Featured Gallery, NBA / Dec 5, 2011 / 6:00 pm

Top 10 NBA Centers in the Game Today

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard (photo. adidas)

All hell is about to break loose in the NBA. Teams need players (preferably good ones) to fill out their rosters. Serious runs will be made at lots of guys, especially the ones who play positions where the talent field is most thin – point guard and center. That is how guys like Sam Dalembert are lining up for yet another monster free agent contract. Athletic 7-footers don’t grow on trees.

So who are the best of the best? Last week, one of the Dime Family ranked his Top 10 Point Guards in the NBA. Today, I’m ranking the game’s Top 10 Centers. And to echo that point guards post, this is about who is the best. Not who’s the best fantasy player or who’s the best long-term project. This is about which players I would pick to jump ball at center for me if I had to win a game today.

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  • Doc

    How is Al Horford considered a center but Pau Gasol isn’t?

  • kane

    No Bogut? He should be top five at least.

  • Josh

    I’m a bit stunned how Bogut’s not on this list.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    It’s weird seeing a list like this without Shaq on it. Glad you’re seeing the light with Hibbert, but for future reference it’s “Big Boy Roy.”

  • north

    the hate for Atlanta continues huh Dime? Pretty sure they are a winning team with a winning environment and that’s why they are 1 of the 16 teams to make the playoffs each year.
    Leaving Bogut off the list definitely is a knock at it’s credibility.
    @ Doc – Pau’s minutes are mostly at the PF spot, Al’s are mostly at the C. By your logic, Bosh, Duncan, Zach Randolph would all be on this list.

  • Shot In Ya Face

    No Bogut? He’s up there in the top 10 for sure.

    Call me crazy, but IF Andrew Bynum could stay healthy, he would easily be the 2nd best center.

  • beiber newz

    bogut’s better than marc gasol. marc gasol should be 9th

  • KL

    I enjoy these lists and they obviously generate discussion. unfortunate for dime, reader know enough to cry foul. In this case, the lack of Bogut deems this list completely flawed. Other than that, I like Noah getting his props.

  • control

    I don’t like Noah up at fucking 3rd, he isn’t a top 3 center in the nba, and really should be playing power forward. Really, the guy is 6’9 tops, isn’t strong, isn’t fast, isn’t quick, isn’t skilled, can’t make layups, can’t pass well, gets lost when he gets the ball WIDE open at the free throw line (actually has a look of fear on his face, burns 10 seconds off shot clock and passes it back to who passed it to him), can’t dribble a ball more than 2 times in a row, and can’t do a lot of other things I can’t think of at the moment.

    His defense is some of the most overrated in the nba, check his head to head numbers against any decent center or power forward. I know Chicagorilla has the numbers and will be on later to post em, so I won’t steal his thunder.

    What CAN Noah do? Hustle, flop and rebound. Oh yeah, he might be the ugliest guy in the nba, not to mention the biggest cock blocker…cause if you watch the game in HD with your girl, and they close up on him, you ain’t getting any for a week at least because she will be too disgusted. Being ugly and hustling into flops doesn’t make you a top 3 center in the nba, even with the center position being as weak as it is right now. I’d rather have any one listed 4-10 on my team over Noah, as well as guys like Chris Kaman, Andrew Bogut, retired Yao Ming, retired Shaq and maybe even Pavel Podkolzin, Joel Anthony, or Sam Dallybeast.

    Shit, I was liking DeAndre Jordan and Serge Ibakabakaflame last season too, both of those guys should be on this list at the end of the season if their development continues.

  • Patrick Cassidy

    @ Doc – Horford plays center for the Hawks, Gasol plays PF for the Lakers.

    @ North – These are my Top 10 centers. I’ve seen enough of every one of these guys to make my decision to leave Bogut out of my Top 10. And no hate for the Hawks (I have Horford at 2!).

    @ Shot In Ya Face – Absolutely. If Bynum was consistently healthy and motivated, he could be in the top 3 easy.

    @ control – I agree with you that Jordan and Ibaka could be on the end of this list by the end of the season.

  • Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    I would have Gortat and Bogut in there

    I would take someone who has heart rather than bumming it (sorry Bargnani)
    DeMarcus Cousins is only going to get better. What about Anderson Varejao? Emeka Okafor?

  • Brooklyn Bulls

    @ control….the hate is unbelievable. Its understandable that you’re frustrated cuz you’re backed up and cant get any….clue: check your sh1t, not Noah’s.
    On the court Noah is generally known as one of the best passing, rebounding and defensive centers in the league. He handles his business in the paint and plays each game like its his last. He plays a man’s game. If you focused more on his game than his looks you’d be able to see that

  • beiber newz

    claiming that varejao and okafor (just at this point) should have cracked the list, reduces our credibility

  • feature

    Dime knows nothing, SMH

  • Patrick Cassidy

    Cracking up at some of these comments. I left Andrew Bogut off this list, not Hakeem.

  • http://250aspirin.blogspot.com DJ Leon Smith

    Bogut is generally in the discussion for second best center in the league, to leave him off a top 10 list does kind of discount the credibility of the article.

  • Patrick Cassidy

    You think he could be the 2nd best center in the NBA?? Wow.

    And again, as it is said in the article more than once, this is my personal list. Would love to see how readers would rank their Top 10 centers. We’d be happy to post readers’ lists to compare.

  • control

    Speaking of Jokim Noah: http://www.mentalzero.com/Fat-Chick-Beats-Up-Her-Weak-Boyfriend-4618.html

    This is what he was doing during the lockout…

  • Sam

    Lopez shouldn’t even sniff the Top 10. His defense entirely negates his offense.

  • Doc

    @Patrick Cassidy and @ North

    The only reason Pau Gasol plays PF for the Lakers are because of Andrew Bynum. He would play Center for 90% of the teams in the league. With Bynum’s injury problems, how many times have we seen the Gasol C, Odom PF, Artest SM front court for the starting five?

    I would also put Duncan in the same category. He would play Center on most NBA teams. Cut his teeth as a PF because he started with David Robinson. They were called the Twin Towers because you essentially had 2 centers in the front court. The Lakers have a very similar set up, when healthy.

  • Doc

    This also frustrates me because how the all star team is picked and how Yao Ming got selected to start the All Star game because you couldn’t vote for Gasol or Duncan in the Center category. I think this is a flawed system. Some players should be able to qualify for 2 positions.

  • Braydon

    Hibbert is on this list and Bogut is not? It’s like you’ve never watched an NBA game.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    I haven’t read the list yet, but scrolling through the comments i found this gem from Control describing J.Noah’s game

    “actually has a look of fear on his face, burns 10 seconds off shot clock and passes it back to who passed it to him)”

    THat is pure comedy gold right there my friend. I actually laughed out loud when i read that. Bravo to you sir.

  • yentron


    AB had no problem listing Bogut at #3

    Patrick, admit it, you forgot about Bogut. Its okay, long lockout, milwaukee is a forgettable place

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    Ok I just read the list. I…well…..WHAT THE FLUCK@Pat Cass

    Are you flucking kidding me!!!

    First glaring omission is Andrew Bogut. You talk about right now, today. Bogut gives you 13ppg and 11reb and 2.6blocks per!!!!!! He is literally the 2nd or 3rd best center in the NBA and you don’t even have him on the list!!!! Seriously? Was dime hacked by someone and they posted under your name? I don’t believe you would make such a mistake.

    On top of that, you put Horford (a PF) and Andrea Barganini on the list but you leave out Chris Kaman.
    Need i remind you that Chris Kaman averaged 12ppg 7reb 1.5blks in only 26mpg (only played 32 games).
    Don’t give me that ish about him being injured either, because Andrew Bynum only played 50 games himself and he’s on your list.

    And the last center you left out, that nearly made me throw my laptop across the room
    JAVALE MCGEE!!!!!!!!
    10ppg 8rpg 2.4bpg 55% FG in 28mpg!!!!1 Got’DAMMIT MAN! How? I demand you explain this shit lol. How in the hell? WTF?
    And you have Noah rated #3 yet Javale McGee isn’t even on the list? I’d give up Noah in a heartbeat for McGee, Bogut, or Kaman. damn son, you missed me with this sh!t.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Slick Ric

    wait, how can you not have gerald wallace has a top ten center. smh

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    And one last thing.

    Tim Duncan is a got’damn center. He doesn’t play $h!t like a power forward and never really has. He is nearly a complete copy of Brad Daugherty. Who was a center. He’s just a little bit better. And if Duncan isn’t a center then who is on that team? Dajuan Blair? exactly.

    So adding Tim Duncan to this list, along with Bogut (whom i think you forgot but is to embarrassed to admit it), McGee, and Kaman. You can argue that Kaman and McGee shouldn’t make the list, but only if Duncan and Bogut are on it. No way in hell any GM picks Roy Hibbert, Marc Gasol, and Bargs ahead of those dudes.

  • jzsmoove

    you gotta squeeze Bogut in there at least top 5, the dude is a workhorse. get noah outta there, insert McGee. Al jefferson aint a center, drop Bargs a bit maybe a 10 (Sorry Bargs). Pau is a center. And him and Marc are a top 3 or 4 interchangeably.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    Also I don’t have the stats on how Joakim Noah gets raped by every center in the NBA because NBA.com took it down. but I have one stat that is more than telling as to why he shouldn’t be top 3 on the list.

    What is that? Thats his FG% during the Eastern Conference finals. Against Joel flucking Anthony!!!! He shot 31%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The 3rd best center in the NBA shot 31% vs a guy a few inches shorter than him. And you guys wonder why I want Dwight Howard in Chicago. And as Control stated, Noah is more of a Power forward. I’ve posted about that several times.

    To make this list more interesting. Maybe DIME should just change it to “The top 15-20 big men in the NBA”. That would be a more sensible list.

  • beiber newz

    chicagorilla, a lot of mcgee’s issues stem from his inconsistent play. one night he double doubles and the next he’s on the bench with 5 boards and very little contributed offensively, even though scoring isn’t his game. as a coach though, that has to be frustrating. he is a starter and not knowing what you’d get on a night in night out basis can hurt a game plan. but he seems rather on point in blocks. i won’t say defense per say, especially seeing mareese speights bang it on his dome twice in one game this summer.

    the rest of your basis, i will have to buy into your sentiments. my main issue is leaving off bogut who is undeniably in the top 5 of centers. stop the talk about 2nd best because after dwight howard, any center can be 2, that’s how far apart dwight’s talents are compared to the rest of the fray. it really is a toss up in regards to ranking positioning. but in my eyes bogut can go anywhere in the top 5 after 1 .

  • Hank the tank

    I’m much older than most of you kids reading and commenting on Dime however having followed the association for the last 23 seasons I would have to say this is the most idiotic list I’ve ever read. I’m not a fan of Bogut at all and could have lived with him not being in the top 5 but to not even crack the top 10 is just stupid. Sure you mentioned numerous times that this is “your” list however surely you can put players in your list even if you obviously don’t like them. I HATE Karl Malone however if somebody asked me to rate the top 10 PF’s of all time I can guarantee you he is making top 5… Anyway I don’t even know why I’ve taken the time to right this…I’m still shaking my head…

  • beiber newz

    i just hope this list wasn’t based off espn’s summer nba players rankings which i believe was conducted by monkeys.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla


    Summer league shit don’t count/matter. Javale McGee is not a lock down defender. He’s only an average post defender, which doesnt matter because there aren’t many actual post up players in the NBA.
    But niether is Dwight Howard. Which is why i don’t understand how he wins DPOY awards when he hasn’t had to guard anyone. He does nothing different that Bogut, Bynum and McGee when it comes to shot blocking. He just looks cooler doing it.

    Anyway, Javale is not bad on offense. He actually has a nice looking jumper, is the best center in the NBA at running the floor, and is very quick around the basket. His problem is IQ and his PG/coach won’t give him the ball. McGee needs to take an off-season and work out with Ewing, Hakeem, DRob, Kareem, or Brad Daugherty. Guys who had really nice post games. Instead he seems to enjoy making youtube videos and playing in pointless/defenseless summer-league games.

  • Mojo

    I live in Milwaukee and its cool to leave Bogut off the top 10. He was the top pick in the draft and hasnt lead us to nothing but the NBA draft lottery and the one great yrpear he had he got hurt and couldnt play in the playoffs. And also the 5 is the weakest position in the league its Dwight Howard and the field really.

  • Chaos

    Dwight Howard
    Al Horford
    Andrew Bogut
    Marc Gasol
    Al Jefferson
    Andrew Bynum
    Joahkim Noah
    Andrea Bargnani
    Brook Lopez
    Roy Hibbert
    Demarcus Cousins
    Kendrick Perkins
    Emeka Okafor

  • beiber newz

    ^cousins – too young, inconsistent
    perkins- are you kidding?
    okafor- um he doesn’t knock anyone off the list pretty much.

  • beiber newz

    @ his inconsistent play is my only problem. ask yourself, is he a double double guy?

  • beiber newz

    @chicagorilla…how i completely 4got to write ur name even tho i wrote the @ symbol..smh

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla


    lol look at it this way.

    Javale McGee’s per 36min averages
    13.1ppg 10.4rpg 3.2bpg 1stl

    So HELL YES, he’s a walking double double but he also be the best shot blocker in the NBA. Allowing a guy like John Wall to gamble for steals because even if he gets beat they aren’t getting lay ups. Also, Javale’s greatest intangible is running the floor. His nickname should be Javale the Gazzelle. When paired with a fastbreaking PG like John Wall (or in my case DRose) McGee becomes a huge threat on offense because opposing bigmen aren’t running with him and he’s finishing over guards way smaller than him.

    Javale has a unique skill set that is really unmatched. Plus with his added weight/muscle (he’s up to 250lbs!) he can bang with the bigger dudes plus outrun them.

  • beiber newz

    believe me, i know what that man is capable of. i believe in his talents. and i love his abilities. mcgee is the rare type in the league now who can get a triple double off blocks. very exciting to watch as well. him and wall together is a great tandem.

    i just want to see him develop some consistency. the only reason he doesn’t AVERAGE a double double is because he has soo many nights where he hurts his numbers by having subpar performances. a good amount of games he’d play OVER 30 minutes and doesn’t get 10 boards. zbo gets 10 boards in the 1st quarter. there was even a game mcgee played over 30min and got 2 boards. why was he in the game that long anyway?

    there are night where he goes ape and completely leaves his imprint on the game. someone of his athletic ability should NEVER leave the game with 5 rebounds if he plays 30 minutes. brook lopez is slow footed and less athletic, he has an excuse. mcgee not so much. he can be accused of taking nights off, maybe it’s a lack of intensity. he needs to develop that aspect and that’d help him become the force he has the potential to be.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla


    Um per 36min Z-Bo only grabs 2 more boards per game. I don’t think you’ve actually watched enough of Javale McGee. The only times he is inconsistant is because he’s in foul trouble.
    David Sterns new gay a$$ rules is the reason why most center don’t go for blocks anymore. You can’t be a defensive center in the NBA anymore unless you play for a big name team or is a DStern pet. Nearly all of them are in foul trouble game in and game out. Even a guy like Carlos Boozer (who sucks at D) ends up in foul trouble every time he tries to play D.

    And Javale averages 8rebounds per game in 28min….I don’t see the problem. Those are good rebounding numbers. Also, rebounding isn’t based on your leaping ability, it’s based on positioning and work ethic. MCgee doesn’t know how to rebound or was never taught. His length and work ethic gets him those 8reb per game. Unlike Lopez, who just refuses to get near the rim and box out.

    Off Subject a little: Speaking of Lopez, it’s funny how people thought Eddy Curry was such a piece of $h!t when he was averaging 16ppg and 6reb for the Bulls or 20-7 for the Knicks. But Brook Lopez gets a pass on not working for rebounds.

  • smitsta

    I’m joining the hate for omitting Bogut.

    I’ve got him on par with guys like noah, horford, gasol. I’d be surprised if he didn’t get all nba 2nd or 3rd team this season now that his elbow is fixed.

  • beiber newz

    u r completely missing my point

  • ball in my hand

    you have no love for kevin LOVE. why is he not on this list?

  • doc

    I would put Bogut on. But as long as Dalembum aint on there i good. Its all about Dwight here anyway.

  • Mandirigma

    Seriously. How old are you? No hate here but this list comes from the same school of thought that argues: Durant > LeBron, DRose > Chris Paul. If you’re putting light on an inconsistent Roy Hibbert and a hustle guy like Joachim Noah, then at least show love to Andrew Bogut. You can’t use the “he’s injured” bit since you went with Bynum.

    10 Joachim Noah
    9 Emeka Okafor
    8 Tim Duncan – PF my a$$
    7 Roy Hibbert
    6 Marcin Gortat
    5 Chris Kaman
    4 Andrew Bogut
    3 Al Jefferson
    2 Al Horford
    1 Dwight Howard

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Bringing Bogut up from #13 (or 14, or 15, etc) to #2 would be a great way to make this list legit.

    Glad to see Pat writing, though.

  • trollne1

    I don’t get why Bogut gets no respect from Patrick Cassidy either. He’s only the second best defensive center in the league. And who would you rather pass the ball to on offense? Noah or Bogut? Yeah, that’s what I thought. And you can’t argue about his injuries either since Bynum is on this list.

  • Patrick Cassidy

    You guys are amazing – I love the passion in these comments. I promise you I did not forget Andrew Bogut. I put together my personal ranking of the Top 10 Centers and these are the guys I’d go with.

    But again, love the passion. Please keep sending us more of your own rankings and we’ll post them up.

  • trollne1

    “This is about which players I would pick to jump ball at center for me if I had to win a game today.” OK so this list is about who the top 10 players Patrick Cassidy would pick to jump ball for him. Sorry for completely missing the point of this article.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    @ Cassidy: “Cracking up at some of these comments. I left Andrew Bogut off this list, not Hakeem.”
    He’s not Hakeem, but this isn’t the 80s/90s. A handful of those guys you listed don’t have the interior presence of Bogut.

    “I’ve seen enough of every one of these guys to make my decision to leave Bogut out of my Top 10.”
    I guess you feel like you’ve seen enough of Bargnani to put him at 7. :| I watch the Raps because they’re my hometeam and I feel like I’m forced to… what’s your excuse?
    Bargnani is garbage at center. He has no idea where to be defensively, but of course you know since you watch “enough” of him. Yes he puts up points, but who wouldn’t on that Raptor team. Put Bogut on that team and he’s a 20, 11, 3, 3 guy, and the team gets at least 5 more wins because he’s an interior player who compliments the wing players and allows them space to do what they do – not intrude on their space like Bargnani does.

    Lol @ Bargani at #7 and Bogut out not even listed. Craziness.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    Then again, everyone has a right to their opinion. Go Andrea.

  • control


    You should have just said “yeah, I forgot about Bogut”, now it appears like you are just racist against drunk ass Aussies! Which, if you were, would be cool, they don’t care, they are always drunk and feed beer to their babies (at least the ones not eaten by dingos).

  • Rainman

    Bogut shoulda been on the list, we all agree there.

    But call me crazy, i love that Bargnani is on the list, and ahead of Brook Lopez. He scores more, and rebounds at about the same clip, and he’s a PERIMITER player, whereas Lopez is a post up guy, whats up with that?

  • Rainman

    Btw ur telling me there are 4 better Centers in the league than Al Jefferson? Read what was typed up about him one more time, and think again, plz.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    I like how people talk all day about how stupid GMs are, but when they want to prove a point will say, “Ask 30 GMs who they’d rather have on their team…”

  • beiber newz

    @ austin
    well i think ppl call gm’s dumb more so along the lines of how much money the pony up to give players, not so much their judgement in talent. the only time ppl question gm’s judgment in talent is during the drafts, where no 1 really knows how good a rookie can be anyway until they play the game.
    but i laughed when i read your comment. it’s true to a certain extent i’ll give you that !

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    Sorry guys… I know I’m dwelling on it, but it still boggles my mind that Bogut ain’t on here. Lol.

  • control


    You gotta be a little bit less worried about Bogut, and a little more worried about Noah. The list actually would be pretty good if they were switched up…

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    Good point.
    If they switched up teams, i’m sure they would be switched on this list. What does Noah do that Bogut doesn’t do, and vice versa?
    Bogut does a lot more.

    I have no idea how he picked these guys. It looks like a list of “MY 10 Best centers”…. not the “Top 10 NBA Centers in the Game Today”.
    ^ there’s a difference. If it were titled the other way, there wouldn’t be 60 posts in here.

  • Da_Griff

    How Andrew Bogut did not make this list is criminal.

  • JDish

    I was really expecting to see Andrew Bogut on this list.

    And yea, Joakim Noah is a little high on this list. No way he would get considered to play for your team right now if Al Jefferson were available as well, or Nene, maybe even Marc Gasol who’s rising up, or even Brook Lopez. But don’t get me wrong, Joakim Noah is one of my favorite players to watch cause Yea, dude rebounds and he gets after it on defense.

  • JDish

    This is a good list of centers in the game today.

    Wasn’t it Shaq who stated not too long ago that there wasn’t good competition at this position for Dwight Howard to truly develop into a dominant center. ANd That back when he was in his prime he had to play against players like David Robinson, Rick Smits, Arvydous Sabonis, … maybe even Hakeem Olajowan. MAYBE he’s right, but its a different environment for the game in the NBA. Nevertheless there are still quality centers in the game today and its not like D.Howard is going up against college level players. I believe Dwight Howard has competition, and can and will develop into a dominant center for this era.

  • JDish

    Oh and I think it would be wise to consider putting Andrew Bogut on this list. When I think of good pivot big men in the game today the first to come to mind for me is A. Bogut.

  • Kyle

    Wow… Bogut has 3 straight seasons of averaging double doubles and he’s an underrated passer and scorer since he has to play alongside Jennings who never saw a shot he didn’t like.

    He’s also one of the best shot blockers in the league. He should be top 3 or 4 centers, and if he stayed healthy, would only have one real center who’s better than he is(Dwight Howard.)

  • http://dimemag.com/2011/12/top-10-nba-centers-in-the-game-today/4/ soleinthefrijol

    tyson chandler ring bell anyone?