Sports

The Best Current NBA Defenders  

Ranker NBA
Originally by
41.9k votes 6k voters 70.5k views 47 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.

list ordered by
1
Kawhi Leonard is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Toronto Raptors
Kawhi Anthony Leonard is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association. Leonard, a 6-ft 7-in, 230-lb small forward, played ...more
2
Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
Rudy Gobert is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
Paul George is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
markmoran added Oklahoma City Thunder
Paul Clifton Anthony George is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association. George played high school ...more
5
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
New Orleans Pelicans
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
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
7
Patrick Beverley is listed (or ranked) 7 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 for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for ...more
8
Jimmy Butler is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Chicago Bulls
Jimmy Butler III is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After playing one year of college basketball for Tyler Junior ...more
9
Joel Embiid is listed (or ranked) 9 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
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
11
Marcus Smart is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
Victor Oladipo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Oklahoma City Thunder
Kehinde Babatunde Victor Oladipo (born May 4, 1992)[1] is an American professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Oladipo was drafted with ...more
13
Klay Thompson is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
Robert Covington is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Philadelphia 76ers
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
15
Andre Roberson is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Andre Iguodala is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Golden State Warriors
Andre Tyler Iguodala (born January 28, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The swingman was an NBA ...more
17
Danny Green is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
San Antonio Spurs
Daniel Richard "Danny" Green, Jr. (born June 22, 1987) is a n American professional basketball player who currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball ...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
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
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
21
Lonzo Ball is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
MrClutch505 added Lonzo Ball New Orleans Pelicans
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
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 who currently plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association ...more
23
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Brooklyn Nets
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
24
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Tom Amey added Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Standing at 6 ft 8 in and weighing 250 lbs., he has started ...more
25
Chris Paul is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Houston Rockets
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