We have finally hit our last position group to keep an eye on for the NBA Draft. We’ve given you point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, and power forwards. Naturally, we’ve got top centers for you next in the 2023 NBA draft. It should not surprise anyone who is at the top. The guy everyone has pegged as the top pick in the draft overall, makes his debut atop this list as well.
Top Centers in The 2023 NBA Draft
1. Victor Wembanyama
There is a reason he is the clear-cut top pick in this draft. The 7-foot-2, 229-pound big man is an actual unicorn. He can shoot from anywhere and over anyone. He’s averaging 23.2 points, 3.0 blocks, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game playing for Metropolitans 92. He showed out against the G-League Ignite team led by Scoot Henderson and has been phenomenal since then too.
He does everything. He can handle the ball, he can post up, he can shoot, and he is not afraid of meeting anyone at the rim for a nice block summit. He will undoubtedly have to put on weight when he gets to the NBA, but there is no way he falls from the top barring something absolutely catastrophic.
2. Dereck Lively II (Duke)
The 7-foot-1, 230-pound freshman still hasn’t shown his full potential this season. He missed some early games with an injury, but is working to get back into proper form and on his chemistry with his teammates. In the meantime, he has still shown he can protect the rim and catch lobs.
He will have to get some of his speed back to prove he can move on the perimeter with some guards. But his length and athleticism have helped him stay afloat there for now. He will have to improve from the free throw line as he’s just a paint-touch big man right now.
— ACC Men's Basketball (@accmbb) December 3, 2022
3. Kel’el Ware (Oregon)
While Lively might be the better defensive big of these two, Ware is certainly the more offensively ready one. At seven feet and weighing 210 pounds, Ware is a bit on the thin side. But assuming he puts on weight, he will have the post-game and some three-point shooting to complement a team in need of a big-man floor-spacer.
Ware’s shooting from deep isn’t quite consistent yet as he’s shooting just under 31 percent from there. However, the stroke looks good and he shoots it confidently. He has plenty of time the rest of the season to improve that and his shooting from the free throw line as well. But his length should make him a solid rim protector. He just has to give the full effort on every play as that was a concern coming into his freshman season at Oregon.
— Oregon Men's Basketball (@OregonMBB) December 4, 2022
4. Kyle Filipowski (Duke)
The 7-foot, 230-pound center has been the starter for Duke early in the season and has looked great. With his play so far this season, Filipowski has solidified himself as a first-round pick and has impressed some scouts. He was on the fringe of the first round heading into the season but has scored in double figures in every game he’s played and is averaging over nine rebounds a game.
Filipowski has a great array of moves in the post when he decides to throw himself down there. He is also a reliable shooter as he’s shooting 36% on triples on over 3.5 attempts per game. His 83.7% from the free throw line also bodes well for floor spacing potential down the road as well. He will have to get a bit quicker as he cannot guard smaller guys right now for more than a quick switch. But he’s a good defender against other players his size.
— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) November 25, 2022
5. Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky)
This is a bit of a cheat pick here as Tshiebwe would not necessarily translate as a center in the NBA, but he plays that at the collegiate level. The 6-foot-9, 260-pound Wildcat is a rebounding machine and gives maximum effort always. He’s a load on post-ups and even when he doesn’t make some bunnies, he usually rebounds them to put them back anyway.
Tshiebwe has been working to improve and expand his shooting range. He’s looked a little better from the mid-range but has still been a bit hesitant to shoot it. His free throw shooting has improved, but if he wants to make it out of the second round, he has to be a greater offensive threat.
"Oh boy, this is going to be a finish."
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 5, 2022
What is your list of the top 5 centers in the 2023 NBA draft?