What should an NBA center be judged by - his post scoring, defense, rim protection, shooting range, or value to his team and the game of basketball? The following list of my best five centers in the league right now will dissipate some of these doubts. Who is going to be No. 1 this time?

Marc Gasol (33) - #5

Marc Gasol has not had much help this season and therefore his Memphis Grizzlies have been among the worst teams in the league. But Gasol still does a lot of everything, and that is a rare talent in the NBA. He is the defensive anchor in the paint, he scores inside and outside, and is clearly one of the best playmaking big men in the league.

Gasol has also upped his rebounding average this season, which has been one of his pending assignments. At this stage of his career, Gasol is still able to play at an elite level because of his high basketball IQ, but he might finally need an opportunity to play for a contender. Given the Grizzlies' struggles this season, the door could be opened.

Karl-Anthony Towns (22) - #4

Karl-Anthony Towns has had more help this year, especially from All-Star Jimmy Butler. Thus, his scoring average has dropped a bit this season. He has fallen in love with the jump shot at times during this season as well. But what Towns continues to excel at is being a rebounding machine. We all know that he is and will be more than that.

If you watch him play, you will watch a young player who possesses the offensive moves of a veteran superstar. Towns can do it all in the post. There lies his success if he focuses on punishing the weaker opponents. He also plays with a fire and competitive spirit that cannot be taught. He could improve a lot as a passer though.

But we cannot forget that Towns has only played in his third NBA season. Once he can slow down his game and become more tactical, Towns will become an even more dangerous player and a better leader for his promising Minnesota Timberwolves.

Nikola Jokic (23) - #3

Nikola Jokic was selected 41st overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, and what a steal that was by the Denver Nuggets.

The Serbian magician has already made everyone fall in love with him because of his flashy passes and shrewd scoring. He is a triple-double threat on a nightly basis, thanks to his near 20 points, over 10 rebounds, and six assists per game. Alongside Marc Gasol, Jokic is the best passing big man in the game right now, and his low-post game is also among the best. Jokic can score with efficiency from that long-distance as well (40 percent). He might not be a great defender yet, but what differentiates Jokic from most big men is that he is a team-player and makes his teammates better, and that is something that has rarely been said about a 23-year-old. We can't imagine how good Nikola Jokic will become in a few years.

DeMarcus Cousins (27) - #2

Say all you want about Boogie's personality, but if it were not for his season-ending injury, he could have headed this list. DeMarcus Cousins was playing his best basketball before the injury. Cousins was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks, and 1.6 steals per game. That is no easy task alongside the superstar that is Anthony Davis in the New Orleans Pelicans. These are monster numbers from a monster player. Thanks to his size, strength, and agility, there is no other big man in the NBA like DeMarcus Cousins. He puts fear in opponents' eyes once he is attacking the rim at full speed. His big body fools people. Cousins does it all, whether that is in the post, from long-range, or running the fast break.

His offensive repertoire is limitless and his defense is at an elite level when he wants to. Cousins is right in his prime, but an Achilles rupture is difficult to recover from. Every possible team will fight for his services come free agency this summer, that's for sure.

Joel Embiid (24) - #1

Joel Embiid has become the best center in the league. Just when some were beginning to believe that today's big men had little place in today's NBA, this flamboyant seven-footer has reminded us all of what a generational center can do. Embiid does not only embody the Philadelphia 76ers' infamous "Process," he embodies the talents of the modern big man that can do it all.

Embiid is a vivacious player that can easily average over 22 points per game by scoring in all forms.

His old-school low post game is almost unstoppable, and his long-range shooting is only getting better. He also grabs over 11 rebounds a night, and his court vision is remarkable. He continuously draws a lot of attention and is able to kick the ball to a different scorer. And, on the defensive end, Embiid is simply a beast. His size and ever-lasting energy enable him to be a fearsome rim protector. He is clearly a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. And, by the way, Embiid is only playing in his second NBA season. The Sixers can do great things in the future if Joel Embiid can remain healthy.