NBA center tiers 3-1:
Tier 3: All-NBA potential
- 7. Rudy Gobert
- 6. Karl-Anthony Towns
- 5. Domantas Sabonis
- 4. Bam Adebayo
Now we are getting into the really good center options. All of these players can be the second or third best player on a title-contending team. Would the Miami Heat win the title with Bam Adebayo as their best player? No. But with him as 1B behind Jimmy Butler, they have made the finals two times in the last four years.
This is an interesting tier as both Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns can be better than Domantas Sabonis when they are at their best. However, both guys kind of neutralize each other while also having huge question marks.
Gobert becomes kind of unplayable in the playoffs while KAT hasn’t shown that he can show up in big spots. Talent-wise they can lead this list, but results-wise they have to check in at the bottom.
Tier 2: Can be the best player on a title team
- 3. Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis is in a tier of his own and it is completely fitting. There is definitely a separation between AD and the four centers in tier three and rightfully so. If Davis stays healthy, he absolutely can be the best player on a title team.
Just look at the 2020 NBA Playoffs! LeBron James won NBA Finals MVP but Davis was the better player for the Lakers throughout that entire run.
With LeBron entering year 21, Davis is and should be considered the best player on the Lakers, who are one of the premier contenders in the NBA this season. He definitely is not the same as the tier three players, but he still isn’t quite tier one because of how high tier one is.
Tier 1: MVP, face of the league, best of the best, etc.
- 2. Joel Embiid
- 1. Nikola Jokic
These two have won the last three MVP awards and are arguably the two best players in the entire league, not just at the center position. Night in and night out these two turn in elite performances and are truly the best of the best at the center position.
Nikola Jokic is the best player on the entire planet and even at his best, AD does not quite reach the standard that Jokic has established. AD can absolutely play to the level Embiid has established but simply does not have the same insane consistency that Embiid has had in the last three years.