Jokic versus Embiid: Who is the best NBA center right now?

Jokic versus Embiid: Who is the best NBA center right now?

The 2021-22 NBA season has seen two heavyweights, Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic and Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid, compete for dominance on the court. This article will compare Jokic vs Embiid's stats, rankings, awards, and more.

Nikola vs. Embiid comparison
Joel of the Philadelphia 76ers controls the ball against Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center in May 2022, in Philadelphia. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu.
Source: Getty Images

Which of the two forwards is the best player in the NBA right now? Scroll down to discover more. But first, let us explore more about the player's profiles.

Profile summaries

NameNikola JokićJoel Hans Embiid
NicknameJokerThe process, Troel
Date of birth19th February 199516th March 1994
Age27 years old as of August 202228 years old as of August 2022
Place of birthSerbia, YugoslaviaYaoundé, Cameroon
Net worth$30 million$35 million
ProfessionProfessional basketball playerProfessional basketball player

Embiid vs Jokic's height

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What is Nikola Jokic's height and wingspan?
Nikola Jokic dribbles up the court in a match against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Ball Arena in April 2022 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Ethan Mito/Clarkson Creative.
Source: Getty Images

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While Embiid's height is 7'11", Jokic is about 6'11". Likewise, Nikola, whose average weight is 129 kg, is only 2 kilograms heavier than his counterpart. Although Troel missed the 2014 NBA Draft Combine, we have used NBA's anthropometric stats to compare the players' measurements.

MeasurementsNikola JokićJoel Embiid
Hand length (feet and inches)8'75"8'3"
Height with shoes6'11''7'11"
Height without shoes6'9.5"7'0"
Standing reach9'0.50"7'5.75"

Jokic vs Embiid head-to-head career comparison stats

Statistically, who is a better NBA player between the two? Let us look at their career details, including positions, teams, NBA career length, stats, and awards.

What are Jokic vs Embiid stats in 2022?
Joel Embiid puts a shot over Gary Trent of the Toronto Raptors in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round at the Scotiabank Arena in April 2022 in Toronto, Canada. Photo by Cole Burston.
Source: Getty Images
Position(s) Center Center, power forward
Current teamDenver NuggetsPhiladelphia 76ers
Former teamsVojvodina Srbijagas, Mega Vizura Kansas Jayhawks
Year of NBA draft2014 2014
NBA timeline2016-20222017-2022

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Nikola Jokic vs Embiid's stats

While Jokic averaged 27.1 points per game with 13.8 rebounds, Embiid had about 26 points per game with 11.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Please have a look at more of their NBA career stats.

Games played527328
Total points12691058
Total rebounds551488
Total assists306124
Total steals5036
Total blocks4268

How many games has Embiid missed this year? Unfortunately, his impeccable performance during the season was overshadowed by eight absences from the court.

Why does Embiid wear a mask?
Joel, in a protective black mask after getting an orbital fracture, during Game Five against the Miami Heat at the FTX Arena in May 2022 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Michael Reaves.
Source: Getty Images

Before we delve into their statistical performance ratings, let us look at Embiid's 2022 injury summary as of May 2022. Earlier in 2022, he missed a couple of games due to a Covid 19 infection, knee soreness, and later thumb and index finger injury and subsequent surgeries, an orbital fracture, and concussion.

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Did Embiid's injuries and absences affect his MVP odds? Although he lost the MVP race, the 76ers' centre matched up to Nikola despite the absences, who appeared in 3 preseason games, 5 playoff games, and 74 games in the regular season. Here are the average stats for both players for the 2021-22 NBA regular season.

Games playedPoints per gameField goal percentage3-point field goal percentageFree throw percentageRebounds
The Process6830.649.937.181.411.7
The Joker7427.158.333.781.013.8

Jokic vs Embiid defensive stats

What are Nikola Jokic's advanced stats?
Nuggets' centre goes for the basket against the Washington Wizards during a game at Capital One Arena in March 2022 in Washington, DC. Photo by Scott Taetsch.
Source: Getty Images

So, who is better defensively, Embiid or Jokic? The average defensive rating in the NBA, according to Statsmuse, stands at about 112.0 points. Although both players have received recognition for being the best defenders in the NBA, Troel has appeared in three All-Defensive Teams and won the 2014 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

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The Ringers' Alex Parson commented on the all-round player, saying that,

There may not be a player in the (NBA) league with better touch around the rim. He can turn over either shoulder and finish with either hand, get a defensive rebound, shotgun it, lead the break, draw a double, and get an assist. Then, he can step out and hit the 3. He’ll take and make floaters and fadeaways and go behind his back in a crowd three times.

How good is Joel Embiid?
Philadelphia 76ers' top centre Joel Embiid in action against the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Playoffs round one series at the ScotiaBank Arena. Photo by Steve Russell/Toronto Star.
Source: UGC

On the other hand, in an article, The Big Process, Ringers' Kevin O'Conner commented on Troel's defense skills, saying,

Keeping him near the rim inherently dissuades drives to the basket and improves the team’s odds of securing a rebound. According to NBA stats, the Sixers secure 92.2 percent of missed shots when The Process boxes out, and he is swallowing 28 percent of defensive rebound opportunities.

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Which of the two centres has the best defense? Scroll down to see a summary of Embiid vs Jokic's 2022 defensive rating and career totals.

Total games playedCareer defensive rating 2021-22 Defensive rating
The Joker 527107.0105.3
The Process328103.5105.3

Jokic vs Embiid MVP race

Is Nikola Jokić the 2022 NBA MVP?
The Denver Nuggets centre accepts the 2021 NBA MVP award before Game Three of the playoff series at Ball Arena in June 2021 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Dustin Bradford.
Source: Getty Images

Who had a better season, Embiid or Jokic? For a consecutive time, The Joker was chosen as the MVP of the 2021-22 NBA season. In addition, he is an NBA season leader in the following categories.

  • First in the Fantasy points per game category with 58.6 points,
  • Second Active triple-double leader after Draymond Green with 6 points
  • Second after Rudy Gobert in Rebounds per game with 13.8 points

Jokic's awards

  • 2020-21, 2021-22 NBA's Most Valuable Player
  • 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 NBA All-Star
  • 2019, 2021, 2022 All-NBA First Team
  • 2020 All-NBA Second Team
  • 2018, 2021 Serbian Player of the Year
  • 2016 NBA All-Rookie First Team
  • 2016 Rio Summer Olympics silver medal
  • 2015 ABA League MVP
  • 2015 ABA League Top Prospect

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Embiid's awards

  • 2022 Most Valuable Philadelphian
  • 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 NBA All-Star
  • 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 All-NBA Second Team
  • 2018, 2019, 2021 NBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • NBA Scoring Champion (2022)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (2017)
  • 2014 All-Big 12 Second-team (2014)
  • 2014 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year
  • 2014 Big 12 All-Defensive Team
  • 2014 Big 12 All-Newcomer Team
  • 2013 Jordan Brand Classic
  • 2013 Nike Hoops Summit

The Jokic vs Embiid debate may have been settled by Nikola's MVP win in the 2021-22 NBA season for a second time. Although the two players have distinguished themselves as the best centres in the NBA right now, The Process has demonstrated that he is equally deserving of the award.

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