The 2023–24 NBA season is quickly approaching, and fans of the San Antonio Spurs won't have to wait much longer to see the new-look Spurs. The main draw will be number one overall pick, Victor Wembanyama, who will, no doubt, change the Spurs for the better, though the team will need to adjust their rotation to accommodate their new franchise player.
That could mean sending former ninth overall pick, Jeremy Sochan, to the bench while continuing to start Zach Collins at center. Collins emerged as one of the better backup big men in the NBA last season before being promoted to the starting lineup following a mid-season trade. But with Collins set to be the team's starting center for next season, where does he rank among all 30 starting centers in the NBA? Let's find out.
Tier One: MVP Club
In a tier all to themselves are Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. Jokic has already won two league MVPs, finished second in MVP voting last season, and won the NBA Finals MVP. Meanwhile, Embiid finished second in MVP voting twice before breaking through and winning in 2022–23.
1.) Nikola Jokic
2.) Joel Embiid
With both players in a class of their own, neither Collins nor any of the other 27 starting centers are on this level. Jokic and Embiid are the rare caliber of centers that can manhandle opposing big men, forcing teams to scramble to double-team them. That would include Collins and the Spurs, who will face Jokic and the Denver Nuggets four times, and Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers twice next season.
That matchup will be tough for every team, though, and the Spurs will undoubtedly give Collins as much help as possible to try to keep these two MVP centers from wreaking havoc. Even then, they aren't just the two best centers in the NBA; they are two of the best players in the league, exacerbating the gap between them and Collins.