As the 2022-23 NBA season nears, the center position remains one of the toughest to evaluate when it comes to fantasy basketball. There are two clear stars at the top of the position and some young hopefuls trying to get there, but the rest of the group is truly a mixed bag. That makes identifying potential sleepers and busts even more important. Here’s a few centers to consider drafting and a few to stay away from in fantasy basketball this season.
Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns
ESPN ADP: 50.7
DK Nation ranking: 5th center, 46th overall
Ayton’s preseason interviews have been quite tense, and there’s certainly some lingering disgust about the way this summer went. However, the big man could channel that energy into an all-time great season. Given the offense he’s going to be in, it makes sense to back Ayton even if there’s some tension early.
Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers
ESPN ADP: 89.5
DK Nation ranking: 14th center, 95th overall
The biggest concern surrounding Nurkic is injuries, which have been a nagging presence during the center’s career. If you take that stuff away, he becomes a double-double machine for the Trail Blazers. The addition of Jerami Grant should help Nurkic on the boards, which is an important part of this position in fantasy basketball. If healthy, Nurkic should crush this ADP.
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
ESPN ADP: 75.0
DK Nation ranking: 11th center, 65th overall
The biggest problem for Turner is the lack of clarity on his status with the Pacers. Indiana values him tremendously but clearly wants to trade him and get draft assets back. That is likely to demotivate the big man, who has the tools to be a great player when it all comes together. On top of that, Turner does have an injury history which fantasy managers should try to avoid.
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers
ESPN ADP: 67.6
DK Nation ranking: 12th center, 70th overall
Allen is the most likely candidate to sacrifice offensively on the Cavaliers with the addition of Donovan Mitchell. ESPN leagues are already accounting for this a bit, as Allen’s ADP is a bit lower than expected. However, he could sink further with Mitchell in the fold and Evan Mobley likely to take on a bigger offensive role.