Current Sports The Best Current NBA Defenders  

Ranker Sports
26.5k votes 3.6k voters 35.3k views 35 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
1,372 446
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 Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association. Leonard, a 6-ft 7-in, 230-lb small forward, played college ...more

2
812 411
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
New Orleans Pelicans Anthony Marshon Davis, Jr. is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association. He plays the power forward and ...more

3
803 412
Rudy Gobert is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Utah Jazz Rudy Gobert is a French professional basketball player who currently plays for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association. He also represents the French national basketball team in the ...more

4
615 314
Paul George is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
markmoran added Indiana Pacers Paul Clifton Anthony George is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association. George played high school ...more

5
896 549
Draymond Green is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Golden State Warriors Draymond Jamal Green Sr. is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Green, who plays primarily at the power forward ...more

6
610 351
Jimmy Butler is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Philadelphia 76ers Jimmy Butler III is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After playing one year of college basketball for Tyler ...more

7
524 307
Andre Roberson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
bkapels483 added Oklahoma City Thunder André Lee Roberson is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for ...more

8
523 333
Marcus Smart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Brendon C. Moore added Boston Celtics Marcus Osmond Smart is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for Oklahoma ...more

9
340 190
Robert Covington is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Minnesota Timberwolves Robert Covington is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The small forward played college basketball for the ...more

10
266 155
Jrue Holiday is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
New Orleans Pelicans Jrue Randall Holiday is an American professional basketball player who currently for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for one season ...more

11
284 183
Victor Oladipo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Indiana Pacers Kehinde Babatunde Victor Oladipo is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association. Oladipo played college ...more

12
490 411
Klay Thompson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Golden State Warriors Klay Alexander Thompson is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association. Listed at 6'7", he plays ...more

13
514 443
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
303 246
Andre Iguodala is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Golden State Warriors Andre Tyler Iguodala is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association. He was an NBA All-Star in 2012 and ...more

15
399 343
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Golden State Warriors Kevin Wayne Durant is an American professional basketball player who plays with the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association. Standing at 6 ft 9 in and weighing 240 pounds, ...more

16
143 88
Avery Bradley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
SanctumGamingQ added Boston Celtics Avery Antonio Bradley, Jr. is an American professional basketball guard with the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for Texas before being ...more

17
220 168
Danny Green is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
San Antonio Spurs Daniel Richard "Danny" Green, Jr. is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. He is a 6 ft 6 in, ...more

18
367 320
Chris Paul is listed (or ranked) 18 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 Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has won the NBA Rookie of the ...more

19
339 364
Russell Westbrook is listed (or ranked) 19 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 Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association. Westbrook played college basketball ...more

20
41 9
Joel Embiid is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Connor Norton added Philadelphia 76ers Joel-Hans Embiid is a Cameroonian professional basketball player who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association. The 76ers drafted Embiid third overall in the 2014 ...more

21
180 186
John Wall is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
136 145
Luc Mbah a Moute is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
arnas added Los Angeles Clippers 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

23
129 163
Kyle Lowry is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry is an American professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association. He attended Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia and declared ...more

24
77 91
Josh Richardson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
dasd added Miami Heat Joshua Michael Richardson (born September 15, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball ...more

25
111 155
Paul Millsap is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Denver Nuggets Paul Millsap is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association. As a 6'8", 253 pound power forward from ...more