Quick Bit: Chet Holmgren headlines a group of talented centers who all bring something different to the table as prospects.
With Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid leading the way, the center position is experiencing a renaissance in the NBA.
While we’re still a ways from the 90s glory years defined by Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, and others, today’s current crop of bigs is recalibrating what was an overcorrection in the NBA’s pace-and-space revolution.
In today’s NBA, centers are asked to do far more than simply post up and patrol the paint.
They shoot 3s. They switch onto guards. They bring the ball up. They run the floor. They showcase a broad range of skills and entire floor game that centers from past generations can’t match.
This year’s draft class features some tantalizing prospects who promise to add to the NBA’s burgeoning list of difference-making fives.
Is your favorite team in need of a big man or center? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We ranked the top five centers in the 2022 NBA Draft class to provide you with a wishlist of players who could be on the board when your team makes a selection.
1. Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Height and weight: 7-1, 190 pounds
Age: 20, Freshman
Holmgren is a polarizing prospect because of his slender frame, and there are plenty of questions as to how he’ll hold up against the NBA’s physicality. Don’t let that distract you from just how skilled this 20-year-old is, though.
Holmgren plays with attitude and aggression, using his enormous wingspan and impressive timing to protect the rim. He can handle the ball and will stretch the floor as a 3-point shooter. He’s truly a one-of-a-kind talent.
2. Jalen Duren, Memphis
Height and weight: 6-11, 250 pounds
Age: 18, Freshman
Duren is the most physically gifted player in this class with unmatched strength and an NBA-ready body. He’s a two-way force in the paint, catching lobs on offense and protecting the rim on defense.
He’s shown improvement in the post, but his offensive game needs polishing.
3. Mark Williams, Duke
Height and weight: 7-0, 245 pounds
Age: 20, Sophomore
Williams was one of the best rim protectors in the country this season. He has great hands and brings a ton of energy on the glass. He’s a prototypical rim-runner in today’s NBA with good mobility.
4. Christian Koloko, Arizona
Height and weight: 7-1, 230 pounds
Age: 21, Junior
Koloko is one of the best interior defenders in this draft class. He has the agility and athleticism to hold his own on switches at the NBA level, and he’s still growing his offensive game.
Reigning from Cameroon, Koloko is still a bit raw. He primarily played soccer until he was 15.
5. Walker Kessler, Auburn
Height and weight: 7-1, 245 pounds
Age: 20, Sophomore
Kessler was the nation’s best shot-blocker this season, averaging 4.5 blocks per game. He may struggle at the NBA level because teams will hunt the clunkier big in pick-and-rolls, but he’s a strong rim protector, solid rebounder and has shown some signs of a perimeter shooting touch.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More