaquille O’Neal in 1999-2000. He had 13 games where he scored 40 or more points, including his second career 50-point effort, which came on January 19 against the Magic. The concern of whether or not he will be healthy for the playoffs arises every year, since this has not been the case in the previous two seasons.
1. Nikola Jokic
The previous player to win three straight MVP honors was Larry Bird, who did it from 1984 to 1986. After winning the award the last two years in a row, Jokic will have a chance to become the third player to do so.
He is stunning to see, is unstoppable in the post, and is the finest big-man passer in the history of the game. Not only is he shattering the most complex statistics, but he was also the top offensive player in the league last season based on simple box score analysis.