Though it is generally considered that the position of center is an outdated and unnecessary role on an NBA squad, many of the game’s best players could make a case for playing that spot.
The following is a list of some of the best NBA centers, followed by a list of several top NBA players who could pass for “the 5”.
1) DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans
At the top of the list is the temperamental Cousins who recently was traded from Sacramento to the Pelicans. Cousins may have a temper and struggles on defense. But, he is averaging 26.7 points and 10.8 rebounds this season and what will likely be his fourth straight 20-10 season. He is an underrated passer who can get his points on the block, but has also added range to his game (109 3-pointers this season).
2) Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota
Many say he will be the premier man in the near future. Consider that he is a second-year player who doesn’t turn 22 until in November with averages of 24.6 points and 12.8 rebounds in 2016-17. He can shoot (35 percent on 3-pointers, 81.6 FT%), but still is a work in progress on the defensive end (like all the Wolves).
3) Marc Gasol, Memphis
Gasol is a strong defender based on his positioning, but he is averaging a career-high 20.2 points this season. He will never have strong rebounding numbers, but is arguably the best passing big man in the game (4.5 assists per game).
4) Hassan Whiteside, Miami
A late-bloomer, Whiteside is one of the elite big man who is having a career-best season (16.6 points, 14.3 rebounds per game).
Others deserving mention:
DeAndre Jordan, LA Clippers
Brook Lopez, Brooklyn
Andre Drummond, Detroit
Al Horford, Boston
Then, while they may not be the best players in the NBA there are others who are considered power forward/center hybrids:
Anthony Davis, New Orleans
LeMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio
Kevin Love, Cleveland
Kristaps Porzingis, New York