Ranking the top 30 centers in the NBA

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Steven Adams (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Steven Adams (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

125. . C. Atlanta Hawks. Onyeka Okongwu. 27. player

Top 30 NBA centers — 27. Onyeka Okongwu, Hawks

Onyeka Okongwu is probably the first real surprise here, but he shouldn’t be. Injuries to Clint Capela and John Collins put Okongwu center stage in Atlanta’s frontcourt down the stretch. He showed out, affirming his lottery pick status and setting the stage for a fascinating decision in Atlanta’s near future. Keep the aging Capela, or induct Okongwu as Trae Young’s long-term pick-and-roll partner. A versatile defender who competes hard on the glass and executes his role brilliantly on offense, Okongwu should be starting games sooner than later.

142. . C. Washington Wizards. Thomas Bryant. 26. player

Top 30 NBA centers — 26. Thomas Bryant, Wizards

Thomas Bryant played sparsely last season after returning from injury. The Wizards’ glut of centers is mildly problematic, but when healthy, Bryant has the talent to outclass them all (except maybe the newly acquired Porzingis). He’s a prolific 3-point shooter with nimble footwork in the post and an impressive all-around skill set offensively. If he can get back to pre-injury levels, Washington will have a difficult decision to make with regards to his future.

. C. Memphis Grizzlies. Steven Adams. 25. player. 211

Top 30 NBA centers — 25. Steven Adams, Grizzlies

The NBA has evolved beyond Steven Adams to some extent, but he’s still quite good. There’s a lot of value in elite offensive rebounding and high-I.Q. passing out of the post. Adams is a dynamic DHO partner who can really spread the sugar to teammates. He’s limited on defense, but he’s also one of the strongest humans on the planet. That is naturally pretty useful.