22. Tristan Thompson – CLE
Tristan Thompson still has the ability to be a much better center than he is ranked here, but I expect a bit of a down tick in his play this season. No matter what he does, Thompson will always be looked at as a guy that got paid way too much because he was friends with LeBron James. He could have a good year, but with this being the final year in his contract, he knows his pay is going way down.
The absolute most impressive part of Tristan Thompson’s game since the beginning of his career is his ability to get offensive rebounds. He is not one of the best rebounders overall, but he is definitely one of the best in the league at getting the offensive board, especially when it matters. The rest of his game is pretty good too, which is why he got down to the 22nd spot.
21. Dwight Powell – DAL
Sadly, the Dallas Mavericks representative at center did not crack the top 20 in my list, although that is not to say that he is not a great player. Most of us here in Dallas have learned to love Dwight Powell over the years of watching him grow from barely an NBA player to an NBA starter that can hold his own. There are still doubters out there, but their opinion is wrong.
Powell has not just gotten good, he has become one of the absolute best finishers at the rim among big men in the league. When he first came to the Mavs, he couldn’t catch a cold and if he ever did manage to haul in a lob, he would try and lay it in instead of slamming it home. That is no longer an issue as Powell has proven to be a vicious dunker that really wants to flush it home every chance he gets.
Sadly, Powell is still not where he needs to be on defense or rebounding. If he improves in those areas this year, he could very easily be higher on this list, but until he proves he can be on the court when the game is on the line, it is hard to get him into the top 20 at his position.