2. Joel Embiid – PHI
Now the real controversy begins. Yes, I am one of those guys that believe Nikola Jokic is a better center and more valuable than Joel Embiid. This is not because I don’t see what Embiid brings to the table, I can see that he is not only one of the best all-around players in the league, but he is also likely the 2nd best offensive and 2nd best defensive center in the NBA.
Embiid has only been in the league a short time, but his most recent year was pretty telling of what he is capable of. In 2018-19, Embiid averaged 27.5 points per game, 13.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.9 blocks in just under 34 minutes of game time. Embiid is a special talent and he has really carried the Philadelphia 76ers into NBA Finals hopefuls.
1. Nikola Jokic – DEN
I have a few reasons for picking Nikola Jokic over Joel Embiid and even if you disagree with my ranking, these are factual statements that play a part in the decision. The first reason I picked Jokic is because of injury. Embiid has missed several games and even playoff games due to injury. He has never played more than 64 games in a season, whereas Jokic has never played less than 73 in a season.
The other reason I like Jokic as the best center in the league is his playmaking ability. I think adding that dimension to the center position has made Denver one of those teams to really watch out for and it all stems from Jokic. I think Jokic and Embiid are easily cemented in as the top two centers in the league and number three isn’t particularly close. But if I get to choose, I am taking Jokic.
Stay tuned throughout the next several days as the starter rankings for all other positions will be coming out over time.