Sports

The Best Current NBA Defenders 

Ranker NBA
Originally by
Updated July 3, 2020 58.9k votes 8.1k voters 97k views 75 items

List Rules Vote up the best defenders in the league today.

Who are the best defenders currently in the NBA? Certainly, this list includes some of the best defensive players playing right now, and potentially some of the top NBA players of all time. Check out these lists of best current shot blockers and best current scorers, along with the best (worst) NBA floppers playing today. Having a lockdown defender gives any NBA team a huge advantage.

The top defensive players who are currently playing in the NBA are certainly among the current NBA players with top overall ratings, too (Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert, Kawhi Leonard, and LeBron James come to mind immediately). 

The highly skilled NBA players on this list can make or break a team's performance on the court. They are hustle players who lock down their man outside the perimeter and inside the paint. These DPOY candidates are experts at stealing the ball and drawing charges.

Vote for the current great players who you think are the most important on defense, key players for their respective teams, and if your favorite player isn't part of these rankings, add him. You can also re-rank this list of NBA defenders in any order you want.

list ordered by
1
Kawhi Leonard is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Shooting guard and Small forward from Riverside, California

Teams: Los Angeles Clippers

Age: 28

Number: 2

Kawhi Anthony Leonard (, born June 29, 1991) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played two seasons of ...more

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#30 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #13 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #5 of 137 The Best Small Forwards of All Time

2
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Power forward and Center from Chicago, Illinois

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

Age: 26

Number: 3

Anthony Marshon Davis Jr. (born March 11, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He plays the power forward ...more

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#1 of 148 The Greatest Kentucky Basketball Players of All Time #50 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #82 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

3
Rudy Gobert is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Center from Saint-Quentin, France

Teams: Utah Jazz

Age: 27

Number: 27

Rudy Gobert-Bourgarel (born June 26, 1992) is a French professional basketball player for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He also represents the French national ...more

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#368 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #73 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today #58 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

4
Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Small forward and Point forward from Athens, Greece

Teams: Milwaukee Bucks

Age: 25

Number: 34

Giannis Antetokounmpo (born December 6, 1994) is a Greek professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed the "Greek ...more

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#46 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #1,753 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #3 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

5
Draymond Green is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Power forward from Saginaw, Michigan

Teams: Golden State Warriors

Age: 29

Number: 23

Draymond Jamal Green Sr. (born March 4, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Green, who plays primarily ...more

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#120 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #1 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today #123 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

6
Marcus Smart is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Brendon C. Moore added

Teams: Boston Celtics

Age: 25

Number: 36

Marcus Osmond Smart (born March 6, 1994) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. He played college ...more

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#484 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #1,004 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #28 of 133 The Best Boston Celtics of All Time

7
Paul George is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
markmoran added Shooting guard and Small forward from Palmdale, California

Teams: Los Angeles Clippers

Age: 29

Number: 24

Paul Cliftonantho George (born May 2, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a six-time NBA All-Star ...more

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#68 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #72 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today #23 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

8
Jimmy Butler is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Small forward from Houston, Texas

Teams: Miami Heat

Age: 30

Number: 21

Jimmy Butler III (born September 14, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After playing one year of college ...more

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#91 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #85 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today #31 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

9
Patrick Beverley is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
MrClutch505 added

Teams: Los Angeles Clippers

Age: 31

Number: 21

Patrick Beverley (born July 12, 1988) is an American professional basketball player who is currently a player for the Los Angeles Clippers. He played college basketball for Arkansas before ...more

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#11 of 33 The Greatest Arkansas Basketball Players of All Time #81 of 320 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today #100 of 162 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History

10
Klay Thompson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Shooting guard from Los Angeles, California

Teams: Golden State Warriors

Age: 29

Number: 11

Klay Alexander Thompson (born February 8, 1990) is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is credited ...more

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#73 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #17 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #71 of 137 The Best Small Forwards of All Time

11
Jrue Holiday is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Point guard and Shooting guard from Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California

Teams: New Orleans Pelicans

Age: 29

Number: 11

Jrue Randall Holiday (; born June 12, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball ...more

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#631 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #39 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #41 of 320 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today

12
Joel Embiid is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Connor Norton added Center from Yaoundé, Cameroon

Teams: Philadelphia 76ers

Number: 21

Joel Hans Embiid (born 16 March 1994) is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After one year of college ...more

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#125 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #1,978 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #43 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

13
Robert Covington is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Forward from Bellwood, Illinois

Teams: Minnesota Timberwolves

Age: 29

Number: 33

Robert Covington (born December 14, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The small forward played ...more

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#506 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #88 of 320 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today #27 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time

14
Andre Iguodala is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Small forward from Springfield, Illinois

Teams: Memphis Grizzlies

Age: 35

Number: 9

Andre Tyler Iguodala ( ig-wə-DAH-lə; born January 28, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The swingman was ...more

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#103 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #1,747 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #52 of 137 The Best Small Forwards of All Time

15
Andre Roberson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
bkapels483 added Power forward from San Antonio, Texas

Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder

Age: 28

Number: 21

André Lee Roberson (born December 4, 1991) is an American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college ...more
16
Victor Oladipo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Shooting guard from Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Teams: Indiana Pacers

Age: 27

Number: 5

Kehinde Babatunde Victor Oladipo (born May 4, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Oladipo was drafted with ...more

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#207 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #782 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #8 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

17
Danny Green is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Shooting guard and Small forward from North Babylon, New York

Teams: San Antonio Spurs

Age: 32

Number: 4

Daniel Richard Green Jr. (born June 22, 1987) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball ...more

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#262 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #64 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today #70 of 137 The Best Small Forwards of All Time

18
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Tom Amey added Small forward and Power forward from Akron, Ohio, United States of America

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

Age: 35

Number: 23

LeBron Raymone James Sr. (; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His accomplishments ...more

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The Best LeBron 15 Colorways, Ranked #262 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #1,637 of 2,444 The Most Influential People of All Time

19
Pascal Siakam is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
MrClutch505 added

Teams: Toronto Raptors

Number: 13

Pascal Siakam (born April 2, 1994) is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the New ...more

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#428 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #20 of 320 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today #9 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

20
Ben Simmons is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
135045 added

Teams: Philadelphia 76ers

Number: 12

Benjamin David Simmons (born 20 July 1996) is an Australian professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball ...more

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#156 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #27 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today #62 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

21
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Small forward from Washington, D.C., United States of America

Teams: Brooklyn Nets

Age: 31

Number: 35

Kevin Wayne Durant (born September 29, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one season of college ...more

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The Best KD 10 Colorways, Ranked #21 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #1,944 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time

22
Chris Paul is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Point guard from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States of America

Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder

Age: 34

Number: 3

Christopher Emmanuel Paul (born May 6, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has won the NBA Rookie ...more

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The Coolest Chris Paul Signature Shoes, Ranked #45 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #2,128 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time

23
P. J. Tucker is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Small forward from Raleigh, North Carolina

Teams: Houston Rockets

Age: 34

Number: 17

Anthony Leon "P. J." Tucker Jr. (born May 5, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

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#142 of 320 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today #150 of 175 The Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History #14 of 25 NBA Stars You Should Definitely Follow On IG

24
Avery Bradley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
SanctumGamingQ added Point guard and Shooting guard from Tacoma, Washington

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

Age: 29

Number: 11

Avery Antonio Bradley Jr. (born November 26, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college ...more

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#450 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #33 of 133 The Best Boston Celtics of All Time #115 of 320 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today

25
Lonzo Ball is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
MrClutch505 added Lonzo Ball Point Guard from Anaheim, California

Teams: New Orleans Pelicans

Number: 2

Lonzo Anderson Ball (born October 27, 1997) is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball ...more

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#235 of 242 The Hottest Men Of 2019, Ranked #549 of 873 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #586 of 1,062 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time