Sports

The Best Current NBA Defenders  

Ranker NBA
Originally by
50.6k votes 7.1k voters 84k 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
Los Angeles Clippers
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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#66 of 154 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #39 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #17 of 81 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

2
Rudy Gobert is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Utah Jazz
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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#116 of 154 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #62 of 81 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #52 of 169 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

3
Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Milwaukee Bucks
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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#11 of 154 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #40 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #9 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time

4
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Los Angeles Lakers
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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#75 of 154 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #66 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #55 of 104 The Greatest Lakers of All Time

5
Paul George is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
markmoran added Los Angeles Clippers
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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#87 of 154 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #100 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #28 of 81 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

6
Draymond Green is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Golden State Warriors
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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#152 of 154 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #226 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #64 of 291 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

7
Jimmy Butler is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Miami Heat
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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#130 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #19 of 81 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #69 of 80 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

8
Marcus Smart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Brendon C. Moore added Boston Celtics
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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#2,144 of 2,196 The Best Athletes Of All Time #535 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #174 of 291 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

9
Patrick Beverley is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
MrClutch505 added Los Angeles Clippers
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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#161 of 291 The Most Obnoxious Athletes #11 of 61 The Most Hated Active NBA Players #71 of 80 The Biggest Crybabies in Basketball

10
Jrue Holiday is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
New Orleans Pelicans
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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#530 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #50 of 81 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #54 of 61 The Most Hated Active NBA Players

11
Joel Embiid is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Connor Norton added Philadelphia 76ers
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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#79 of 154 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #1,884 of 2,196 The Best Athletes Of All Time #165 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

12
Klay Thompson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Golden State Warriors
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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#116 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #27 of 81 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #16 of 178 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History

13
Robert Covington is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Minnesota Timberwolves
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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#739 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #35 of 73 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time #107 of 320 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today

14
Victor Oladipo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Indiana Pacers
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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#2,109 of 2,196 The Best Athletes Of All Time #422 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #7 of 81 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

15
Andre Iguodala is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Golden State Warriors
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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#2,007 of 2,196 The Best Athletes Of All Time #169 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #35 of 61 The Most Hated Active NBA Players

16
Danny Green is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Los Angeles Lakers
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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#474 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #59 of 68 The Best Celebrity Podcasts, Ranked #51 of 80 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

17
Andre Roberson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
bkapels483 added Oklahoma City Thunder
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
18
Pascal Siakam is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
MrClutch505 added Toronto Raptors
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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#124 of 154 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #8 of 81 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #56 of 141 The Best European NBA Players of All Time

19
Al Horford is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
MrClutch505 added Philadelphia 76ers
Alfred Joel Horford Reynoso (born June 3, 1986) is a Dominican professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for ...more

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#218 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #18 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time #48 of 81 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

20
Avery Bradley is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
SanctumGamingQ added Los Angeles Lakers
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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#661 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #33 of 133 The Best Boston Celtics of All Time #40 of 82 The Best Point Guards Currently in the NBA

21
Jarrett Allen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
19263 added Brooklyn Nets
Jarrett Allen (born April 21, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets for the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Texas ...more

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#731 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #138 of 169 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #38 of 71 The Best Sleeper Picks For Your Fantasy Basketball Team In 2019-2020

22
P. J. Tucker is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Houston Rockets
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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#177 of 320 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today #158 of 175 The Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History #31 of 76 Who Will Win MVP Of The 2019 NBA Finals?

23
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Tom Amey added Los Angeles Lakers
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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#249 of 276 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #36 of 154 The Best NBA Player Nicknamesfeaturing The Best LeBron 16 Colorways, Ranked

24
Andre Drummond is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Detroit Pistons
Andre Jamal Drummond (born August 10, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was one of the top rated ...more

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#330 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #42 of 169 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #57 of 149 The Best NBA Players with No Championship Rings

25
Dejounte Murray is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
MrClutch505 added San Antonio Spurs
Dejounte Dashaun Murray (born September 19, 1996) is an American professional basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one season of ...more