Pass or Pursue: Top 10 NBA Center Free Agents in 2022

Jusuf Nurkic, Deandre Ayton
Jusuf Nurkic, Deandre Ayton / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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The San Antonio Spurs have a smart front office. They know where they fell short this season and where they exceeded expectations.

The Silver and Black didn't quite reach their overall goal while also making huge strides in several areas, including player growth, personnel knowledge, and playing the game the right way. Of course, if you go by the standards the organization set starting in the late 90s, it's easy to debate this year's squad underperformed.

What's not up for debate in any case, however, is that this roster needs upgrades to their frontcourt. The Spurs have one real rim protector in the whole bunch in Jakob Poeltl, but even he comes with offensive deficiencies. Meanwhile, the power forward position was easily the biggest weakness all year long despite Doug McDermott's expectedly effective offensive contributions.

While we'll be tackling the top 10 power forward free agents separately, the center position is certainly one in which the Spurs could use an upgrade as well. Using HoopsHype's top free agent center rankings published recently, here's how the team should approach some of the bigger names available.

San Antonio Spurs
JaVale McGee / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

10. JaVale McGee

Height: 7-0
Age: 34

You don't often see guys shooting over 81% from the field for long stretches, but that's what JaVale McGee did through the first eight games of the Phoenix Suns' postseason. In a way, that perfectly encapsulates what the seven-footer brings to the table on offense anywhere he goes.

McGee is now a 14-year veteran, and for all eight teams he's suited up for, he's brought relentless energy on the glass, great inside positioning, and superior finishing skills.

Fellow Air Alamo writer Will Eudy had this to say when asked if he'd like the Spurs to pursue JaVale this summer: "Despite his age and memeability, I've been a fan of JaVale McGee’s game for a while now. His physical presence and efficiency would be a plus, and he's a better defender than people give him credit for. Not to mention he has championship experience. I would 100% try to sign him as a backup for the right price."

Admittedly, I was on the fence leaning toward jumping off it before looking into the numbers and consulting my staff. Considering he'll be 35 next year and doesn't really have a jump shot, he certainly shouldn't be close to a number one pursuit option for San Antonio this offseason. But the man is a three-time champion, won gold with Popovich last summer, and only made $5 million this season.

Although the Spurs should first and foremost look to sign younger centers via trades, the draft, or free agency, McGee wouldn't be a bad option on the cheap.

Air Alamo Staff: 4 yes, 2 no, 1 shrug