12. Mitchell Robinson – NYK
Our final rookie and the least expected one to be this high in the rankings a year ago, Mitchell Robinson has stormed onto the scene of rim-running, agile centers in the league. Despite playing for the Knicks and fighting for playing time, Robinson showed the NBA that he could be a force around the basket for years to come. His impact as a rim-runner could be absolutely huge this year.
It seems a bit rash to put Robinson so high despite a pretty limited sample size, but there is just something to be said about how good he was last year. With a different look Knicks team this year and a guaranteed starting spot, I think Robinson will shine, playing alongside Dennis Smith Jr., R.J. Barrett and others.
11. DeAndre Jordan – BKN
DeAndre Jordan is nowhere near the center he was just a few years ago, but he is still one of the best players in the league at doing what he does: catching lobs and grabbing boards. DJ was a top center in the NBA during his time with the Los Angeles Clippers. He was regularly near the top of the leaderboard for rebounds and blocks per game. He was so good at cleaning up the glass that he could sway games just based on his rebounding prowess.
Although he isn’t quite the rebounder he was in his younger days, DJ is still one of the best in the league. His defense has plummeted, something that used to make him a top tier center, but his offense and rebounding still make up for some of the deficiencies of his game. And hey, his free throw shooting is pretty amazing now, too.