Ranking the Denver Nuggets: Center JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee is a high-riser. How far can he rise in our rankings?

Continuing with our Nuggets core player rankings, we move to the center position. Last season on NBA TV's The Association: Denver Nuggets George Karl was quoted saying, "Everybody says you're gonna have three superstars on three or four teams. Well, I'm not sure Denver's gonna be one of those teams. So why should we build on that philosophy? My philosophy is why don't we get a top-10 player at every position and have a top-10 bench?"

Well, Andrew Feinstein and I decided to take a look at the Nuggets core of Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, and JaVale McGee and see how the team is developing in terms of having top-10 players at each position. Here is our point guard rankings.

It's time to look at the biggest man on the court for the Nuggets, JaVale McGee.

Andrew and I will give you our rankings of the Nuggets core in regards to where they stack up with their NBA counterparts. We won't be ranking every player at every position, just until we get to our Nuggets player and a few guys after to give you a little perspective. You'll also get our take as to why we have the player ranked where we do. To the centers ...

NBA Centers:

Andrew Nate
1.) Dwight Howard Dwight Howard
2.) Tim Duncan Andrew Bynum
3.) Andrew Bynum Marc Gasol
4.) Marc Gasol Tim Duncan
5.) Joakim Noah Kevin Garnett
6.) Al Horford Joakim Noah
7.) Roy Hibbert Tyson Chandler
8.) Al Jefferson Al Jefferson
9.) Tyson Chandler Roy Hibbert
10.) Brook Lopez Al Horford
11.) DeAndre Jordan DeMarcus Cousins
12.) JaVale McGee Brook Lopez
13.) Greg Monroe JaVale McGee
14.) Marcin Gortat DeAndre Jordan
15.) Emeka Okafor Greg Monroe

Andrew's take: McGee has to show us a lot more than a few good playoff games to move up this list (and justify his new giant contract), but he certainly has the potential to get up there. Many would take McGee over Jordan and Lopez now, but the centers above those two have been proven producers for years. I could see McGee ranking as high as 8th after this upcoming season is over.

Nate's take: I believe my top-7 is the cream of the crop. The guys listed there are elite in, at least, one aspect of the game. After that, things start to get shaky as each guy has some fairly fatal flaws. It's an obvious NBA secret, there are not a ton of complete big men in today's game, but there are also a lot of talented big men who are looking to improve. Notable guys I left off my top-15 include Chris Kaman, Andrew Bogut, Samuel Dalembert, Marcin Gortat, and Marcus Camby. I believe those guys have reached their ceilings and while they are still productive, they are being passed up by the younger guys I listed. McGee could easily vault into the top-10 and beyond if he continues to mature. Yes, I believe he matured after his trade to the Nuggets, yet his mental maturation still can go a long ways.

After Howard and Gasol, I think McGee can easily become the third best center in the Western Conference. Heck, with his talent he could jump ahead of Gasol and perhaps give Howard a test for many years to come. You can't deny McGee's ability, but whether he will ever put it all together is the multi-million dollar question that Ujiri is attempting to answer.

Neither Andrew or I have McGee listed as a top-10 NBA center, but we both see how much potential he has. The sky is the limit for McGee and it'll be up to McGee, Karl, and his staff to see how far he can go.

Nate_Timmons on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nate_Timmons
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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