30. Kris Humphries, Boston Celtics
Stats: 8.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.0 APG
It’s easy to forget that Humphries had back-to-back seasons where he averaged a double double. While last season was not one of those years for him, he still contributed in an efficient way. He had a PER of 18.28 and averaged a fair amount of production for only getting 20 MPG. He shot just over 50% and set a career high in FT% with 81.3%, his first season above 80% and a big improvement from 43.6% he shot from the line in his rookie year. If given minutes off the bench, I do truly think that Humphries can contribute both offensively and defensively. He’l get a chance to do that next year in Washington.
29. Timofey Mozgov, Denver Nuggets
Stats: 9.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 0.8 APG
Like Humphries, Mozgov proved to be a solid backup center for his struggling team last year. He did actually start 30 games, and he managed to play in all 82 of them. It was definitely the best year of his career, setting career highs in PPG, RPG, APG, and BPG. While I’m not sure what his role will be for next year, he’s probably best suited to continue to come off the bench as long as he’s still getting 20 MPG. That way I think he can provide without being asked to do too much.
28. Andrea Bargnani, New York Knicks
Stats: 13.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.1 APG
Bargnani was supposed to be similar to what Kevin Love is now: a crazy good shooting big man with great range. Bargnani had a few good years of scoring, but his rebounding and passing were nothing special, making it hard for the Raptors to run their team around him. He has really struggled with the injuries the past four years…the 42 games he played last year were the most he’d played in three years. He started most of those games and provided generally sup-par results, especially compared to what he was doing in Toronto. He remains one of the most overpaid players in the league.
27. Chris Kaman, Los Angeles Lakers
Stats: 10.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.5 APG
Kaman’s role with the Lakers switched very rapidly throughout the season. He started out doing nothing, then was asked to be the starter for a stretch of games, then was sent to the bench as an eternal DNP guy. This veteran big man still has something to contribute, but I doubt he can put forth starter minutes and not tire out at this point. I think the stats he put up with the Lakers last year was about what one can expect from him, which wasn’t bad at all, so it was surprising to see how many DNPs he got. Maybe he’ll play more next year in Portland.
26. Enes Kanter, Utah Jazz
Stats: 12.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 0.9 APG
Kanter could be a very solid center in the future, but he’s still a few years away. He put up very solid stats for coming off the bench more often than starting. I personally believe he should be the starter in Utah if they want to move forward as a franchise…he’s proved that he can both score and rebound, but he needs the minutes to be able to produce. Him and Derek Favors could be a very nice duo in that front court if they start both of them, although they chose to start Favors much more often. Utah has a bright future if they don’t screw this up.
25. Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks
Stats: 8.7 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 1.1 APG
Chandler is the classic example of a guy that will always tend to rebound more than he scores. It’s just the way he plays. His defensive dominance is what has always given him a big name and solid success in the NBA. Injuries have often played a factor in his career as to how much he plays, and it certainly won’t get any easier for him as he ages. He’s been one of the most efficient shooters among centers in the last decade though which is why he’s so valuable. He may not score a ton of points, but he barely misses shots. He’s also great at offensive rebounds.
24. Andray Blatche, Brooklyn Nets
Stats: 11.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.5 APG
With all the big name stars in Brooklyn last year, it was a bit of a surprise to see Blatche as one of their better players. He was an excellent bench big man, possibly one of the best in the league. He put up these stats in just 22.2 MPG, a very efficient season that landed him with a PER of 18.85. Brooklyn is a very old team and many of their guys won’t be worth anything in a few years, so I think it would be wise to hold onto Blatche and continue to use him a lot. He is a very good player for his role.
23. Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 0.7 APG
Valanciunas is still very inconsistent, but he greatly improved in his second year in the league last year. He played basically the entire season and started every single game, shooting efficiently and grabbing 8.8 RPG, a nice total. He tends to go on hot streaks where for a week or two he’ll be a guaranteed double double, then fall into nowhere-land and become invisible on the court. If he can become more consistent and maintain (or increase) the amount of minutes he got last year, I firmly believe he can consistently average a double double. I like his potential.
22. Andrew Bogut, Golden State Warriors
Stats: 7.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 1.7 APG
Bogut is the first center here to average double digit RPG, but not the first the average a double double. Like Chandler, his offense was never something to write home about. Still though, he has had many seasons averaging over 10 PPG, so it’s a bit worrying to see him only producing 7.3 per game last year, his second lowest average of his career. As usual, injuries were a factor in last year, but he did a much better job of staying on the court, getting in 67 games. Offensive production is not really as necessary with the guys that Golden State has, but keeping those rebounds up will be important for him.
21. Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers
Stats: 8.4 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2.2 APG
Varejao has never been an elite scorer either, but he’s always been an elite rebounder. Injuries have destroyed his career even more than Bogut’s forcing him to under half a season in three of the last four seasons. He did get in 65 games last year, but started only 29 of them which was a bit of a surprise. I think he’s definitely capable of starting and bringing down tons of rebounds, and teaming with Kevin Love in the front court next year will be awesome. Offensive production will certainly not be needed from Varejao next year.