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.