Sports

The Best Current NBA Defenders  

Ranker NBA
Originally by
42.1k votes 6k voters 70.9k views 48 items

List Rules Only current NBA Defenders. No retired or collegiate players.

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 overall top current NBA players 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 defensive players that you think are the most important, key players for their respective teams, and if your favorite player isn't listed, add him. You can also re-rank this list of NBA defenders in any order you want.

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26
Hassan Whiteside is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Miami Heat
Hassan Niam Whiteside (born June 13, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball ...more
27
Tony Allen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
voting closed at #23 New Orleans Pelicans

INACTIVE SINCE 2018

Anthony Allen (born January 11, 1982) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a six-time ...more
28
DeAndre Jordan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Los Angeles Clippers
Hyland DeAndre Jordan Jr. (born July 21, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one season of college ...more
29
Myles Turner is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
30
Andre Drummond is listed (or ranked) 30 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
31
Jarrett Allen is listed (or ranked) 31 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
32
Dejounte Murray is listed (or ranked) 32 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
33
Russell Westbrook is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook Jr. is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. Westbrook played college basketball for ...more
34
Trevor Ariza is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Sacramento Kings
Trevor Anthony Ariza (born June 30, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He won an NBA championship with the ...more
35
Josh Richardson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
dasd added Philadelphia 76ers
Joshua Michael Richardson (born September 15, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college ...more
36
Kyle Lowry is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Toronto Raptors
Kyle Terrell Lowry (born March 25, 1986) is an American professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). With the Raptors, he has been a ...more
37
John Wall is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Oscar7736 added Washington Wizards
Johnathan Hildred Wall, Jr. is an American professional basketball point guard for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association. A Raleigh, North Carolina native, Wall was ...more
38
Luc Mbah a Moute is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
arnas added
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (born 9 September 1986) is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Mbah a Moute also ...more
39
Mitchell Robinson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
SharmarkeSharky added
Mitchell Robinson (born April 1, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected with the 36th overall ...more
40
Jae Crowder is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Memphis Grizzlies
Corey Jae Crowder (born July 6, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is the son of former NBA player ...more
41
Paul Millsap is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Atlanta Hawks
Paul Millsap (born February 10, 1985) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association. As a 6'8", 253 pound ...more
42
Derrick White is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
SharmarkeSharky added
Derrick White is an American basketball player.
43
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Charlotte Hornets
Michael Anthony Edward Kidd-Gilchrist is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association. In June 2019, ...more
44
Ben Simmons is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
135045 added Philadelphia 76ers
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
45
Jerami Grant is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Brodie Russ added Denver Nuggets
Houston Jerami Grant (born March 12, 1994) is an American professional basketball player for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the ...more
46
Zion Williamson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
2kgod122104 added New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Lateef Williamson (born July 6, 2000) is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Listed at 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) ...more
47
LaMarcus Aldridge is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
San Antonio Spurs
LaMarcus Nurae Aldridge (born July 19, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The power forward played ...more
48
Gary Harris is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
SharmarkeSharky added Denver Nuggets
Gary Harris (born September 14, 1994) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association. He played college ...more