Current NBA The Best Current NBA Defenders  

Ranker Sports
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34.6k votes 4.9k voters 53.4k views 44 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
1,951 586
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
954 492
Paul George is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
1,091 586
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
1,073 572
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
571 251
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
1,179 718
Draymond Green is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
428 216
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
786 480
Jimmy Butler is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
729 449
Marcus Smart is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
421 224
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
478 287
Robert Covington is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
658 431
Andre Roberson is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
412 235
Victor Oladipo is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
188 63
Joel Embiid is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
326 196
Delete is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Hans Embiid is a Cameroonian professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After one year of college basketball with the Kansas ...more
16
667 493
Klay Thompson is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
433 297
Andre Iguodala is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
318 219
Danny Green is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
212 139
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
492 420
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
Golden State Warriors
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
114 50
Lonzo Ball is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
MrClutch505 added Los Angeles Lakers
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
22
440 393
Chris Paul is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
213 153
Tony Allen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony "Tony" Allen is an American professional basketball player with the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association.
24
609 593
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
167 120
DeAndre Jordan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current NBA Defenders
New York Knicks
Hyland DeAndre Jordan Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one season of college basketball for Texas ...more