);
NBA

Who are the top 10 centres in the NBA entering the 2019-20 season?

embiid-jokic-100219-ftr-getty.jpg
Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic (NBA Getty Images)

Having ranked the top 30 players in the NBA, it only makes sense that we now break down the league's best players at each position.

Up to the task are four members of our NBA.com Staff: Myself, Gil McGregor, Kyle Irving and Carlan Gay.

Below you'll find our rankings for the best centres in the NBA entering the 2019-20 season. The two players who just missed the cut are Jonas Valanciunas of the Memphis Grizzlies and Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors.

You'll notice Anthony Davis doesn't crack this list, the reason being that we don't want players to be on multiple lists. We're considering him a power forward for this exercise, not a centre, because that appears to be his position of choice.

LaMarcus Aldridge, on the other hand, has transitioned into playing more centre than power forward at this stage of his career, so we're considering him a centre. We went back and forth with Al Horford because he'll likely play a lot of power forward in Philadelphia this season, but we still consider him to be more of a centre.

With that in mind, onto the rankings!

10. Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers

Stat to know: Turner led the league with 2.7 blocks per game in 2018-19.

Even after Victor Oladipo went down with a season-ending injury, the Pacers maintained their place near the top of the NBA in defensive efficiency last season due in large part to Turner's development into an elite rim protector.

9. Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic

Stat to know: Vucevic averaged a career-high 3.8 assists per game in 2018-19.

Vucevic gets a lot of attention for his scoring ability, but he's developed into one of the best passing centres in the league. He created 9.7 points per game for his teammates last season, the fourth-highest rate in the league at his position.

8. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons

Stat to know: Drummond has averaged 15.0 rebounds per game since 2015-16.

Drummond has led the league in rebounding in three of the last four seasons. He's also led the league in offensive rebounds in six straight seasons. That's become a huge source of his own offence - only four players scored a higher percentage of their points off of putbacks in 2018-19, per NBA.com.

7. Clint Capela, Houston Rockets

Stat to know: Capela has made six shots outside of the paint in his NBA career.

It's unusual for players in today's NBA - even centres - to not be able to space the floor, but Capela has turned himself into one of the best players at his position by playing to his strengths as a rim-runner who dunks everything in sight.

6. Al Horford, Philadelphia 76ers

Stat to know: Horford limited Joel Embiid to 41.4% shooting in their matchups last season.

In signing Horford, the 76ers acquired one of the few players in the league who has had success guarding Embiid. Additionally, Horford is one of the few players who has been able to bother Giannis Antetokounmpo. With him, Embiid and Ben Simmons now on the same team, the 76ers can throw a number of big bodies at the reigning MVP.

5. LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs

Stat to know: Aldridge led the league with 9.0 post-up points per game in 2018-19.

Aldridge's post touches were down in his first two seasons with the Spurs, but he's back to being the most dominant back-to-the-basket scorer in the league. Aldridge was incredibly efficient last season as well, ranking in the 77th percentile with 1.04 points per post-up possession.

T-3. Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Stat to know: Gobert led the league with 306 dunks in 2018-19.

The back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year, Gobert gets a lot of attention for his defensive prowess, but he's made significant strides as a scorer in his career. He's developed into one of the best roll men in the league, as well as a strong offensive rebounder and cutter.

T-3. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

Stat to know: Towns averaged 26.8 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game after Ryan Saunders was named interim head coach in 2018-19.

Towns was knocking down 2.0 3-pointers per game as well, doing so at a 42.2 percent clip. It's one thing to do it over 37 games compared to an entire season, but those are numbers we've only seen once before in NBA history - ironically, by Kevin Love, who did it as a member of the Timberwolves in the early 2000s. With the Timberwolves now revolving entirely around Towns expect him to have a monster season.

2. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Stat to know: Jokic has 33 triple-doubles in his NBA career.

Jokic already ranks second all-time among centres in career triple-doubles. The only player ahead of him? Wilt Chamberlain, who recorded 78 triple-doubles between 1963-1973. Considering Jokic is only entering his fifth season, Chamberlain's record is certainly within reach.

1. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Stat to know: Embiid averaged 27.5 points per game in 2018-19.

Not only was it a career-high, it's the most we've seen a centre average since Shaquille O'Neal in 2002-03. The next step for Embiid is to play at the same level in the playoffs, where he's struggled - by his standards, at least - so far in his career. If he can break through, a Finals appearance might very well be on the cards for the 76ers.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

#Ingles
Report: Ingles agrees to one-year extension with Jazz
Benyam Kidane
Zion Williamson takes a break during a preseason workout.
Ripple effects of injury to Zion Williamson
Micah Adams
Zion Williamson
Zion to miss '6 to 8 weeks' following knee surgery
Kyle Irving
jaylen-brown-080918-ftr-getty.jpg
Report: Brown, Celtics agree to contract extension
Kyle Irving
Buddy Hield
Report: Hield, Kings agree to contract extension
Kyle Irving
siakam-101919-ftr-getty.jpg
Siakam agrees to max extension with Raptors
Scott Rafferty
More News