The NBA center was once known for his defensive impact, low post scoring, and consistent rebounding. They had no business leaving the paint and taking an outside shot. Having the right-center was vital because it could change the pace of the game. The center position has always been dominant and pairs it with a proper point guard, and that could be a dangerous combo. Some of the most essential centers to play the game include Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Shaquille O’ Neal. Today’s NBA center must include a three-point shot in their arsenal. Let’s look at the Top Five NBA Centers Under 25.
Jusuf Nurkic had an impressive season last year before going down with a leg injury. Nurkic was a focal point of the Blazers playoff push. Nurkic was doing everything on the floor from playmaking to rebounding to scoring. Last season Nurkic averaged 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Nurkic also was a defensive impact he averaged a steal per game and 1.4 blocks per game. The Blazers will look for him to be healthy and play alongside Hassan Whiteside.
DeAndre Ayton was the number one pick in the 2018 NBA draft. Ayton came in as a great offensive player. He had the ability to take the ball down in the post and his strength gives him an advantage over other centers. Ayton last season averaged 16.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Ayton is not a stretch five he is more of a prototypical center. Not being able to shoot that outside shot is detrimental in today’s NBA. He already has right back to the basket game. He just needs to add an outside shot and improve on his rim-protecting he is 7’1 opposing players should not be able to get anything easy off of him.
Myles Turner has been enhanced as an all-around versatile player. Turner is entering his fifth year and you can see the improvement in his game. Turner can play his back to the basket and can pop out and shoot the three. His three-point percentage has increased over the years and was the best it ever was. Last season his three-point percentage was almost 40%. Last season he averaged 13.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. Turner has to polish his game and become a focal point of the Indiana Pacers offense.
2.Karl- Anthony Towns
Karl Anthony Towns is the franchise cornerstone of the Minnesota Timberwolves. AnthonyTowns were the number one pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Anthony Towns have always been a great scorer. His size gives him an advantage over other centers in the low post. Towns also have the ability to shoot the midrange and the three-pointer. His three-point percentage over the last two seasons over 40%. Last season he averaged 24.4 points,12.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists. He needs to improve as a defender.
1. Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic is a top center in the NBA, he is not the most athletic player in the NBA but he is a skilled player. Jokic has excellent playmaking ability and has a unique court vision. There times where Jokic can stretch out and pop the three. Last season he averaged 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. Jokic can also play defense he averaged 1.4 steals per game. Jokic is still young and has more time to grow and improve.