Top 5 Center Prospects: Pre March Madness
The 2017 NBA Draft class is very obscure in some fashions. Most of the top talent in the draft are primarily focused around two positions being point guard and small forward. It is not like a traditional draft where talent can be scattered across the position field as well as the draft board. This very well may be a draft where teams genuinely focus their boards on value instead of need. As we take a look at the top prospects at their respective positions, you will start to see overwhelming talent in some areas whereas others will be scarce.
5. Jarrett Allen- Texas 6’10”/235 lbs.
Allen is a prospect that does not have a significant strength to his game, but is good at almost everything. He has a long wingspan which should help him on the glass and defensively. Needs to polish up his offensive game from the inside out. Has a decent mid-range jumpshot, but can get streaky at times. He should have a steady career as a middle of the road starter or a solid backup big man. He is a safe pick for a team that has a need at the position.
Pro Comparison: Robin Lopez
4. Zach Collins- Gonzaga 7’0”/230 lbs.
Collins was fighting for playing time this past season with Karnowsky at Gonzaga, but he excelled in the minutes he did get. Standing with good size and build for a center, he brings a good work ethic and a solid skillset with mid-first round potential. He gets on the glass well fighting for offensive boards and is a solid post player on both ends of the floor. Collins runs the floor well and has a knack for scoring in transition. Pro Comparison: Mason Plumlee
3. Justin Patton- Creighton 7’0”/230 lbs.
Patton is a physical beast to say the least. He was a big reason Creighton was on the map this season. He is a defensive monster with a lot of offensive upside. Uses great footwork to score inside and to get offensive rebounds. He is a very athletic player which helps him down low against big centers. He has a very high ceiling and the potential to become a top of the line center in the league when he reaches his peak. Pro Comparison: Steven Adams
2. Harry Giles- Duke 6’10”/240 lbs.
Giles has struggled this season similar to what Skal Labissiere did last year, but Giles has had bright spots this season that still prove he has serious potential as an NBA player. Being the highest ranked high school player in the country his senior year, the potential and skillset are definitely there. He’s very versatile offensively being able to score effectively in the post while being able to stretch the floor out to the mid-range. He shows potential to shoot the three. Defensively, he has enormous upside being able to consistently block shots and defend on the perimeter. Despite the injury early on in his career, he should still be able to impact the NBA in a serious way.
Pro Comparison: Amare Stoudemire
1. Bam Adebayo- Kentucky 6’10”/255 lbs.
This is another one that I know I will catch some heat for, but hear me out. Adebayo has definitely earned his nickname. He has unreal size and strength and should be able to bang down low with the best of them right out of the gate. He will thrive defensively right away as a shot blocker and rim protector. His offensive game will develop, but he should be effective with his back to the basket and with an athletic skillset to finish over defenders especially on second chance opportunities. Adebayo has the upside to be star center in the league. Most analysts won’t tell you that, but his upside is legit.
Pro Comparison: Dwight Howard
The 2017 NBA Draft is loaded with star potential and plenty of under the radar talent. The strength of this draft goes beyond these lists. Players like T.J. Leaf, Johnathan Motley, Tyler Lydon, Caleb Swanigan, Isaiah Hartenstein, etc., extend this draft’s depth. Many teams will find good value in the latter part of the first round and even up to the mid-second round. With the tournament upon us, rankings are sure to change. With that being said, all eyes should be on the top prospects and how they perform on the big stage.