Hopefully you guys have seen the 2012-13 season premier of NBA.com Fantasy Insider. If not, be sure to catch one of the re-airs on NBA TV — or watch the video clips right here on NBA.com.
With that promotional announcement out of the way, let’s get into my top 10 fantasy centers. But first, here’s a word or two about some of the centers who did not make the cut.
Andrew Bogut’s double-double, assist-block combo platter makes him a top 10 center when healthy … when healthy … when healthy …
The Nuggets showed Javale McGee the money in the offseason, but George Karl doesn’t seem ready to show him the floor. McGee is in a timeshare with Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov, if you can believe it.
The center position is very deep this year. I remain bullish on Kevin Garnett, Marcin Gortat, Roy Hibbert, Tyson Chandler, Joakim Noah, Nikola Pekovic and Omer Asik, but there wasn’t room for them in my top 10 because I like these centers just a little bit better …
1. Dwight Howard, Lakers: 19-12-4 in his Lakers’ debut. Any questions?
2. Al Jefferson, Jazz: Big Al was the second-ranked fantasy center across 8-cats a season ago and I see no reason to rank his near 20-10-2 line any differently.
3. DeMarcus Cousins, Kings: Cousins was the sixth-ranked 8-cat center last year. However, I see him vaulting over Marc Gasol and K.G. based on the fact that D.C. averaged nearly 20 and 11 after the All-Star break.
4. Andrew Bynum, 76ers: If Bynum were racking up double-doubles for the Sixers this preseason, instead of nursing a bone bruise, I would rank him as center 1a behind Dwight. But given the fact we’re still putting the words “Bynum” and “knee” in the same sentence causes me to drop him beneath Jefferson and Cousins.
5. Marc Gasol, Grizzlies: Gasol contributes in every category except threes, and he’s tough as nails, willing himself to double-doubles despite injuries that would keep Chris Kaman out for weeks.
6. Chris Bosh, Heat: Bosh is embracing the center role with which he and the Heat won the ring last year. I don’t know if he gets all the way back to 20-10, but it’ll be close.
7. Al Horford, Hawks: Very tough call between Horford and Greg Monroe, who project around 15-10-3 with nice percentages and decent D. But Horford has more upside both on the offensive end (more shots with Joe Johnson in Brooklyn?) and defensive end (Horford is 1.1 career bpg; Monroe is 0.6).
8. Greg Monroe, Pistons: Monroe IS the 2012-13 Detroit Pistons, so look for more continued improvement across the board. I wish he blocked more shots, but bigs like Chris Bosh and David West have had terrific value for years despite that shortcoming.
9. DeAndre Jordan, Clippers: D.J. has been my biggest preseason riser because he doesn’t look good … or even great … he looks AWESOME! He lulled me sound-to-sleep with his sluggish finish to last season. But his weight is down, his involvement is up and the activity is better than ever. This new-and-improved D.J. will contend for the blocks title and provide consistent double-doubles all year.
10. Brook Lopez, Nets: The 19-and-9 thing in the preseason is a throwback to Lopez before the foot problems, when he was a fantasy force. To me, there’s just more upside with Lopez than there is with guys like Garnett, Gortat, Hibbert, Chandler and Noah.
Rick Kamla is an anchor on NBA TV. You can follow him on Twitter at @NBATVRick.