The center position has become devalued in recent seasons as teams begin allocating more minutes at power forward to more traditional small forwards and more center minutes going to power forwards.
There have become a surplus of quality centers with negligible differences in quality.
“I told my staff, drafting a big guy early in the draft is like drafting a running back in the NFL draft,” said one GM. “You’re just wasting your time. Unless it’s Shaquille O’Neal, of course.”
The Golden State Warriors were able to cheaply sign Willie Cauley-Stein coming off his rookie contract as an example of the market. They were similarly able to re-sign Kevon Looney despite his demonstration of value over the past season.