Who were the best NBA centers in 2017-18?With the rise of smaller, more skilled lineups, the value of the classic NBA center has plummeted. Strong, plodding big men have in large part fallen to the wayside. And their replacements? Players with the foot speed to keep up with perimeter players on switches. Or with the offensive perimeter skills to run the old center archetype off the floor. But only 20 qualified players that ESPN labels as centers averaged more than 24 minutes per game in 2017-18, easily the lowest mark of any position — 27 power forwards, 35 small forwards, 32 shooting guards, and 29 point guards, as ESPN defines them, cleared 24 minutes per game. So for this list of the best NBA centers in 2017-18, the pickings were slim. (For more reviews of the 2017-18 NBA season, check out our lists of the most overrated and underrated players of the year.)
20. Brook Lopez
Though his minutes took a huge hit with a new, rebuilding team, the 30-year-old continued to be one of the more effective inside-out offensive centers in 2017-18. While he gets roasted for his minuscule rebounding figures, for the sixth season in a row Lopez’s team had a better rebounding rate with him on the floor than off, underscoring his ability to wall off opponents’ would-be rebounders.