The 2022 NBA Draft is occurring Thursday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET; check out our list of the NBA Draft 2022 top 10 best center prospects. This year’s draft will be televised on ABC and ESPN. For streaming, YouTube TV, fuboTV and DirecTV Stream offer free trials. The 2022 NBA Draft is the 76th edition.
This event is taking place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Shown below, our NBA Draft 2022 experts at Basketball Insiders have researched the top 10 best center prospects. Top prospects include Chet Holmgren and Jalen Duren.
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10.) Zach Edey | Purdue — Top 10 Best Center Prospects
First off, Zach Edey is 7’4″ and weighs 285 lbs. In his 2021-22 sophomore season at Purdue, Edey averaged 14.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game in 37 games played. In 65 games combined in his first two years in the NCAA, he averaged 11.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and nearly 1.0 assist per game.
Last season, he led the Big Ten in rebounds with a total of 117. Not to mention, he recorded a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 36.5, leading all other players in his conference. And Edey finished the 2021-22 season with the best offensive rebound percentage (18.5).
The Toronto-born player was selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 2021. Then, he was selected to the second-team All-Big Ten in 2022. Will he have a long NBA career? He is three inches taller than Shaq.
9.) Khalifa Diop | Liga ACB
Next, Khalifa Diop is 6’11” and weighs 231 lbs. He was born in Senegal. The 20-year-old never played in the NCAA, but he did play professional basketball in the Liga ACB and EuroLeague. In 2022, he was named EuroCup Rising Star and selected to the Spanish League All-Young Players Team.
Diop is currently signed with the Herbalife Gran Canaria, which is a professional basketball club based in Las Palmas, Spain. Gran Canaria plays in the Liga ACB. However, an NBA team will likely take a chance on the young star. Diop worked out with other prospects for the Lakers on Monday.
8.) Yannick Nzosa | Liga ACB
Furthermore, Yannick Nzosa is a 6’10” Congolese center. In March 2020, he signed a five-year contract with Unicaja of the Liga ACB. He averaged 4.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 block per game in the 2020-21 season. Nzosa became only one of the three 16-year-olds in 2020 — alongside Ricky Rubio and Luka Doncic — to finish with at least 10 points in a single game in the ACB.
He broke quite a few records with Unicaja. For another one, he ended his performance with four blocks in a single game, beating Kristaps Porzingis’ record as the youngest player to accomplish this feat. In 2021, he was named to the ACB All-Young Players Team. Then, in the following season, he averaged 4.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
7.) Ismael Kamagate | LNB Pro A — Top 10 Best Center Prospects
Moreover, Ismael Kamagate is 6’11” and weighs 220 lbs. In 2021, he was named LNB All-Star of the LNB Pro A, a professional basketball league in France. In the 2021-22 season of the LNB Pro A, Kamagate averaged 11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He ranked third in the league in offensive rebounds (81) and fifth in total rebounds (213).
To add to the statistics above, Kamagate led the LNB Pro A in blocks with a total of 53. Also, ranking third overall, his true shooting percentage was 66%. He was selected LNB Pro A Best Defender in 2022. Other content related to “NBA Draft 2022: Top 10 Best Center Prospects” can be read on the main page.
6.) Orlando Robinson | Fresno State
Additionally, Orlando Robinson is 7′ tall and weighs 235 lbs. His hometown is Las Vegas, Nevada. In three seasons played at Fresno State, he averaged 15.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game in a total of 90 games played. Last season, Robinson exceeded expectations. The center averaged 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
Robinson also led the MCW in scoring with a total of 700 points. And he finished first in his conference for made field goals (251). Plus, he accumulated 301 rebounds this past season, ranking third overall in the MCW. In 2022, he became a Basketball Classic champion and won Basketball Classic MVP. Robinson was selected first-team All-Mountain West as well.
5.) Christian Koloko | Arizona
Christian Koloko is 7’1″ and weighs 225 lbs. In three seasons played at Arizona, Koloko averaged 7.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and nearly 1.0 assist per game in 91 games played. As for the 2021-22 season, the Cameroonian was exceptional. He averaged 12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.8 blocks per game in 37 games played.
Koloko led the Pac-12 in total blocks (102) and blocks per game (2.8). And with a 28 rating, he finished last season with the best Player Efficiency Rating (PER) in the Pac-12. His first-place offensive rating was 127.3, too. So, the center is all set for the NBA, especially considering Arizona reached the Sweet 16 of the March Madness tournament.
4.) Walker Kessler | Auburn
Next, Walker Kessler is 7’1″ and weighs 245 lbs. According to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI) top 100 list of 2020, he ranked 18th overall. In his freshman 2020-21 season at UNC, Kessler averaged 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and almost 1.0 block per game in 29 games played. Then, for his 2021-22 sophomore season at Auburn, he averaged 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 4.6 blocks per game.
Equally important, with a block percentage of 17.2, he led the NCAA in this metric. In addition to the statistics posted above, he finished the 2021-22 season with 155 blocks, leading all other players in the SEC and NCAA. In 2022, he won Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, NABC Defensive Player of the Year and SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Also, he was selected first-team All-SEC and named to the SEC All-Defensive Team.
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3.) Mark Williams | Duke — Top 10 Best Center Prospects
Now, for this young star, Mark Williams is 7′ tall and weighs 243 lbs. In 2020, he ranked 25th on the RSCI top 100 list. In two seasons played at Duke, the center averaged 9.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and about 1.0 assist per game in a total of 62 games played. In the 2021-22 season, Williams averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and almost 1.0 assist per game.
Williams led the ACC in blocks (110), blocks per game (2.8), true shooting percentage (72%), player efficiency rating (32.3) and offensive rating (142). He is one of the best centers in this year’s draft, which explains why he’s towards the bottom of this list. Indeed, per the BetOnline sportsbook, the center has -150 odds of getting drafted beyond the No. 14 spot in the 2022 NBA Draft.
2.) Jalen Duren | Duke
Meanwhile, Jalen Duren is the second-best center prospect. He is 6’11” and weighs 250 lbs. In his freshman 2021-22 season at Memphis, Duren averaged 12 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. His hometown is Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania. Despite playing just one season in the NCAA, it didn’t take long for NBA scouts to notice his dominance. Duren led the AAC in blocks (61), blocks per game (2.1), total rebound percentage (18) and blocks percentage (9.9). He is one of the best.
Besides listing statistics, he was named to the AAC All-Freshman Team, first-team All-AAC and AAC Freshman of the Year. He also won AAC Freshman of the Year. In Memphis’ 74-62 win over Western Kentucky on Nov. 19, 2021, Duren closed out his outing with 19 points, 19 rebounds and 5.0 blocks. The center is expected to go late in the first round of this year’s draft. But the Pacers or Spurs could trade up.
1.) Chet Holmgren | Gonzaga
Finally, Chet Holmgren is the top center prospect for the 2022 NBA Draft. He is 7′ tall and weighs 195 lbs. Holmgren ranked first overall in the RSCI top 100 list of 2021. In his freshman season at Gonzaga, the center averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 3.7 blocks per game.
Moreover, he led the WCC in total rebounds (317), rebounds per game (9.9), total blocks (117), blocks per game (3.7), true shooting percentage (69%), player efficiency rating (31.3) and defensive rating (78.7). Holmgren’s defensive rating is also the best in the NCAA.
Moving on to selections, he was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team, first-team All-WCC and consensus second-team All-American. To top it off, Holmgren won WCC Defensive Player of the Year. While still tall, his biggest weakness is probably his weight.
Compared to all the big players in the NBA today, Holmgren is underweight. But that’s just one con. BetOnline is giving him -135 odds of receiving the No. 2 overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft. For articles similar to “NBA Draft 2022: Top 10 Best Center Prospects,” go to the main page.
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