In today’s NBA, the central position shares a similarity with Gene Wilder: People can’t stop seem to stop announcing it’s dead. Unlike the late great comedian, however, the NBA great man never died. Utah Jazz has one of the best in the Association with Rudy Gobert, but how does he rank among the top elite men in the NBA?
For this exercise, we removed a lot of the subjectivity by basing our rankings on three metrics from last season: Player Efficiency Rating (PER), Box Plus / Minus (BPM), and Value over Replacement Player (VORP). We simply took each great man’s rank by each of these metrics and ranked them based on their average rank.
Once the criteria are established, there are two important caveats to note. First, Karl-Anthony Towns has experienced an extremely difficult COVID-19 pandemic. Between personal tragedy and injury issues, it shouldn’t come as a shock that the former No. 1 overall pick had a low season by his immense standard.
Second, position designations are considerably smoother in 2021 than they ever have been. As such, two players who perhaps deserved to be factored into this ranking and whom we ultimately treated as power forwards are Domantas Sabonis and Julius Randle. Both men saw time in 5th place last season, but neither saw enough to ultimately earn the center designation.
Here’s where Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert ranked among the best in the NBA, according to PER, BPM, and VORP.