1. Domantas Sabonis-20 6’10” 231, Gonzaga
Sabonis is our top center mainly because of the work he put on Poeltl in the tournament. He looked to have better footwork, a better physical frame and similar defensive ability. He also has an extremely low floor.
2. Jakob Poeltl- 20, 7’1”, 239, Utah
Poeltl is pretty polished on his inside game and was the center of the offense last year for the Utes. His game is solid overall but is really limited to the paint. Add to that he faced weak competition, and in his biggest test against Sabonis got dominated so there are some questions.
3. Diamond Stone- 19, 6’10”, 254, Maryland
Stone has the NBA ready body and build to start next year. However, he does not have the game. He is pretty raw on both ends of the floor. He also doesn’t have the upside to be anything other than an under the hoop center. Still, he could be the best under the hoop center in the draft.
4. Ante Zizic- 19, 7’ 249, Croatia
The success of Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic the past couple of years has certainly raised his stock. That is not to say his physical profile and athleticism hurt it. He has some work to do as a defender, but has the upside to be the top center in the class.
5. Thon Maker- 19, 7’1”, 216, Sudan
Maker is the toughest player to project in the entire class. On pure upside alone, he is a 7’1” player with shooting ability and potential rim protection. Still, he his toughest competition to date has been AAU players and he does not look like a player who is physically capable or smart enough to step onto an NBA court.
6. Cheick Diallo- 19, 6’9”, 219, Kansas
Diallo is tough to rank as well as he had barely saw time at Kansas. When he played he looked legitimate as an energy player. He has the abilities to run the floor and can defend the rim. Still, his upside is in question, as are his basketball smarts. He also does not have a shot, and will be limited to under the basket work as an undersized player.
7. Ivica Zubac- 19, 7’1”, 265, Bosnia
Zubac has the upside to be the top center in the class. Multiple injuries have hindered some of his progres. He also has shown he is an unwilling defender which gives him a floor that can hurt a team. He will be a draft and stash which means he should get drafted, but does have questions.
8. Steve Zimmerman- 19, 7’, 234, UNLV
Zimmerman has the size to be a strong center, and an underrated shot. Still, he cannot handle the ball away from the hoop or in the post yet. He is also a liability on defense currently.
9. AJ Hammons- 23, 7’, 278, Purdue
In terms of just next year, Hammons is probably a better prospect than Zimmerman. He has the stronger profile, is a more engaged defender and can hit similar shots. Zimmerman probably has a bit more range. He also is four years younger, and Hammons showed he is not a force in the paint in his four years at Purdue.
10. Georgios Papagiannis- 18, 7’2”, 240, Greece
On upside alone someone will take a shot on this kid. He has the size and is an underrated leaper for how big he is. Still, like any 18-year old foreign prospect he has a lot of holes in his game, and understanding is still one of them. He is also physically to immature to join an NBA team next year, but has the frame and the upside to be worth a draft and stash.
Others considered (alphabetically):
Zach Auguste, Prince Ibeh, Chinanu Onuaku, Kaleb Tarczewski, Zhou Qi