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Youth and upside headline the free-agent center class of 2021 in the NBA, but not so much in terms of proven star talent.

Regardless, at least one player is set to receive a hefty payday in Jarrett Allen, who should command a long-term contract at an annual average value of over $15 million thanks to his production thus far in his career and his yet-to-reach potential.

After Allen, however, things get dicey for teams needing centers, as Richaun Holmes is our second-ranked free-agent big man this offseason, and he’s mostly a role player with good rebounding and finishing skills but lacking in special qualities.

Serge Ibaka checks in at No. 3, and he’s coming off an injury-riddled campaign and season-ending back surgery, a scary combination for a player with so many miles on his body.

At No. 4 is another big-name veteran on the heels of a disappointing season in Andre Drummond, who ended his 2020-21 with the Lakers receiving a DNP-CD as Los Angeles was eliminated.

As you can tell, there are some decent names in the free-agent center class of 2021, but outside of one player, no one who’s about to get a big-time contract.

Below, check out our full rankings for the top free-agent centers available in 2021.


Jarrett Allen / Restricted free agent / Last team: Cleveland

Jarrett Allen, Cleveland CavaliersJarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers

Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers

An absolute force on both ends of the floor. Not the perfect modern big man due to lack of floor-spacing but he’s such an elite dive threat out of the pick-and-roll that he creates space for teammates that way. Top shot-blocker and rebounder, too. 2020/21 stats: 12.8 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 61.8 FG%, 31.6 3P% Career earnings: $10,034,582 Agent:Derrick Powell

Richaun Holmes / Last team: Sacramento

Richaun HolmesRichaun Holmes

Richaun Holmes

High-level frontcourt athlete who is an excellent finisher out of the pick-and-roll. Good touch around the basket and uses athleticism well to protect the paint. 2020/21 stats: 14.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 63.7 FG%, 18.3 3P% Career earnings: $14,943,252 Agent:Brian Jungreis

Serge Ibaka / Player option / Last team: LA Clippers

Serge IbakaSerge Ibaka

Serge Ibaka

Injury concerns and mileage could concern potentially interested teams this offseason, though he’s still a solid floor-spacing, shot-blocking big man when healthy. 2020/21 stats: 11.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.8 apg, 51.0 FG%, 33.9 3P% Career earnings: $129,123,661 Agent:Jim Tanner

Andre Drummond / Last team: LA Lakers

Andre DrummondAndre Drummond

Andre Drummond

Another Laker who will want to burn the tape of his postseason run. Received a DNP-CD in the team’s last game of the playoffs. Elite rebounder and solid scorer around the rim but his actual impact on outcomes leaves a lot to be desired. 2020/21 stats: 14.9 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 49.3 FG% Career earnings: $137,830,480 Agent:Jeff Schwartz

Montrezl Harrell / Player option / Last team: LA Lakers

Montrezl HarrellMontrezl Harrell

Montrezl Harrell

High-energy big man who is a top finisher near the rim thanks to athleticism. Great threat out of the pick-and-roll. Lack of size and poor coordination make him a subpar defender. 2020/21 stats: 13.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.1 apg, 62.2 FG% Career earnings: $24,774,382 Agent:Rich Paul

Mitchell Robinson / Team option / Last team: New York

Mitchell RobinsonMitchell Robinson

Mitchell Robinson

One of the best shot-blockers in basketball and a solid rebounder. Has improved defensively in that he no longer chases as many blocks and puts himself in bad positions. Mostly just a catch-and-finish player on offense. 2020/21 stats: 8.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 0.5 apg, 65.3 FG% Career earnings: $4,709,013 Agent:Thaddeus Foucher

Enes Kanter / Last team: Portland

Enes Kanter Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter

A double-double machine comfortable as a starter or coming off the bench. His issues arise come playoff time when opponents pick-and-roll him off the floor due to poor movement skills on defense. 2020/21 stats: 11.2 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.2 apg, 60.4 FG%, 25.0 3P% Career earnings: $99,812,533 Agent:Mark Bartelstein

Nerlens Noel / Last team: New York

Nerlens NoelNerlens Noel

Nerlens Noel

Big man who thrives as a paint-protector, is capable of switching onto ball-handlers and who plays with loads of energy. 2020/21 stats: 5.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.7 apg, 61.4 FG% Career earnings: $27,157,625 Agent:George Langberg

Robin Lopez / Last team: Washington

Robin LopezRobin Lopez

Robin Lopez

The hook-shot king of the NBA, he’s extremely accurate when teams let him get the ball to his right hand and over his left shoulder. Capable of doing some rim-protecting, too. 2020/21 stats: 9.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 63.3 FG%, 27.8 3P% Career earnings: $89,540,945 Agent:Darren ‘Mats’ Matsubara

Daniel Theis / Last team: Chicago

Daniel TheisDaniel Theis

Daniel Theis

Shot-blocking, outside-shooting big man, though he needs to improve at the latter skill to become an even more reliable player. Plays with good energy and toughness. 2020/21 stats: 9.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.7 apg, 54.1 FG%, 32.2 3P% Career earnings: $12,193,857 Agent:Aaron Mintz

Tristan Thompson / Last team: Boston

Excellent rebounder, especially on offense where he gets his team multiple extra possessions. Not much of a defender off of switches, though he is physical and strong enough to battle down low with paint-bound centers, and his scoring solely comes from being spoon-fed easy looks. 2020/21 stats: 7.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.2 apg, 51.8 FG% Career earnings: $108,696,603 Agent: Rich Paul

Dwight Howard / Last team: Philadelphia

Now bought into his role as a reserve center and more of a team-first player, he’s been one of the more effective backup centers in basketball. Remains a good shot-blocker and rebounder. 2020/21 stats: 7.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 0.9 bpg, 58.7 FG%, 25.0 3P% Career earnings: $243,196,658 Agent: Charles Briscoe

Cody Zeller / Last team: Charlotte

Experienced big man who might be best-suited as a full-time backup these days. Soft hands and can finish with the right or left around the rim. Solid screen-setter. 2020/21 stats: 9.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, 55.9 FG%, 14.3 3P% Career earnings: $73,410,113 Agent: Sam Goldfeder

Khem Birch / Last team: Toronto

High-energy big man with shot-blocking and rebounding chops. Good finisher around the basket, though no range on his offense. 2020/21 stats: 7.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 49.7 FG%, 25.0 3P% Career earnings: $8,205,356 Agent: Austin Brown

Frank Kaminsky / Last team: Phoenix

Frank KaminskyFrank Kaminsky

Frank Kaminsky

Reserve-level big man who can be plugged into a lineup and asked to do some scoring. Good shooter and ball-handler for a center, though provides very little defensively. 2020/21 stats: 6.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 47.1 FG%, 36.5 3P% Career earnings: $18,322,107 Agent:Bill Duffy

Alex Len / Last team: Washington

Energetic center with solid size whose game is limited to dunks and rebounds. 2020/21 stats: 6.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.8 apg, 61.5 FG%, 32.0 3P% Career earnings: $32,441,628 Agent: Michael Lelchitski

Willy Hernangomez / Last team: New Orleans

Solid big man with soft touch around the basket and finishing ability with either hand. Can even provide some baskets out of post-ups, though better out of the pick-and-roll. 2020/21 stats: 7.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.1 apg, 56.3 FG%, 10.0 3P% Career earnings: $7,721,130 Agent: Guillermo Bermejo

DeMarcus Cousins / Last team: LA Clippers

When given playing time, can still provide some scoring, rebounding and playmaking, though nowhere near at the levels of his pre-injury self. 2020/21 stats: 8.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 42.6 FG%, 34.8 3P% Career earnings: $89,939,347 Agent: Jeff Schwartz

Gorgui Dieng / Last team: San Antonio

Floor-spacing center who can swat away shots defensively. Likes to shoot it from the corners and reliable from there. 2020/21 stats: 6.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 52.1 FG%, 42.9 3P% Career earnings: $69,689,390 Agent: Thaddeus Foucher

Kevon Looney / Player option / Last team: Golden State

Kevon LooneyKevon Looney

Kevon Looney

Quietly one of the best defensive big men in the league when forced to switch onto ball-handlers. Solid and steady, just don’t expect big numbers out of him. 2020/21 stats: 4.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 54.8 FG%, 23.5 3P% Career earnings: $14,638,904 Agent:Aaron Goodwin

Willie Cauley-Stein / Last team: Dallas

Center who does the majority of his damage as a screen-setter and rolling to the rim for high-flying dunks. Should be a better rebounder and paint protector with his physical gifts. 2020/21 stats: 5.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.7 apg, 63.2 FG%, 9.1 3P% Career earnings: $21,627,957 Agent: Adie von Gontard

Hassan Whiteside / Last team: Sacramento

Elite shot-blocker and rebounder but his lack of focus and effort, as well as his propensity for seeking out his own stats, greatly hamper his actual impact. 2020/21 stats: 8.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.6 apg, 56.3 FG% Career earnings: $102,988,.751 Agent: Sean Kennedy

Dewayne Dedmon / Last team: Miami

A decent rebounder and shot-blocker who finishes plays at a high rate around the basket. Has shown a three-point shot in the past, though it’s been years since he’s been reliable from beyond the arc. 2020/21 stats: 7.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.8 apg, 70.8 FG%, 20.0 3P% Career earnings: $34,899,193 Agent: Michael Silverman

Bismack Biyombo / Last team: Charlotte

Bad hands around the rim and no jumper to speak of, but a good shot-blocker and decent rebounder. 2020/21 stats: 5.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.2 apg, 58.7 FG% Career earnings: $87,424,093 Agent: BJ Armstrong

JaVale McGee / Last team: Denver

JaVale McGeeJaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

Good finisher in the paint thanks to his freakish wingspan and still-solid athleticism. Can swat away shots defensively with aplomb. 2020/21 stats: 7.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.8 apg, 51.1 FG%, 20.8 3P% Career earnings: $66,337,737 Agent:BJ Armstrong

Moritz Wagner / Last team: Orlando

Crafty scoring big man with some outside shooting touch, though struggles as a rebounder and isn’t consistent with his jumper. 2020/21 stats: 6.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.1 apg, 45.4 FG%, 34.1 3P% Career earnings: $6,211,675 Agent: Jason Glushon

Isaiah Hartenstein / Player option / Last team: Cleveland

Center with great size and length who can finish around the rim, but has a limited individual offensive game. 2020/21 stats: 5.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.2 apg, 55.0 FG%, 33.3 3P% Career earnings: $2,459,028 Agent: Mike Naiditch

Boban Marjanovic / Last team: Dallas

Second-tallest player in the league with great hands down low and elite finishing ability in the paint. Not an every-night player due to defensive limitations in the modern NBA. 2020/21 stats: 4.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.3 apg, 50.8 FG%, 12.5 3P% Career earnings: $29,200,000 Agent: Jeff Schwartz

Tony Bradley / Restricted free agent / Last team: Oklahoma City

Solid third-string center who can provide impactful minutes here and there, though hasn’t developed to the point where he’s an every-night player. 2020/21 stats: 7.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 66.5 FG% Career earnings: $8,598,860 Agent: John Spencer

Meyers Leonard / Last team: Miami

Floor-spacing center with slow feet, making him a poor defender on switches, and equally unexplosive leaping ability, causing him to struggle on the glass and protecting the paint. 2020/21 stats: 3.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.7 apg, 42.9 FG%, 42.9 3P% Career earnings: $60,142,479 Agent: Aaron Mintz

Mike Muscala / Last team: Oklahoma City

A floor-spacer at the 5 who doesn’t provide much outside of decent three-point shooting. 2020/21 stats: 9.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 44.6 FG%, 37.0 3P% Career earnings: $17,252,553 Agent: Sean Kennedy

Luke Kornet / Last team: Boston

Fits into the floor-spacing, shot-blocking big man archetype, but isn’t elite at either role. 2020/21 stats: 3.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.8 apg, 43.6 FG%, 25.4 3P% Career earnings: $6,196,510 Agent: Jim Tanner

Harry Giles / Last team: Portland

Formerly an elite prospect, injuries have really set back his development. Still a fairly athletic big man with some explosion as a paint finisher. 2020/21 stats: 2.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.8 apg, 43.3 FG%, 34.8 3P% Career earnings: $8,265,804 Agent: Jeff Schwartz

Ed Davis / Last team: Minnesota

Valued locker room voice throughout his career, but one who’s lost a step athletically and no longer can provide nightly impact. 2020/21 stats: 2.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.9 apg, 43.2 FG% Career earnings: $44,545,534 Agent: Aaron Mintz

Udonis Haslem / Last team: Miami

Udonis HaslemUdonis Haslem

Udonis Haslem

In the very (very) late stages of his career, but still considered a top team leader and a trustworthy locker room voice. 2020/21 stats: Four points and one rebound in one game. Career earnings: $66,355,962 Agent:Mitch Nathan

Tacko Fall / Restricted free agent / Last team: Boston

Tallest player in the league who has only gotten spot minutes throughout his career. Elite presence down low as far as deterring shot attempts, but very slow-footed and gets winded quickly. 2020/21 stats: 2.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.2 apg, 72.4 FG% Career earnings: $733,492 Agent: Justin Haynes