2008-09 NBA Draft Kit: Top 25 Centres
And with the release of our top 25 centres, we’re pretty well done the 2008-09 RotoRob NBA Draft Kit. Good luck to all our readers this season.
1. Amare Stoudemire, C/PF, Phoenix Suns: He won’t see much action at C, but he qualifies there, and given that he made most of his starts there last year, I put him on this list. While helping in the usual big man categories, Stoudemire will also carry you in FG percentage and help you in FT percentage, not an easy find among big men.
2. Elton Brand, C/PF, Philadelphia 76ers: Brand will also spend most of his time at the four this year, but having made five of his six starts last year at centre, he qualifies there, thus shooting his stock even higher. Last season was a complete write off for him, but he’s now healthy and ready to resume his dominance, only this time back in the Eastern Conference with an improving 76er squad.
3. Al Jefferson, C/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves: Yet another big man who qualifies at two positions, Big Al finally turned in a healthy season and man, was it worth the wait. Able to carry a bigger workload, Jefferson improved his FT shooting en route to a major breakout offensively. At age 23, there’s still tons of upside here.
4. Dwight Howard, C, Orlando Magic: Superman made minor strides dealing with his Kryptonite (sinking free throws) last year; this season, he has his X-ray vision set on blocking even more shots.
5. Yao Ming, C, Houston Rockets: Well, he came a bit closer to making it through the season unscathed, but that’s now three straight years Ming has suffered a major injury. His touches were down, and that obviously affected his scoring, but the Ming Dynasty enjoyed his finest season off the glass yet.
6. Pau Gasol, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers: Gasol will mostly play the four this year, but considering most of his starts were at centre last season, we’re tossing him in here. He didn’t exactly have a banner year last season, but we’re expecting a nice bounce back effort in his first full season in La La Land.
7. Marcus Camby, C, Los Angeles Clippers: The Cambyman had a career year on the glass last season despite PT that’s been in decline for a couple of seasons. His touches and FG percentage also slipped, and that heel injury is a major concern. So there you have it – you know what this dude can do when healthy, but draft at your own risk.
8. Andrew Bogut, C, Milwaukee Bucks: This Aussie big man just keeps getting better and given his huge second half last year – especially in April when he averaged 17.6 PPG and 11.4 RPG – and the fact he’s still just 23, big things are coming this season.
9. Mehmet Okur, C/PF, Utah Jazz: Not sure why he qualifies at forward as well, but he does, so the flexibility is nice. Okur has been in decline over the past two years, but remains among the strongest centres in the game. He won’t get you the kind of FG percentages you expect from a big man, but makes up for it by sinking plenty of treys.
10. Andrew Bynum, C, Los Angeles Lakers: Bynum missed most the year, but showed promise offensively and continued to make nice strides from the charity stripe. The starting gig’s his, so go ahead and use a mid-round pick on him.
11. Tyson Chandler, C, New Orleans Hornets: Moving to the Big Easy has been the big break that Chandler needed, as he’s gotten better and better with the Hornets. At age 26, there could still be upside, especially offensively.
12. Rasheed Wallace, C/PF, Detroit Pistons: ‘Sheed’s PT has been getting reduced for a couple of years now – a trend I expect to continue in a deeper Detroit frontcourt – but he’s still capable of contributing a little bit of everything for your team.
13. Al Horford, C/PF, Atlanta Hawks: A near Rookie of the Year performance, qualification at both centre and forward, and double-double potential every time he takes the floor. While more blocks might be nice, there’s a lot to like here.
14. Andris Biedrins, C, Golden State Warriors: Biedrins’s offensive game started moving forward last year as he shot better, got to the line more often, and improved his FT percentage.
15. Greg Oden, C, Portland Trail Blazers: The hype is huge, and Oden will definitely make you happy, but don’t reach too soon.
16. Chris Kaman, C, Los Angeles Clippers: Kaman had his offensive breakout season cut short by injury last year, but with Brand missing most of the season, he was asked to shoulder much more of scoring role. There’s concern over how the addition of Camby will affect Kaman this season, but if he can stay healthy, he’s a quality centre to own.
17. Samuel Dalembert, C, Philadelphia 76ers: Dalembert will help you in boards and blocks, but that’s about it. He’s stayed healthy the past couple of years, but his knee is bothering him, so keep an eye on the situation.
18. Brad Miller, C, Sacramento Kings: Miller bounced back after a horrible, injury-filled 2006-07 and wound up averaging a steal per game while shooting his finest percentage from the line ever. He’ll miss the first five games because of a suspension, slipping him down the rankings a tad.
19. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C, Cleveland Cavaliers: Big Z bounced back after floundering in Cleveland’s new offensive system in 2006-07. He earned himself more touches, and put himself back on the map as a quality fantasy centre.
20. Shaquille O’Neal, C, Phoenix Suns: Shaq’s been in free fall for what seems years, yet he remains a double-double machine when he can take the court. You know the drill – if you draft Shaq Daddy, make sure the rest of your team can sink their freebies and have plenty of backup –he’s injury prone, and Phoenix plans to rest him for the tail end of back-to-backs this season.
21. Joakim Noah, C/PF, Chicago Bulls: There’s talk Noah may come off the bench to start the season, but last year, he earned more minutes as the season progressed and by April, he was averaging 10.6 PPG, almost seven boards per game and close to 1.7 blocks per contest.
22. Ben Wallace, C/PF, Cleveland Cavaliers: Okay, so he no longer pulls down 10 boards on a nightly basis, but Big Ben isn’t quite ready to be set adrift on an ice floe, either.
23. Kendrick Perkins, C, Boston Celtics: No one is going to confuse Perkins with an offensive threat, but last season, given more PT and touches, he responded by shooting extremely well. The boards and blocks are sweet and there is plenty of upside here.
24. Marc Gasol, C, Memphis Grizzlies: Pau’s younger brother, only a Grizz, ironically enough, because of the deal that sent his bro to LA, is someone you should definitely consider as a viable fantasy centre.
25. Andrea Bargnani, C, Toronto Raptors: Il Mago is making a statement for more PT with his play this preseason, and I’m expected a major bounce back year. Remember that he hasn’t yet turned 23 (but will on Wednesday).
Others to Consider
Brook Lopez, C/PF, New Jersey Nets
Andray Blatche, PF/C, Washington Wizards
Josh Boone, PF/C, New Jersey Nets
Spencer Hawes, Sacramento Kings