Without a doubt, there are some excellent centers in the NBA right now. After a few years of old heads bashing the current generation of centers, we have been blessed with some very uniquely talented big men. Nikola Jokic is perhaps the most special center we have ever seen because his skillset cannot be compared to any center that we have ever seen.
The only player that does come close to what Jokic can do is Arvydas Sabonis, but he joined the NBA when he was way past his prime. Nikola Jokic has an amazing season, averaging triple-double with 24.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG, and 11.9 APG.
Jokic is in his prime right now and is the reason the Denver Nuggets are one of the top teams in the world.
Normally, a center is often slow and doesn't possess the skills to dominate every aspect of the game. Jokic has that ability, and he is the best center in the NBA right now ahead of the likes of Joel Embiid, Rudy Gobert, and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Here are the reasons Nikola Jokic is the best center in the NBA.
5. Size And Strength
Nikola Jokic is a monster of a man. He stands 7'0" and weighs 284 lbs, making him a very imposing figure on the court. This means that Jokic checks the first box as a dominant center because he has the size and strength to impact the game in the post. Jokic is a very dominant inside scorer and his height allows him to conquer a ton of matchups in Denver's favor.
His size also allows him to utilize his soft touch around the rim to get easy buckets when Jamal Murray gifts him easy looks. Jokic isn't a pushover on defense either as he can be a big body to defend the rim. A player with the size of Jokic will always be a factor in games and that is a major reason why he can impact the game as the best center in the league.
4. Nikola Jokic Can Knockdown Free Throws
Nikola Jokic is blessed with a skill that centers often struggle with: nailing free throws. Jokic drains 82.4% of his foul shots over his career. This means that while Jokic is a big body who can bang down low, opposing centers might foul him to prevent easy buckets. This is a strategy that has worked with some all-time great big men in the past.
But that doesn't work with Jokic. He will either score down low or draw a foul every time, where his excellent free throw percentage comes into play. So far this season, Jokic is getting to the line over 3 times a game and he might continue getting there more as the season progresses.
The fact that Jokic has the size to be a factor in the paint and drain his foul shots means he has no weakness when he has the ball on the block.
3. The Three-Ball Is Very Deadly
Jokic is a dominant inside scorer and his size makes him an automatic bucket down low. But where Jokic is special is his ability to drain the outside shot. Nikola Jokic is a unique center that has a high arcing jumper that is impossible to block. Jokic shoots 34.0% over his career, and his numbers might continue improving. For an unathletic center who spends a ton of time down low, that is very impressive.
Nikola Jokic cannot be left alone from outside, as he will hurt you every time. Jokic can even drain threes with a hand in his face, meaning he is an offensive nightmare for any defender in the NBA. A center that can take you inside and outside at an efficient rate and also possess incredible size and strength means he is one of the most dominant scorers in the NBA. What's even more impressive is that Nikola Jokic is extremely unselfish and prefers to set up his teammates.
2. He Is The Greatest Passing Center In NBA History
Nikola Jokic is the greatest passing center that we have ever seen. No center since Arvydas Sabonis can make plays for his teammates as he can. His last game against the Houston Rockets is a perfect example of what Jokic can do, picking apart Houston and dropping 18 assists for his team. Jokic doesn't get lucky assists either, as almost every play that Denver runs is through him.
Nikola Jokic is a complete offensive machine and one of the 10 best players in the world right now. He is not only the best fantasy player for fans but the greatest overall big man in the league. He can score inside with ease, nail shots from everywhere, and be the best passer out of the post in NBA history. This means that double-teaming Jokic will almost always result in open looks for his teammates.
1. Nikola Jokic Is A Clutch Performer And Franchise Player
Nikola Jokic seems to have an indifferent look on his face that can lull you into thinking he is going through the motions, but he is a killer with the game on the line. His size and shooting ability mean he can get a good look whenever he wants, and his high-arcing release makes it hard to contest him. With the game on the line, Jokic is the perfect player to give the ball to.
Nikola Jokic is also the only center in the NBA to solidify his stance as a franchise player. He never has games where he doesn't show up, always has an impact, and finds a way to help his team win. Whether that's scoring the ball from outside, rebounding inside, or being the best playmaker on the floor; Jokic is the full package. No other center can make the case for being the best player on their team like Jokic can, which makes him the best big man in the league and it isn't close.