Current Sports The Best Current NBA Defenders  

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38.5k votes 5.5k voters 64.3k views 46 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
2,220 646
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
1,254 656
Rudy Gobert is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
1,118 573
Paul George is listed (or ranked) 3 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 Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association. George played high school ...more
4
1,222 640
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
702 300
Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
555 268
Patrick Beverley is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
1,312 780
Draymond Green is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
863 544
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 Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After playing one year of college basketball for Tyler ...more
9
495 278
Joel Embiid is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
793 503
Marcus Smart is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
487 258
Jrue Holiday is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
459 268
Victor Oladipo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Oklahoma City Thunder
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
13
530 328
Robert Covington is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Philadelphia 76ers
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
14
696 470
Andre Roberson is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
755 527
Klay Thompson is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
495 325
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 Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The swingman was an NBA ...more
17
397 249
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
145 67
Pascal Siakam is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
MrClutch505 added
Pascal Siakam (born April 2, 1994) is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After attending New Mexico State ...more
19
252 177
Avery Bradley is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
SanctumGamingQ added Memphis Grizzlies
Avery Antonio Bradley Jr. (born November 26, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college ...more
20
536 479
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 20 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 Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one season of ...more
21
703 675
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
231 177
Tony Allen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
voting closed at #23 New Orleans Pelicans

INACTIVE SINCE 2018

Anthony "Tony" Allen is an American professional basketball player with the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association.
23
243 190
Hassan Whiteside is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Miami Heat
Hassan Niam Whiteside is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for the Marshall ...more
24
467 441
Chris Paul is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
166 110
Lonzo Ball is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
MrClutch505 added
Lonzo Anderson Ball (born October 27, 1997) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball ...more