2015 NBA Free Agent Rankings – Centers

A tiered ranking of the top centers who will be available on the free-agent market this summer.

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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We have previously ranked and tiered the top point guards, shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards in this summer’s free agent crop.

Concluding our series, today we’ll discuss the centers set to hit the open market.

Tier 1:
1. Marc Gasol – Unrestricted
Gasol is the crown jewel of the free agent center crop. A terrifically well-rounded big man, he can score on the low block or face up. He can defend the rim and rebound. He’s also one of the best passing centers in the NBA. He’ll have plenty of options next month, but it would be surprising if he took less money and left Memphis.

Tier 2:
2. DeAndre Jordan – Unrestricted
Jordan has steadily improved year-to-year, and has firmly established himself as one of the NBA’s best big men. He finished the 2014-15 campaign averaging 11.5 points, a whopping 15.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks, while shooting a mind-boggling 71.0 percent from the floor. He joined Wilt Chamberlain as just the second player in NBA history to average at least 15 rebounds per game and shoot over 70 percent from the field. Jordan will demand max money on the open market. Yet, considering how invaluable he’s been for the Los Angeles Clippers this season, it’s hard to imagine Doc Rivers letting him leave L.A. (the Clippers will have his “Bird Rights” – which means they can offer a fifth season and significantly more money than other suitors).

3. Brook Lopez – Player Option
Lopez is arguably the best offensive center in the NBA. He’s averaged at least 20 points per game in five straight seasons. The problem is he’s also missed at least 65 games in two of his last four seasons. Even though he has a $16.7 million option he can exercise for next season, it’s safe to assume he’ll opt out (while he’s healthy) and get a new long-term deal.

4. Tim Duncan – Unrestricted
While Tim Duncan hasn’t yet beaten the undefeated Father Time, Timmy D has somehow managed to play him to a standstill. Duncan clearly can still produce at an elite level for another year or two. Will he retire, or sign one more contract with the Spurs before riding off into the sunset?

Tier 3:
5. Greg Monroe – Unrestricted
Monroe flashed elite talent and very intriguing upside early on in his career. As a 21-year-old, he averaged 15.4 points (on 52.1 percent shooting), 9.7 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game in his second pro season. However, he’s never taken his game to the next level. His field goal percentage has dipped below 50 percent for three consecutive seasons. His steal and block totals have decreased three years in row. Still just 24, some team will throw plenty of money (and possibly even a max deal) his way.

6. Enes Kanter – Restricted
Kanter remains a bit of a mystery. He’s been in the league for four years, but just turned 23 and has never averaged more than 27 minutes per game in any season. He got a chance to play heavy minutes down the stretch in Oklahoma City last season and made the most of his opportunity, averaging 18.7 ppg and 11. rebounds. Will a team make a big offer and force the Thunder to match? What offer would be high enough to scare OKC away?

7. Tyson Chandler – Unrestricted
Rumors of Chandler’s demise were greatly exaggerated. The Knicks dumped the injury-prone Tyson, believing his best days were behind him. However, Chandler bounced back in a big way in Big D. He averaged a double-double and, amazingly, posted the highest PER of his career (20.1). A veteran and proven winner, he’ll have plenty of suitors this summer.

8. Timofey Mozgov – Team Option
If there was ever any doubt about whether or not the Cavaliers would exercise Mozgov’s option and bring him back to Cleveland, his phenomenal play in the NBA Finals confirmed the Cavs have a valuable player, who’ll only get paid $4.9 million next season.

Tier 4:
9. Roy Hibbert – Player Option
Hibbert has had an up-and-down few seasons in Indiana, never quite living up to expectations. However, he’s a solid defender and is seven-feet tall. He’ll attract plenty of interest if he does opt out. Hibbert has a $15.5 million option for next season.

10. Robin Lopez – Unrestricted
Not nearly as accomplished on the offensive end as his brother, Robin is a better defender and rebounder than Brook. Robin has also been far more durable. He’ll be available at a relatively affordable cost compared to the rest of the centers listed here. If you have plenty of offensive firepower on your roster, Lopez is solid fit as he will be happy to clog up the paint, board and bang.

11. Omer Asik – Unrestricted
Asik has been solid, if unspectacular, since becoming a starting center. He signed with the Houston Rockets entering the 2012-13, which was his first opportunity to showcase his full skill set as a starter in the NBA. Then, last summer, he was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for a first-round pick. In the 200+ games he has played over the last three years, Asik has averaged 8.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks. He’s not a stud, but certainly a serviceable starting center that will protect the rim and chip in offensively. In a league bereft of quality big men, Asik will have plenty of eager suitors.

12. Kostas Koufos – Unrestricted
It will be very interesting to see what offers Koufos fields once he hits the open market. Backing up Marc Gasol, his playing time has been limited. However, his Per-36 minute averages are impressive: 11.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.

13. Brandan Wright – Unrestricted
Wright had the best season of his young career in 2013-14 in Dallas, when he averaged 9.1 points and 4.2 rebounds, while shooting 67.7 percent from the floor. Still, there are noticeable flaws in his game. Can he handle the rigors of starter’s minutes? Is he worth upwards of $6 million a season? We shall see….

Tier 5:
14. JaVale McGee – Unrestricted
Talent has never been an issue with McGee. He was a good rebounder and one of the NBA’s best shot-blockers back when he signed a four-year $44 million contract back in 2012. The problem is that McGee has worn out his welcome everywhere he’s been. He’ll be relatively cheap this summer for a GM willing to roll the dice.

15. Marreese Speights – Team Option
Speights is a terrific offensive player (he averaged 23.6 pointer per-36 minutes last season), but can be a sieve defensively. It will be interesting to see if the Warriors pick up his $3.8 million option for next season.

16. Bismack Biyombo – Restricted
Biyombo, the seventh overall pick in the 2011 draft, has been labeled a bust. He averaged fewer than three points and five rebounds per game in 2013-14. However, the big man has showed signs of life this past season, particularly late in the year. Over the Charlotte Hornets’ final 11 games, Biyombo is averaged 7.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks, while shooting 54.5 percent from the floor.

Best of the Rest: Chris Kaman, Aron Baynes, Kevin Seraphin, Alexis Ajinca, Kendrick Perkins, Cole Aldrich, Larry Sanders, Samuel Dalmebert, Joel Anthony, Jeff Ayres, Ryan Hollins and Greg Stiemsma.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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