- Modern NBA offenses require centers to be mobile and have outside shooting skills, in addition to dominating the interior game.
- Centers are relied upon as anchors on defense, with the top defenders often being able to defend on the perimeter as well.
- The top centers in NBA 2K24, such as Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid, excel both offensively and defensively, making them highly impactful players on both ends of the court.
Modern NBA offenses have evolved to feature more outside shooting and fluid ball movement. This means centers have to be mobile and able to stretch defenses with outside jump shots besides dominating with a strong interior game.
Outside of being more diverse on the offensive side of the court, centers are also leaned on as an anchor on defense. They’re typically one of the top defenders on their respective teams, especially the centers who can also defend on the perimeter. We break down the top centers in NBA 2K24 and how they contribute to their teams.
10 Nikola Vucevic – 84
The Chicago Bulls acquired Nikola Vucevic in 2020, hoping the All-Star center will help lead the team with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Vucevic averaged 17.6 points and 11 rebounds in back-to-back seasons but the Bulls failed to reach the playoffs.
Vucevic is an excellent rebounder (A-) and defends the interior fairly well (B+). On offense, he can stretch defenses with his three-point shooting (B-), but he’s more effective inside (A+) and mid-range (A-). As a glass-cleaning three-level threat, Vucevic can make an impact on both ends of the court.
9 Nicolas Claxton – 84
Following the trades of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets are fully embracing a youth movement and that includes Nicolas Claxton. The 24-year-old averaged a career-high 12.6 points and 9.2 rebounds last season, locking down the interior on offense and defense.
Claxton is a paint beast who scores with ease inside (A+) and is also a stellar interior defender (A+). Claxton is mobile enough to be a high-end perimeter defender (A-) but his impact on the perimeter does not extend to offense. Brooklyn’s center might be more restricted on offense but should remain a top defender for years.
8 Brook Lopez – 84
Arguably the most modernized center in the league is barely among the top-rated. Brook Lopez combines his outstanding outside shooting (A-) with even better interior defense (A+) to be an excellent player on both ends of the court.
Lopez plays well off a physical power forward like Giannis Antetokounmpo, which allows him to reserve his energy. His main concern is his inefficient rebounding (C+); Lopez is the lowest-rated player among centers. But as an offensive game-changer, Lopez’s three-point shooting can make a huge impact for the Milwaukee Bucks.
7 Rudy Gobert – 84
While most centers possess some sort of offensive skills, Rudy Gobert has no real impact on that end of the court. The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired Gobert to build an interesting team with Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. Gobert is awful offensively with barely a respectable rating for his inside scoring (C+).
Gobert’s true value as a top center is on the defensive end. As a defensive anchor, Gobert has a perfect interior rating (A+) and is the only center with a perfect rebounding rating (A+). A team like Minnesota should be able to bring out Gobert’s maximum value as he won’t be relied upon to be an offensive factor and can focus on being a top defender.
6 Victor Wembanyama – 84
Touted as one of the best prospects since LeBron James, Victor Wembanyama already has the makings of a future NBA superstar. The 19-year-old was selected first overall by the San Antonio Spurs who have a history of developing big men worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Wembanyama is naturally the highest-rated rookie in NBA 2K24 and already has a wide range of offensive skills. He can score effectively from inside (B-), mid-range (B+), and beyond the arc (B-). As a two-way three-level threat, Wembanyama manages to defend the interior with ease (A) and is a high-end rebounder (A-). Already among the top centers in the game, there’s no doubt Wembanyama will hold the top spot someday.
5 Domantas Sabonis – 87
In his first full season with the Sacramento Kings, Domantas Sabonis powered the team to its first postseason appearance in nearly two decades. Sabonis averaged a double-double for the fifth season in a row, as he and De’Aaron Fox formed a powerful duo in northern California.
As a dining three-level threat, Sabonis has incredible vision on the court and can deliver key passes to create plays for his teammates (B). When he’s not creating for his teammates, he’s creating for himself and finding scoring opportunities inside (A+), mid-range (A), and deep (B+). Sabonis is a fairly decent interior defender (B) but the value he brings is strictly on the offensive end.
4 Bam Adebayo – 87
There may not be a time when Bam Adebayo is the undisputed best center in the NBA but he should always remain in the discussion as one of the best. The Miami Heat star has demonstrated Defensive Player of the Year potential as he finished fifth in voting this past season. On offense, Adebayo averaged a career-high 20.4 points per game and helped the Heat reach an unlikely NBA Finals.
Being a two-way inside-the-arc scorer means Adebayo thrives in the interior on both ends of the court. Adebayo can also stretch a defense out a bit to the mid-range (A) but can’t shoot from beyond the arc (D+). He’s an excellent interior defender (A+) and can lock down the perimeter (A) too. He’s one of the few centers in the NBA who can dribble the ball up and create plays for his team (B-).
3 Anthony Davis – 93
Since helping the Los Angeles Lakers win a championship in 2020, Anthony Davis has suffered from a plethora of injuries. Despite the injuries, Davis has remained a top offensive and defensive player for the Lakers, averaging 25.9 points and 12.5 rebounds per game last season.
Although Davis can make the occasional three-pointer (C), his bread and butter is near the basket (A) and from mid-range (B). Davis is a two-way mid-range slasher, so he’s mobile enough to cut in the lanes toward the basket. Because of his mobility, he’s able to lock it down on defense in the interior (A+) and perimeter (A-).
2 Joel Embiid – 96
The reigning regular season MVP resides in the City of Brotherly Love. After back-to-back top-three MVP finishes, Joel Embiid finally won his first career MVP award. Philadelphia’s center averaged a league-leading 33.1 points per game with 10.2 rebounds.
Other than the beginning of his career, Embiid has managed to stay relatively healthy but has disappointed in the playoffs. He’s one of the better three-point shooting centers (B-) but finds better success from mid-range (A+) and inside (A+). While Embiid hasn’t earned any accolades for his defensive efforts, he’s highly impactful near the basket (A+) and around the perimeter (B-).
1 Nikola Jokic – 98
After winning two straight MVP awards, Nikola Jokic gladly surrendered a third MVP trophy for the Larry O’Brien. Jokic’s stellar passing and shooting completely dismantled opposing defenses throughout the playoffs and the Denver Nuggets coasted to the franchise’s first NBA championship.
Jokic has a high interior defensive rating (A-) but his true value comes on the offensive end. He has great ball-handling skills and can survey a defense to find his open teammates (A+). If he elects to be more of a scorer, Jokic is extremely effective from all three levels. Surprisingly, Jokic’s missed third MVP was his best statistical season but he’ll settle for a ring and being named the best center in NBA 2K24.
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