NBA center tier list: Where is Raptors big man Jakob Poeltl?

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 26: Jakob Poeltl #19 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 26: Jakob Poeltl #19 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors, Jakob Poeltl
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 02: Jakob Poeltl #19 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Tier 5: Solid, if somewhat uninspiring

22. Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies

21. Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz

20. Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers

19. Al Horford, Boston Celtics

Adams may not be much more than a rebounder and screener at this point, but he is so effective at those two skills that he is once again going to be a starter. Kessler needs to keep adding more to his game, but he has serious DPOY potential if nurtured right. However, the floor is quite low.

Nurkic has been banged up and is a bit of a dinosaur due to his girth and lack of shooting. That doesn’t mean he can’t be effective next season. Horford is a limited offensive player, but he’s shown that he can kick his defense up a notch when needed in the playoffs.

Tier 4: Quality starters

18. Ivica Zubac, Los Angeles Clippers

17. Wendell Carter Jr, Orlando Magic

16. Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets

15. Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks

14. Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans

13. Nic Claxton, Brooklyn Nets

Zubac keeps dominating the boards for a quality Clippers team, while Carter has genuinely found a home for himself in Orlando. Sengun might not be a solid defender, but his offensive potential is so enticing that Houston will keep trying to make him a star player under Ime Udoka.

Capela might be very volatile as a performer, but he can be counted on to pile up double-doubles in his sleep. Valanciunas’ play in New Orleans has been overlooked despite his consistency, and Claxton has legitimate All-Star potential that Brooklyn will try to expand on.

Toronto Raptors center Jakob Poeltl is a Top-12 center.

Tier 3: High-End Starters

12. Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors

11. Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers

10. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

9. Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks

8. Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers

The sneakily effective Poeltl and Allen have very similar styles of play, as both of them can be trusted to attack the rim, swat shots away, and control their respective team’s presence on the boards. Ayton was horrendous in the postseason, but when he is locked in, his raw offensive stats shine through.

Lopez has been a traditional post big, oversized stationary shooter and shot-blocking master at different points in his career, and he’s starred in all those roles. Turner appears to have finally found himself out of trade rumors, as Indiana is committed to turning it around with him.