Value of Centers in the NBA Today
posted at 8/22/2013 5:40 PM EDT
fl+adam's trade with Houston post got side-tracked into an interesting discussion about the value of centers (vs PGs). I'm just thinking out-loud here:
It is true that there are far fewer dominant quality centers than quality PGs. The simple logic says that there are far fewer 7' footers roaming the planet than those of 5'11"-6'4"ish. PG height.
The real question is - does it take a dominant center to win? or is it better to invest in quality players around a decent but not great center instead. ?? A dominant center requires an huge investment, which limits the payroll around him. Howard (and L.A. / Houston) is a good example.
Other than Howard (considering his potential when healthy), the last real dominant center was Shaq. He was unstoppable. LA won multiple championships because of him, but he did have a decent supporting cast.
Boston won a championship with 4 high quality players around a very mediocre center in Perkins.
Miami won without a center.
What struck my interest was the poster who felt the Celtics should wait for a dominant center in the draft. I don't think thats possible. They don't grow on trees and only one comes along in a decade, maybe.
Cousins, Monroe, Drummond, Hibbert, Gasol, Lopez, Pekovick, Vucevic, Noah, Horford, Jefferson, Garnett, Bosh are all good centers, but they are not dominant... and the last few are arguably better suited at PF.
The difference between those just mentioned and the next batch at the next level like Sanders, Blatche, Hickson, Mcgee, Jordan, Koufos Kanter, Gortat and the top of the second tier IMO, Asik is not a big gap.
I would like to see Boston get an experienced but affordable young center with some upside (not a draft pick who will take 4 or 5 years to develop) in that second tier, ideally Asik, and lock him into a long term contract and build a strong core around him.