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) /
8 of 10
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

. . . Minnesota Timberwolves. 9. team. 86

9. Jaden McDaniels & Karl-Anthony Towns & Rudy Gobert, Wolves

The Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert pairing will be fascinating to watch. We haven’t seen a proper “Twin Towers” experiment in a while — two natural centers who have, on the surface, very complementary skill sets. Gobert is the best rim protector in modern NBA history, while Towns’ 3-point shooting should allow him to co-exist with Gobert, who does the majority of his damage with finishes at the rim. Jaden McDaniels will start next to them as a lanky 3-and-D forward who provides necessary size and versatility on the wing. The Wolves clearly have confidence in McDaniels, having fought to keep him out of the Gobert trade.

8. team. 77. . . . Los Angeles Clippers

8. Kawhi Leonard & Marcus Morris Sr. & Ivica Zubac, Clippers

What shape is Kawhi Leonard in? That will ultimately determine the Clippers’ fate in 2023. Is he back to 100 percent — arguably the most dominant postseason player in the NBA — or is he simply borderline All-NBA good? The possibility of the former is what lands LAC so high on this list. Leonard is a one-man machine with very few equals around the league. His ability to carry an immense scoring burden while also guarding the opposition’s best player is wholly unique. Next to him are two very solid players too. Marcus Morris has settled nicely into his 3-and-D role with the Clippers, while Ivica Zubac doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his stabilizing presence on the defensive end.

110. . . . Miami Heat. 7. team

7. Max Strus & Jimmy Butler & Bam Adebayo, Heat

Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo were the driving force behind the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season. Butler has now made the conference finals in two of three seasons with Miami, reasserting his status as a legitimate two-way superstar. His playmaking chops and clutch scoring at the heart of Miami’s offense, while his defense will take on even greater importance following P.J. Tucker’s departure. Bam Adebayo is a perennial DPOY candidate at this point, and the offense is getting better each year. Max Strus isn’t exactly a brand name, but he’s a knockdown shooter who understands how to play within his role.