Who said the big man died? Last season, the two NBA MVP nominees were centers that mixed traditional post-game and shooting into today’s game. This is why the best positions at the moment are more than just rebounding and defending.
Best positions 2021
The top positions this season are the focal point of their teams – offensively and defensively. It is safe to say that the mega man center exists and will remain and will develop further.
Here are the top ten positions in the 2021-22 season…
10. Jonas Valanciunas
Jonas Valanciunas is considered one of the best traditional centers in the league.
His offenses mostly come in post-roll situations as he finished seventh in post-roll opportunities last season. This is why he can easily average double doubling in any given season.
Now with the Pelicans, he will serve as an improved replacement for Stephen Adams in the scoring and rebounding department.
9. Clint Chapel
It is perfectly fitting for a player like Clint Capella to play alongside one of the best point guards at the moment – Trae Young.
These two are pick-and-roll killers as we’ve seen in both the regular season and in the playoffs.
Capella was a huge part of Atlanta’s success last season. He led the league in rebounds with 14.3 rebounds per game and served as the primary defensive anchor in the paint.
8. Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic makes it look really easy with his attacking game. He can shoot anywhere on the court and work in the low angle with great efficiency.
Last season, he averaged 23.4 points and 11.7 rebounds per game on .47/.40/.84 shooting splits.
After trading in Chicago, Vooch finds himself on a better scene with Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan in the mix. He may not be a good defender, but his attack makes up for it.
7. Dumantas Sabonis
It’s no secret that Domantas Sabonis is now Indiana’s best player. Like the other European centers on this list, he can do everything in an offensive manner too.
That’s why he averaged 20.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 6.7 assists on 54% of shots last season.
What really catches the eye about Sabonis is his physicality at low mass. He is not shy about calling out against big opponents.
Now under new coach, Rick Carlisle – expect the Sabonis to dominate once again.
6. Dean Eaton
Last season, we witnessed Deandre Ayton’s rise as one of the top positions in the NBA. He has risen significantly in the post-season as he averages 15.8 points and 11.8 rebounds on 66% of shots. Play more aggressively.
Eaton has been heavy on the pick-and-roll business over the past year. Obviously, he could do a much better job if Phoenix allowed him to work in a low position.
Now in a contract year, he will definitely rule the ball in larger numbers and a better average than last year.
5. Pam Adebayo
Pam Adebayo’s rapid improvement has been well documented in the past three seasons. Despite being compact, it was sporty and versatile enough to become Miami’s primary anchor in paint after Hassan Whiteside.
Last season, Adebayo averaged 18.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 5.4 assists on 57% of shots. The versatile megaman has been a monster on the defensive end as well – being named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. The only thing he’s lacking in his game is a reliable three-point jump shot, which should see him climb the top positions list in 2021.
4. Cities of Karl Anthony
Despite injuries and personal issues, Karl-Anthony Towns still managed to score massive numbers last season. He dropped 24.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game with 122 triples.
As you can see, Towns is still one of the best positions this season. He is indeed a complete player who can hit the triple ball well (39%) for his size. He is arguably the best three-point player in this world.
Now it’s up to Wolves to build a rival team around him and Anthony Edwards.
3. Rudy Goubert
Despite being limited on the offensive end, Rudy Gobert showed himself to be one of the best positions in 2021-22.
His influence was vital to Utah’s success, especially on the defensive end. Last season, the league’s best player had 2.7 blocks per game and ranked first in defensive rankings (100.6) and defensive win stakes (5.2). Without him, the Jazz may not become the best team in the league.
Joubert remains a high-profile candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
2. Joel Embiid
dominance. This is a Joel Embiid game. He is simply unstoppable in the low position with his strength and ability. Last season, he rose to the next level by averaging 28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game on a 51% shot while leading the Sixers as the top seed in the East.
Had it not been for the knee injury he suffered last season, there is a good chance he would have defeated Jokic in the NBA MVP. Now healthy, Embiid will be looking forward to a comeback and a brutal season again.
Embiid remains one of the top candidates for the NBA MVP this season.
1. Nikola Jokic
There is no way that Nikola Jokic, the best player in the league, would be at the top of this list. He is arguably the most complete offensive center in the league right now. For his size, he can shoot, bounce, and do elite-level performances.
Jokic was selected 41st in the 2014 NBA Draft by Nuggets. No one expected him to thrive today and average twice as insane proficiency.
If he continues to play this way for seasons to come and earns a chip, he will join the likes of Dirk Nowitzki as one of the greatest European players to ever play in the league.