Sixers: Ranking Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and every NBA frontcourt

Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

24. . . . Chicago Bulls. 12. team

12. DeMar DeRozan & Patrick Williams & Nikola Vucevic, Bulls

DeMar DeRozan played the best basketball of his career last season. He expanded his range to the 3-point line, upped his efficiency across the board, and for long stretches, looked like a genuine MVP candidate. Chicago fell victim to injuries across the roster, but DeRozan’s ridiculous shot-making and playmaking talent kept the Bulls afloat. Patrick Williams has spent the majority of his NBA career battling injuries, but the two-way flashes have been tantalizing. Nikola Vucevic took a step back last season, but there still aren’t many centers with his variety of skills on offense.

81. . . . Toronto Raptors. 11. team

11. Scottie Barnes & OG Anunoby & Pascal Siakam, Raptors

Toronto’s small, switchable frontcourt worked quite well last season and should only improve in 2023. Pascal Siakam is a confirmed star at this point — he can bully smaller defenders inside, or stretch slower centers out to the 3-point line and torch them with his speed attacking downhill. Scottie Barnes won Rookie of the Year because he did just about everything. He scored, he spent time running point, he guarded all five positions. There weren’t many boxes left untouched. OG Anunoby is a perennial Most Improved Player candidate at this point; he just has to stay on the floor.

. . . New Orleans Pelicans. 10. team. 69

10. Herbert Jones & Zion Williamson & Jonas Valanciunas, Pelicans

Last time we saw Zion Williamson, he was already knocking on the door of superstardom. He’s the most dominant interior scorer in the NBA under 6-foot-8. He also spent time running the offense, creating for others, and sparking New Orleans’ transition offense. The Pelicans will need him to buy in on defense, but Zion is a true star when he’s healthy. Herbert Jones earned All-Defense consideration as a rookie and should pick right back up where he left off. Jonas Valanciunas is one of the more underrated interior anchors in the NBA. He defends the rim well, he can score at all three levels, and he’s a very talented passer out of the post or working from the elbow.