NBA Free Agency: Top 10 Centers
Yesterday we listed the top point guards available in free agency and where they could be playing next season. Today we’ll move on to the next position, the centers. We can’t forget about the big men in the middle.
This is one of the more underrated positions in the NBA because several teams like to play small ball. However, every player on this list is capable of being involved in a team who plays that style. We’ll now look at the top 10 Centers who are available and what team they’ll be playing for next season.
Top 10 Centers
1. DeMarcus Cousins
Current Team: Golden State Warriors
New Team: Los Angeles Clippers
Cousins joined the Warriors on a one-year, $5 million deal because he was chasing a ring, but Kawhi Leonard put a stop to that. The Warriors have a lot of decisions to make this offseason with their team, and I think they’ll be moving on from Cousins. With the Warriors moving on, Cousins will too. I think the best place for him is in Los Angeles. Not with Davis and James, but on the Clippers with Lou Williams. Cousins signing with the Clippers may actually hurt them, that’s why this deal won’t go down until later in the free agency period.
2. Al Horford
Current Team: Boston Celtics
New Team: Sacramento Kings
I think this is where things start to get interesting from the Center position. Al Horford opted out of this contract with the Boston Celtics. He’s got a lot of different teams who could consider signing him. Of course, there are smaller teams who could use an All-Star like Horford, teams like the Sacramento Kings, who were just five games out of missing the playoffs. The Kings could use a big man presence like Horford after years of having Willie Cauley-Stein, who will likely move on. Horford is more of an offensive threat than Cauley-Stein, but that’s what makes him right for the job. He can help the young guys in Sacramento become better and lead them into the playoffs like he was able to do with the Hawks and Celtics and their young rosters.
3. Brook Lopez
Current Team: Milwaukee Bucks
New Team: Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks, like the Warriors, have a lot of questions that need to be answered in free agency. As you saw with the point guards, they’ll be losing two-way guard Malcolm Brogdon, but they don’t want to let Lopez go too. Lopez was signed for one year to see how well he could play in coach Mike Budholzer’s system. I honestly think he fit the system well, and it really showed as the season went on. Of all the questions that need to be answered, this should be the first one.
4. DeAndre Jordan
Current Team: New York Knicks
New Team: New York Knicks
All I know is that the Knicks could be in trouble this summer. They drafted Duke’s R.J. Barrett with the 3rd overall pick, and they’re hoping to land superstars like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. As you already saw from my predictions, Irving will not be going there. You’ll find out whether or not Kevin Durant goes there or not in my future articles. Just in case they were to miss out on the guys they really want, they’ll still need to get a center in the middle to add to their roster. That’s where DeAndre Jordan comes in. Jordan was part of the Porzingis trade, along with Dennis Smith Jr. from Dallas. Having played half a season with the Knicks might have been good for him. I think having David Fizdale as a coach might also be a helpful reason for Jordan to stay in New York, but will another player decide to join?
5. Enes Kanter
Current Team: Portland Trail Blazers
New Team: Charlotte Hornets
We know one player who won’t join the Knicks again is Kanter. I could honestly see the Blazers trying to keep Kanter, but it will be tough to find playing time for Kanter when Jusuf Nurkic returns from injury. That is why I think Kanter will play elsewhere next season. The team he could play for is the Charlotte Hornets. I know it may seem like a tough grab, but with Kemba Walker likely to return, the Hornets are looking to make the playoffs again, and this move will be a key acquisition for the Hornets. Of course, Kanter will also have to fight off Bismack Biyombo for some minutes, but I think the two of them can play well with each other.
6. Marc Gasol
Current Team: Toronto Raptors
New Team: Toronto Raptors
So, we don’t know what will happen with the defending NBA champions, as the Toronto Raptors have to decide what to do with their free agents like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Marc Gasol. All three of these guys played huge roles in the franchises first ever championship, and that’s why it’s important to bring back Gasol. Having Gasol on the team helped the Raptors stretch the floor better because of his ability to make the three-point shot. I think it may take a bit longer to get a deal done because it’s about Kawhi first.
7. Nikola Vucevic
Current Team: Orlando Magic
New Team: Boston Celtics
I’m not sure how this happens, but after trading Aron Baynes on draft night and losing Al Horford in free agency, this needs to be done. I think Vucevic could be a good fit for the Celtics as they look to remodel the franchise. What other pieces do they have in mind for this remodel, though? That will be key to another successful Celtics season!
8. Jonas Valanciunas
Current Team: Memphis Grizzlies
New Team: Memphis Grizzlies
Despite being traded midseason like Marc Gasol, Valanciunas made the best of his time as a member of the Grizzlies. This could be a nice pairing for the future. After the Mike Conley trade, it’s obvious they’re heading in a new direction. That direction involves younger players like Grayson Allen, Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson. Don’t expect the Grizzlies to be a playoff team right away, but resigning a guy like Valanciunas would be a big step in the right direction.
9. JaVale McGee
Current Team: Los Angeles Lakers
New Team: Washington Wizards
McGee had a good year in Los Angeles with the Lakers. He even said he’d like to re-sign, but with the tight salary cap, the Lakers and McGee will likely part ways as they look for cheaper options. I think McGee would be a good fit for the Wizards, as they’re in need of a center because of the status of Dwight Howard and Thomas Bryant. Of course, he may not be able to get what he asks for.
10. Willie Cauley-Stein
Current Team: Sacramento Kings
New Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Another player who might be on the move is Willie Cauley-Stein. He’s made it clear he’s unhappy with the Kings. I think that mispleasure will end up with him leaving. A team who could use him is the Los Angeles Lakers, as they could pair him with Anthony Davis and become a great defensive front court. When this deal happens, it’ll likely move Kyle Kuzma back to the bench, but it’s a good thing for the Lakers because they could play a lot of different lineups throughout the season.
As we complete the list of available Centers who could be on the move, we look forward to hearing what you think. Where will the top available players at this position land?