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8.8k voters

The Best Current NBA Defenders

Updated July 31, 2020 72.9k votes 8.8k voters 107.9k views75 items

List RulesVote 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.

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  • Kawhi Leonard1
    4,017
    1,460

    Kawhi Leonard

    Los Angeles Clippers

    PositionShooting guard, Small forward

    Kawhi Anthony Leonard (, born June 29, 1991) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo2
    2,021
    810

    Giannis Antetokounmpo

    Milwaukee Bucks

    PositionSmall forward, Point forward

    Giannis Antetokounmpo (born December 6, 1994) is a Greek professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • Anthony Davis3
    2,492
    1,298

    Anthony Davis

    Los Angeles Lakers

    PositionPower forward, Center

    Anthony Marshon Davis Jr. (born March 11, 1993) is an American professional basketball player... more on Wikipedia
  • Rudy Gobert4
    2,475
    1,351

    Rudy Gobert

    Utah Jazz

    PositionCenter

    Rudy Gobert-Bourgarel (born June 26, 1992) is a French professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia
  • Marcus Smart5
    1,863
    997

    Marcus Smart

    Boston Celtics

    PositionGuard

    Marcus Osmond Smart (born March 6, 1994) is an American professional basketball player who... more on Wikipedia
  • Ben Simmons6
    564
    187

    Ben Simmons

    Philadelphia 76ers

    PositionPoint guard/forward

    Benjamin David Simmons (born 20 July 1996) is an Australian professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia

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    #166 of 213 The Best White Players in NBA History#71 of 102 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

  • Jrue Holiday7
    1,269
    642

    Jrue Holiday

    New Orleans Pelicans

    PositionPoint guard, Shooting guard

    Jrue Randall Holiday (; born June 12, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • Paul George8
    2,187
    1,234

    Paul George

    Los Angeles Clippers

    PositionShooting guard, Small forward

    Paul Cliftonantho George (born May 2, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • Jimmy Butler9
    1,843
    1,032

    Jimmy Butler

    Miami Heat

    PositionShooting guard / Small forward

    Jimmy Butler III (born September 14, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • Jonathan Isaac10
    317
    92

    Jonathan Isaac

    Orlando Magic

    PositionSmall forward / Power forward

    Jonathan Judah Isaac (born October 3, 1997) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia

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    #39 of 53 The Best Current Wing Players in the NBA#26 of 71 The Best Sleeper Picks For Your Fantasy Basketball Team In 2019-2020

  • Joel Embiid11
    1,199
    724

    Joel Embiid

    Philadelphia 76ers

    PositionCenter

    Joel Hans Embiid (born 16 March 1994) is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia
  • Pascal Siakam12
    688
    337

    Pascal Siakam

    Toronto Raptors

    PositionPower forward

    Pascal Siakam (born April 2, 1994) is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia

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    #20 of 146 The Best European NBA Players of All Time#7 of 50 The Greatest African NBA Players of All Time

  • Robert Covington13
    1,118
    705

    Robert Covington

    Portland Trail Blazers

    PositionPower forward, Small forward

    Robert Covington (born December 14, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • Klay Thompson14
    1,482
    993

    Klay Thompson

    Golden State Warriors

    PositionShooting guard

    Klay Alexander Thompson (born February 8, 1990) is an American professional basketball player... more on Wikipedia

    More Klay Thompson 

    #23 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History#4 of 86 The Best Second-Generation NBA Players Of All Time

  • Patrick Beverley15
    1,395
    907

    Patrick Beverley

    Los Angeles Clippers

    PositionPoint guard

    Patrick Beverley (born July 12, 1988) is an American professional basketball player who is... more on Wikipedia

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    #4 of 54 The Most Hated Active NBA Players#45 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

  • Jaylen Brown16
    192
    77

    Jaylen Brown

    Boston Celtics

    PositionSmall forward / Shooting guard

    Jaylen Brown (born October 24, 1996) is an American professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia

    More 

    #23 of 133 The Best Boston Celtics of All Time#89 of 96 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

  • Draymond Green17
    2,219
    1,592

    Draymond Green

    Golden State Warriors

    PositionPower forward

    Draymond Jamal Green Sr. (born March 4, 1990) is an American professional basketball player... more on Wikipedia
  • Matisse Thybulle18
    225
    88

    Matisse Thybulle

    Philadelphia 76ers

    PositionShooting guard

    Matisse Thybulle (born March 4, 1997) is an American professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia

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    #59 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time#65 of 76 The Best Point Guards Currently in the NBA

  • Serge Ibaka19
    305
    160

    Serge Ibaka

    Toronto Raptors

    PositionPower forward, Center

    Serge Jonas Ibaka Ngobila (; born 18 September 1989) is a Congolese-Spanish professional... more on Wikipedia

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    #60 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time#30 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time

  • Jarrett Allen20
    295
    146

    Jarrett Allen

    Cleveland Cavaliers

    PositionCenter

    Jarrett Allen (born April 21, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia
  • Victor Oladipo21
    947
    621

    Victor Oladipo

    Houston Rockets

    PositionPoint guard, Shooting guard

    Kehinde Babatunde Victor Oladipo (born May 4, 1992) is an American professional basketball... more on Wikipedia

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    #598 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time#50 of 161 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings

  • Andre Iguodala22
    968
    714

    Andre Iguodala

    Memphis Grizzlies

    PositionSmall forward

    Andre Tyler Iguodala ( ig-wə-DAH-lə; born January 28, 1984) is an American professional... more on Wikipedia
  • Mitchell Robinson23
    208
    96

    Mitchell Robinson

    New York Knicks

    PositionCenter

    Mitchell Robinson (born April 1, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia
  • P. J. Tucker24
    512
    336

    P. J. Tucker

    Houston Rockets

    PositionSmall forward

    Anthony Leon "P. J." Tucker Jr. (born May 5, 1985) is an American professional basketball... more on Wikipedia

    More P. J. Tucker 

    #152 of 168 The Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History#120 of 294 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today

  • Dejounte Murray25
    349
    200

    Dejounte Murray

    San Antonio Spurs

    PositionPoint guard

    Dejounte Dashaun Murray (born September 19, 1996) is an American professional basketball... more on Wikipedia