Ranking the top 30 centers in the NBA

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

player. 27. . C. New York Knicks. Mitchell Robinson. 21

Top 30 NBA centers — 21. Mitchell Robinson, Knicks

Mitchell Robinson is a per-minute beast. He’s a prolific shot-blocker and a virtually unstoppable play finisher within five feet of the rim. Some of the most entertaining lob finishes each season belong to Robinson. The main hurdle for him is fouling (he’s not able to play star-level minutes, even if his impact sometimes borders on star-level) and health. If he can stay on the court and play with more discipline, whoever signs Robinson this offseason should be very happy.

34. . C. Portland Trail Blazers. Jusuf Nurkic. 20. player

Top 30 NBA centers — 20. Jusuf Nurkic, Trail Blazers

Jusuf Nurkic’s Portland career has been besieged by injuries, but when healthy, he’s quite effective. He’s another more traditional center who has been outmoded in some respects (he is exclusively a drop coverage defender, for example), but the strength and skill is impossible to overlook. Nurkic can bully smaller defenders in the post, he’s an exquisite passer for his position, and he’s still a brick wall defensively. It’s hard to go up against him at the rim.

player. 29. . C. San Antonio Spurs. Jakob Poeltl. 19

Top 30 NBA centers — 19. Jakob Poeltl, Spurs

Jakob Poeltl has quietly developed into one of the NBA’s best defensive centers. The Spurs are at an inflection point as a franchise, which makes Poeltl’s future unclear, but he’s the kind of player who would fit just about everywhere. He protects the rim at a high level, he crashes the glass hard, and he’s an excellent complementary piece on offense.