The NBA has changed significantly over the past decade. We are seeing the game move away from the paint as more players are able to shoot from distance.
However, rostering a dominant center still holds value. Doing so can give teams a huge advantage at both ends of the floor.
Whether it’s rebounding, defending, or being able to score at will down low, opposing teams without a center with a similar skill set to counter may be put at a considerable disadvantage.
So when choosing a team to compete with in the Play Now Online Mode, picking one with a strong center could prove to be a winning strategy. So, here is a list of the best centers in NBA 2K21.
Joel Embiid (92 OVR)
Overall Rating: 92
Team: Philadelphia 76ers
Archetype: Paint Beast
Best Stats: Defensive Rebound (95), Post Control (94), Interior Defense (91)
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers is the best center in NBA 2K21.
Despite only playing four seasons in the NBA, the Cameroon-native is already a three-time all-star and considered among the top defensive players in the league.
In the past two seasons, Embiid put up impressive stat lines that saw him average over 25 points, 12 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and almost one steal per game.
Arguably the best two-way center in the game today, Embiid dominates at both ends of the floor. In 2K21, he is one of the few centers without any major weakness.
At the defensive end, Embiid has a 91 interior defense, 95 defensive rebounding, and 93 help defense IQ, making him almost impossible to score on in the paint.
Offensively, his stats are equally as impressive. With an 88 inside scoring, 86 outside scoring, 90 standing dunk, and a 78 three-point shot, he is a threat to score from pretty much anywhere.
Most importantly, Embiid has a very decent free-throw rating for a center at 80, making him a reliable threat to score at the line, provided that your opponent decides to foul consistently.
Nikola Jokic (91 OVR)
Overall Rating: 91
Team: Denver Nuggets
Archetype: Mid-Range Maestro
Best Stats: Close Shot (98), Pass IQ (96), Draw Foul (97)
Nikola Jokić is one of the most offensively sound centers in the NBA. The Denver Nuggets’ big man is a rare combination of size, skill, and finesse at the center position.
Over the last few years, the former second-round pick has blossomed into an NBA All-Star and an elite center in the league, with Jokić averaging over seven assists, 20 points, and over ten rebounds per game.
His playmaking ability is what sets him apart from most centers in the league. With a 96 pass IQ, 80 pass accuracy, and 65 ball handle, the “Joker” is the best maestro at the center position.
Add that to an 88 inside scoring and 89 outside scoring, and there aren’t very many centers in NBA 2K21 that are capable of containing Jokić defensively.
He is one of the rare centers in the game with the Mid-Range Maestro build, making him and the Denver Nuggets one of the best offensive teams in 2K21.
Jokić can be counted upon to help your team generate offense in multiple ways, whether it is as a primary playmaker, a spot-up shooter, or a decoy on the pick-and-roll.
Karl-Anthony Towns (90 OVR)
Overall Rating: 90
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
Archetype: Inside-Out Scorer
Best Stats: Stamina (98), Hands (98), Shot IQ (98)
Not only is Karl-Anthony Towns one of the most exciting young players to watch in the NBA today, but he is also one of the most offensively gifted centers in the league as well.
The former first overall pick has made an immediate impact, entering the NBA in 2015. Since then, he’s gone from strength-to-strength: the 24-year-old finished with a career-high 26.5 points along with 3.3 triples per game last season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ center is arguably the best outside- shooting center in 2K21. With an 85 three-point rating, KAT can hit at an elite rate from beyond the arc consistently.
Equipped with ten shooting badges, with gold Catch and Shoot and Pick and Popper, Towns can shoot as well as most elite guards in the game.
At the same time, he can also handle his business down-low. He has eight finishing badges, seven of them being gold, which includes Backdown Punisher, Contact Finisher, Dropstepper, and Putback Boss, to name a few.
For players looking for a team with a dominant shooting center, it’s hard to go wrong with KAT and the T-Wolves.
Still only 24-years-old, there is a good chance that Towns will continue to improve for the next three-to-five years, so don’t be surprised if you see his offensive ratings surge throughout this season.
Rudy Gobert (88 OVR)
Overall Rating: 88
Team: Utah Jazz
Archetype: Glass-Cleaning Lockdown
Best Stats: Interior Defense (96), Standing Dunk (95), Shot IQ (98)
Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz is once again the best defensive center in NBA 2K21. If you prioritize defense, you can’t go wrong with Gobert and the Utah Jazz.
Known for his elite defensive play, he is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and appeared in his first All-Star game in 2020.
Averaging over two blocks per game for six consecutive NBA seasons, very few centers in the league can match-up to ‘The Stifle Tower’ defensively.
Gobert has also been an interior offensive force for the Utah Jazz for the past four seasons. Averaging over 14 points and 12 rebounds per game, he also boasts an elite career-average field goal percentage of .640.
The 28-year-old is one of the few throwback centers left in the game; he dominates opponents down-low night after night.
He isn’t the most polished offensively (75 overall inside scoring), but his defensive presence makes him and the Utah Jazz one of the best defensive teams to use in NBA 2K21.
With a 96 interior defense and 95 defensive consistency, Gobert is a true force when the ball is in the hands of his opponents.
Equipped with 13 defensive badges, he is also one of the rare centers in the game with two Hall of Fame badges, which are the Post Move Lockdown badge and Rim Protector badge.
As a result, it is almost impossible to dunk on Gobert: having him on the floor essentially mitigates opponents who want to attack in the basketball game.
With Gobert on the floor, the Jazz might be one of the only teams you can run a 2-3 zone defense with, as he is one of the only centers in the game with the reach and defensive attributes to guard multiple players at once.
Kristaps Porzingis (87 OVR)
Overall Rating: 87
Team: Dallas Mavericks
Archetype: Inside-Out Scorer
Best Stats: Offensive Consistency (95), Standing Dunk (90), Hands (89)
Kristaps Porziņģis of the Dallas Mavericks is another top-five center in NBA 2K21. Porziņģis finished off 2019/20 by averaging a career-high in rebounds (9.5) and threes-made-per-game (2.5).
Besides that, he put in an awe-inspiring playoff performance for Dallas, averaging 23.7 points, 8.7 boards, and one steal per game.
The current version of Porziņģis in NBA 2K21 is an 87 overall, equipped with a total of 21 badges. With an Inside-Out Scorer archetype, the Latvian can score in multiple ways.
His best offensive attributes are his standing dunk (90), post control (88), and post hook (85), making him a handful to stop on the block.
With a 77 athleticism and the Lob City Finisher badge equipped on silver, Porziņģis is one of the best centers to use for alley-oop plays.
Porziņģis’ shooting game can’t be overlooked, either. With an 80 for three-point shooting along with 12 shooting badges, he’s one of the best stretch-fives in 2K21.
If you are looking for a team lineup full of shooters as well as a big who can spread the floor, rolling with the Dallas Mavericks looks to be the obvious choice.
All of the best centers in NBA 2K21
Below is a list of the best centers that you will find in NBA 2K21, along with the details of their best attributes.
|Joel Embiid||7’0’’||92||Philadelphia 76ers||Defensive Rebound (95), Post Control (94), Interior Defense (91)|
|Nikola Jokic||7’0’’||91||Denver Nuggets||Close Shot (98), Pass IQ (96), Draw Foul (97)|
|Karl-Anthony Towns||6’11’’||90||Minnesota Timberwolves||Stamina (98), Hands (98), Shot IQ (98)|
|Rudy Gobert||7’1’’||88||Utah Jazz||Interior Defense (96), Standing Dunk (95), Shot IQ (98)|
|Kristaps Porzingis||7’3’’||87||Dallas Mavericks||Offensive Consistency (95), Standing Dunk (90), Hands (89)|
|Nikola Vucevic||6’11”||86||Orlando Magic||98 Hands, 98 Shot IQ, 98 Offensive Consistency|
|Bam Adebayo||6’9”||86||Miami Heat||97 Shot IQ, 95 Stamina, 95 Hands|
|Andre Drummond||6’9”||85||Detroit Pistons||97 Defensive Rebound, 95 Strength, 95 Standing Dunk|
|Deandre Ayton||6’11”||84||Phoenix suns||97 Shot IQ, 91 Close Shot, 90 Offensive Consistency|
|LaMarcus Aldridge||6’11”||84||San Antonio Spurs||95 Shot IQ, 94 Close Shot, 92 Post Fade|
|Jusuf Nurkic||7’0”||84||Portland Trail Blazers||94 Shot IQ, 92 Offensive Rebound, 90 Offensive Consistency|
|Hassan Whiteside||7’0”||83||Portland Trail Blazers||96 Defensive Rebound, 96 Close Shot, 96 Block|
|Clint Capela||6’10”||82||Atlanta Hawks||97 Hustle, 95 Standing Dunk, 95 Shot IQ|
|Montrezl Harrell||6’7”||82||Los Angeles Clippers||98 Hustle, 98 Offensive Consistency, 98 Shot IQ|
|Brook Lopez||7’0”||82||Milwaukee Bucks||95 Block, 92 Stamina, 92 Close Shot|
|Steven Adams||6’11”||82||Oklahoma City Thunder||97 Hustle, 93 Stamina, 90 Offensive Rebound|
|Mitchell Robinson||7’0”||81||New York Knicks||98 Shot IQ, 95 Hustle, 94 Block|
|Marvin Bagley III||6’11”||81||Sacramento Kings||95 Shot IQ, 95 Stamina, 90 Offensive Consistency|
|Jonas Valančiūnas||6’11”||81||Memphis Grizzlies||95 Hands, 94 Shot IQ, 92 Defensive Rebound|
|Jarret Allen||6’11”||81||Brooklyn Nets||98 Shot IQ, 85 Defensive Rebound, Stamina, 85 Standing Dunk|
If your strategy is to run your teams through center and dominate your opponent at the five position, consider picking a team with one of the best centers in NBA 2K21.
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