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Top 10 center prospects in 2022 NBA Draft

We look at the 10 best centers in the upcoming draft.

Arkansas v Gonzaga Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The next generation of NBA talent will hear their names called as the 2022 NBA Draft is set for June 23 in Brooklyn. The big man in the NBA has arguably seen a resurgence with the likes of Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid consistently finishing as MVP Finalists, and the upcoming draft presents an opportunity for the next great big man to hear their name called. Ahead of Thursday night, we’re listing out the top 10 center prospects of the 2022 draft class.

2022 NBA Draft prospects: Top-10 centers

Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga) - 14.1 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 1.9 APG, 60.7 FG%, 71.7 FT%

Holmgren is very skilled as a frontcourt player and has proven capable of scoring throughout different spots on the floor. He’s capable of taking the ball coast-to-coast and his 7’1 height with a 7’6 wingspan pose a matchup disadvantage for his defenders. He’ll need to grow into his frame in order to add strength without sacrificing agility.

Jalen Duren (Memphis) - 12.0 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 59.7 FG%, 62.5 FT%

Duren has clear physical trait advantages at 6’11 and 250 lbs. with incredible mobility and leaping ability. He’s shown flashes of being able to switch and guard smaller positions, setting himself up as a more modern center which bodes well for his longevity in the NBA. He’ll look to be more disciplined, especially on defense and avoid biting on easy pump-fakes from opposing players.

Mark Williams (Duke) - 9.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 0.8 APG, 70.4 FG%, 66.1 FT%

Williams is one of the more athletic centers coming out of college and illustrates his development into becoming a rim runner and protector. He has great touch around the rim, averaging 70.4% from the field in his college career. He could benefit from working on expanding his range and his 66.1% free-throw shooting absolutely can be improved, given how much he finishes at the rim.

Walker Kessler (Auburn) - 8.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 0.6 APG, 60.1 FG%, 57.7 FT%

At 7’1 and 245 lbs., Kessler has good size and strength to play the center position and should match up nicely against NBA frontcourt players. He’s a solid rebounder that grabs the boards with both hands and is a good finisher at the rim, shooting 60% from the field in college. He isn’t much of a jump shooter to create space for his own shots and must work to limit the turnovers as he’s prone to losing the ball when posting up defenders.

Orlando Robinson (Fresno State) - 15.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.2 APG, 47.6 FG%, 71.4 FT%

Robinson flashed nice offensive skills at Fresno State and added an emerging three-point shot to his repertoire, shooting 32.6% in college. He does a good job not forcing bad shots and is one of the better post moves players in this draft class. He lacks lateral foot speed and despite his size he doesn’t boast amazing verticality, resulting in him struggling to an extent as a shot blocker.

Christian Koloko (Arizona) - 7.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 0.7 APG, 59.0 FG%, 67.0 FT%

Koloko is very mobile and relatively quick, allowing him to switch onto smaller players and potentially guard all positions one through five. He can create space in the paint to get his shot, despite still learning the ins and outs of the game. Koloko can work to improve his free throw shooting and potentially add a reliable outside shot to his game.

Yannick Nzosa (Congo) - 3.5 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.3 APG, 53.4 FG%, 71.4 FT%

At 6’11 he has good size and length to defend the paint and has good instincts to be a reliable shot blocker. His quickness on his feet allows him to switch and reliably defend against opposing guards on the perimeter. As he transitions into the NBA he’ll need to work on being more disciplined, particularly on defense. Despite having great size he could benefit from adding more strength and growing into his frame.

Trevion Williams (Purdue) - 10.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.8 APG, 53.1 FG%, 52.9 FT%

Williams brings a nice mix of scoring and playmaking as a big man and he’s an accurate passer as well. He’s best when working in the post and is aggressive in attacking the glass, opening up opportunities for a fast break. He’s not particularly mobile defensively and can work to be more disciplined when posting up defenders, leading to smarter shots and avoiding forced attempts.

Ismael Kamagate (France) - 11.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 0.7 APG, 64.3 FG%, 65.4 FT%

At 6’11, 230 lbs. with a 7’3 wingspan he boasts rare physical traits that present an opportunity to draft for upside. He has good mobility and is quick off his feet for a big man, and he’s best at finishing close to the rim as a potential lob threat. As he continues to learn the game he should stand to improve as a rebounder.

Kofi Cockburn (Illinois) - 17.2 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 0.5 APG, 59.6 FG%, 62.3 FT%

He plays like an old-school big man, leveraging his size (7’0) and strength (285 lbs) to physically impose his will in the paint. He may be limited from an offensive skillset perspective but he’s effective in the paint. Despite having good feet for his size his strength is not being able to switch onto smaller opponents, and therefore could struggle when switching onto guards along the perimeter.