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8.7k voters

The Best Current NBA Defenders

Updated July 31, 2020 70.9k votes 8.7k voters 104.8k 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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  • 1
    Kawhi Leonard
    3,944
    1,405

    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

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    #4 of 135 The Best Small Forwards of All Time#26 of 227 The Greatest Offensive Players in NBA History

  • 2
    Giannis Antetokounmpo
    1,952
    795

    Giannis Antetokounmpo

    Milwaukee Bucks

    PositionSmall forward, Point forward

    Giannis Antetokounmpo (born December 6, 1994) is a Greek professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Anthony Davis
    2,428
    1,270

    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
  • 4
    Rudy Gobert
    2,435
    1,322

    Rudy Gobert

    Utah Jazz

    PositionCenter

    Rudy Gobert-Bourgarel (born June 26, 1992) is a French professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Ben Simmons
    524
    156

    Ben Simmons

    Philadelphia 76ers

    PositionPoint guard/forward

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

    More Ben Simmons 

    #34 of 96 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today#136 of 161 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings

  • 6
    Marcus Smart
    1,813
    965

    Marcus Smart

    Boston Celtics

    PositionGuard

    Marcus Osmond Smart (born March 6, 1994) is an American professional basketball player who... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Jrue Holiday
    1,220
    626

    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
  • 8
    Paul George
    2,154
    1,188

    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
  • 9
    Jimmy Butler
    1,800
    1,014

    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
  • 10
    Pascal Siakam
    663
    305

    Pascal Siakam

    Toronto Raptors

    PositionPower forward

    Pascal Siakam (born April 2, 1994) is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Jonathan Isaac
    274
    72

    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
  • 12
    Joel Embiid
    1,163
    703

    Joel Embiid

    Philadelphia 76ers

    PositionCenter

    Joel Hans Embiid (born 16 March 1994) is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Patrick Beverley
    1,374
    877

    Patrick Beverley

    Los Angeles Clippers
    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#46 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

  • 14
    Klay Thompson
    1,442
    979

    Klay Thompson

    Golden State Warriors

    PositionShooting guard

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

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    #3 of 86 The Best Second-Generation NBA Players Of All Time#25 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History

  • 15
    Draymond Green
    2,187
    1,571

    Draymond Green

    Golden State Warriors

    PositionPower forward

    Draymond Jamal Green Sr. (born March 4, 1990) is an American professional basketball player... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Jaylen Brown
    161
    57

    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
  • 17
    Robert Covington
    1,089
    692

    Robert Covington

    Minnesota Timberwolves

    PositionPower forward, Small forward

    Robert Covington (born December 14, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Jarrett Allen
    282
    132

    Jarrett Allen

    Brooklyn Nets

    PositionCenter

    Jarrett Allen (born April 21, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Serge Ibaka
    291
    147

    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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    #31 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time#11 of 50 The Best NBA Centers Right Now

  • 20
    Victor Oladipo
    930
    609

    Victor Oladipo

    Indiana Pacers

    PositionPoint guard, Shooting guard

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

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    #152 of 786 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#11 of 102 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

  • 21
    Matisse Thybulle
    204
    77

    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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    #60 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time#68 of 76 The Best Point Guards Currently in the NBA

  • 22
    Andre Iguodala
    959
    703

    Andre Iguodala

    Memphis Grizzlies

    PositionSmall forward

    Andre Tyler Iguodala ( ig-wə-DAH-lə; born January 28, 1984) is an American professional... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    P. J. Tucker
    502
    323

    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

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    #118 of 294 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today#151 of 168 The Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History

  • 24
    Mitchell Robinson
    Mitchell Robinson (born April 1, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Danny Green
    845
    598

    Danny Green

    San Antonio Spurs

    PositionShooting guard, Small forward

    Daniel Richard Green Jr. (born June 22, 1987) is an American professional basketball player... more on Wikipedia

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    #10 of 76 Every Athlete Signed To Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, Ranked#19 of 51 The Greatest UNC Tar Heels Basketball Players of All Time