2013 Fantasy Center Rankings

As teams move away from setting up their offense in the post, the importance of the center has deteriorated.

No player at the position averaged 20 points a game and just three posted 10 or more rebounds on a nightly basis. 

Even shot blocking has become an issue, as only five players averaged over two rejections a game last season.

While the raw statistics may not be impressive, the center position does have some depth, with not much difference in production in the middle of the pack.

Fantasy owners can afford to wait a bit on selecting a center and still find some quality players.

*All projections below are from BasketballReference.com and are based upon 36 minutes of playing time. Projections are not available for first year players. 

30. Kendrick Perkins– Oklahoma City Thunder

In 78 starts, Perkins scored over 12 points just once and logged just nine games with 10 or more rebounds. Over the past two seasons, Perkins has committed 227 turnovers and while dishing out just 189 assists, possibly clearing the way for Steven Adams, a rookie that averaged 9.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in Summer League play, to take over at center.

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29. Kelly Olynyk– Boston Celtics

As one of the few standouts from the rookie class in Summer League play, Olynyk. the 13th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by Dallas, will have plenty of opportunities with a rebuilding Celtics team. During Summer League play in Orlando, the 7-footer averaged 18 points and connected on 57.8 percent of his attempts from the field.

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28. Jason Smith– New Orleans Pelicans

Injuries have limited Smith to just 300 appearances since being the 20th overall selection in the 2007 NBA draft, as shoulder problems limited him to 50 games a year ago. When he has played, Smith has been an effective rebounder, especially on the offensive end, and a viable shot blocker, turning back five shots on two occasions last season.

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27. Chris Kaman– Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers mark the fourth different team Kaman will play for on opening night in the last four years. Kaman’s scoring output dropped to 10.5 points per game, his lowest since the 2006-07 season, in 20.7 minutes per game, the fewest of his career, but he did manage to shoot 50.7 percent from the field. His opportunities in the post may be limited, as Los Angeles will try and establish Pau Gasol as a primary option in the offense.

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26. Spencer Hawes– Philadelphia 76ers

In 40 starts, Hawes averaged 12.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 blocks per game, only he couldn’t keep the job as Philadelphia forced him to split time with Lavoy Allen. The time for Hawes to be in the starting lineup may be limited as the 76ers are hoping to provide Nerlens Noel, a center that slipped in the 2013 NBA Draft, playing time once he recovers from a torn ACL.

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25. Robin Lopez– Portland Trail Blazers

All it took for Portland to acquire a viable replacement for free agent center J.J. Hickson were the draft rights to rookie center Jeff Withey, a future second-round pick and cash considerations. While Lopez didn’t submit the All-Star caliber season his twin brother did in Brooklyn, he did appear in all 82 games, averaging 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

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24. Tiago Splitter– San Antonio Spurs

A few teams pursued Splitter, a restricted free agent this summer, but ultimately fell short as he signed a four-year $36 million deal to remain in San Antonio. The 28-year-old averaged just 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 15.3 minutes of play during the NBA Finals, but recorded 11 of his 14 career double-doubles during the regular season.

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23. Samuel Dalembert– Dallas Mavericks

No player caused more of a stir in the fantasy basketball free agent market than Dalembert after he posted one of the greatest individual performances of the season, totaling 35 points and 12 rebounds in just 27 minutes during a loss to the Nuggets. Dalembert signed a two-year $7.5 million deal with Dallas this summer, hoping to return the team to the playoffs.

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22. Emeka Okafor– Washington Wizards

In his first season with the Wizards, Okafor posted 32 games with 10 or more rebounds and finished with 285 more rebounds than anyone else on the Washington roster. A six year run of shooting 50 percent or better from the field was snapped, but with John Wall healthy to start the season, Okafor should receive more looks at the rim.

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21. DeAndre Jordan– Los Angeles Clippers

Jordan possesses nearly every asset a team looks for in a center, with tremendous athleticism and the ability to finish at the rim, leading the league as he converted 64.3 percent of his attempts,  only his horrific free throw shooting is preventing him from playing at an All-Star level. Jordan averaged just 3.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game during the playoffs and is a career 30.3 percent shooter from the foul line in post season play.

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20. Andrew Bogut– Golden State Warriors

Bogut has appeared in just 32 out of a possible 107 regular season games since being dealt to the Warriors on March 14, 2012. The former first overall pick was a rebounding force in the post season, pulling down 10.2 per game while shooting 58.2 percent from the field during the Warriors impressive run, without demanding the ball. Bogut attempted five or fewer shots in six of Golden State’s 12 post season games.

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19. JaVale McGee– Denver Nuggets

McGee has spent his summer honing is shooting skills anyway he can. New coach Brian Shaw has to find more minutes for McGee, as he failed to start a single game and was on the floor for less than 30 minutes in 54 of his 79 appearances. Despite his limited playing time, he finished as the leading shot blocker in Denver, turning away two shots per game, eighth best in the league.

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18. Andrew Bynum– Cleveland Cavaliers

The other player that missed the entire season isn’t finally making his debut in Philadelphia, but instead looking to regain his All-Star form with the Cavaliers. A series of knee injures prevented Bynum from ever playing a single minute with the 76ers and is still unsure of when he will be available to play even though he hasn’t appeared in a game since May 21, 2012.

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17. Enes Kanter– Utah Jazz

Kanter has posted just three double-doubles since being selected with the third overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, but now without a cap on his minutes, the Jazz are hoping he can develop into a star. Kanter has made 52.5 percent of his attempts from the field during his career and his per 36 minute averages are 14.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.

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16. Marcin Gortat– Phoenix Suns

The Suns averaged just 95.2 points per game and continually ignored a viable scoring option. Gortat has converted 54.7 percent of his attempts during his six-year career and averaged 15.4 points per game during his first full season in Phoenix. But without Steve Nash running the offense, Gortat’s scoring average dipped to 11.3 points per game as he attempted fewer than 10 shots on 28 occasions.

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15. Andre Drummond– Detroit Pistons

In 49 of his 60 appearances during his rookie season, Drummond, the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, was able to block at least one shot. The former Connecticut star only played 30 or more minutes six times, but he still posted 20 games with a double-digit rebound total. As the Pistons try and sort out their front court situation, Drummond may be the franchise cornerstone.

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14. Tyson Chandler– New York Knicks

With Chandler in the starting lineup, the Knicks posted a 42-24 record. The first time All-Star averaged 10.7 of New York’s 40.6 rebounds last season, posting 20 or more rebounds on eight occasions. Most of Chandler’s 10.4 points per game came by attacking the offensive glass, as his 4.1 offensive rebounds per game not only tied Zach Randolph for the league lead, but marked the third time in his career he was able to average more than four offensive rebounds per game.

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13. Chris Bosh– Miami Heat

The 16.6 points per game Bosh averaged last season were the fourth most among centers in the league. While Miami clearly isn’t looking for the eight-time All-Star to carry the offense, as he averaged just 12.1 points per game during the post season last year, he still managed 21 games with 20 or more points and shot 53.5 percent from the field, the highest percentage of his career.

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12. Jonas Valanciunas– Toronto Raptors

The unofficial MVP of the Summer League, after averaging 18.8 points and 10 rebounds per game, Toronto is hoping Valanciunas can carry the team into the post season for the first time since 2008. Valanciunas earned a spot on the All-Rookie second team as he converted 55.7 percent of his attempts from the field and closed the season with an 18 points, seven rebound and three block effort against Boston.

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11. Larry Sanders– Milwaukee Bucks

In his third season, Sanders emerged as one of the most potent shot blockers in the league. Milwaukee rewarded his efforts this summer with a four-year $44 million deal. The 6-foot-11 Sanders finished with five or more blocks on 15 occasions last season, including a 12 rebound, 10 block, 10 point performance against Minnesota on Nov. 30.

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10. Nikola Pekovic– Minnesota Timberwolves

It took nearly six weeks after free agency began, but Pekovic finally landed the long term contract he was seeking. Minnesota signed Pekovic to a five-year $60 million contract after he averaged 16.3 points on 52 percent shooting from the field, 8.8 rebounds and posted 26 double-doubles without the injured Kevin Love in the lineup.

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9. Nikola Vucevic– Orlando Magic

Only two players totaled more double-doubles than Vucevic’s 46 last season and he posted 55 double-digit rebound performances in his first season in Orlando. Vucevic closed the season with 10 or more rebounds in 14 straight games and finished the year fourth in total defensive rebounds and fifth in total offensive rebounds.

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8. Marc Gasol– Memphis Grizzlies

There is no better passer at the center position than Gasol. Not only was the Defensive Player of the Year also able to dish out five or more assists on 32 occasions last season, the location of those passes set up easy looks for his teammates. For the season, Gasol averaged 4.0 assists per game, .5 more than any other at the position and 1.8 of those set up a basket at the rim for Memphis.

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7. Roy Hibbert– Indiana Pacers

Hibbert nearly toppled Miami by himself in the Eastern Conference finals as he averaged 17 points on 51.1 percent shooting from the field, 9.9 rebounds and almost doubled his free throw attempts from 2.8 to 5.4 per game. The 7-foot-2 center spent his summer adding more bulk to his frame and the Pacers are hoping it doesn’t take anything away from the 2.6 blocks per game he averaged last season.

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6. Al Horford– Atlanta Hawks

The longest tenured member of the Hawks looks to become the focal point of their offensive attack next season. Horford quietly averaged 17.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while logging 43 double-doubles and ranked in the top three among all Hawks in scoring, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and converted a team high 54.3 percent of his attempts from the field.

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5. Joakim Noah– Chicago Bulls

Few players showed the consistency of Noah last season. Not only did he post 33 double-doubles in 66 appearances, the former Florida star was one of just nine players to log multiple triple-doubles last season. Noah earned his first career All-Star nod after averaging 11.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.1 blocks per game.

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4. Al Jefferson– Charlotte Bobcats

A three-year $41 million contract was enough to convince Jefferson to join the NBA’s perennial losers. For the past seven seasons, the 28-year-old has averaged at least 16 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, making him one of the most consistent fantasy performers at the position. Jefferson has averaged 37.5 double-doubles per season since the 2006-07 season.

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3. DeMarcus Cousins– Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento franchise finally has some stability now that the sale of the team has been completed and it’s future will remain in California’s capital city. Cousins has shown plenty of promise, even closing out last season with a 36 point, 22 rebound, three block effort against the Clippers. For the Kings to snap a seven-year playoff drought, Cousins needs to live up to his All-Star potential.

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2. Brook Lopez– Brooklyn Nets

Lopez was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as an injury replacement despite leading all centers in scoring at 19.4 points per game. Brooklyn needs Lopez to add rebounding tenacity to his game, as the 7-footer averaged just 6.9 per game last season after he was able to become a defensive force, swatting away 2.1 shots per game.

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1. Dwight Howard– Houston Rockets

For the second consecutive season, the league’s top center will be playing in a new home. Howard played thorough back and shoulder injuries during his lone season with the Lakers and still was able to lead the league in rebounding, averaging 12.4 per game, along with 17.1 points on just 10.1 shots per game, 2.4 blocks and converted 57.8 percent of his shots.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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