This change absolutely says something about the Center position. Does anybody think this would have happened in the 80's or 90's? With the likes of Hakeem, Robinson, Ewing, etc?
“The NBA’s competition committee and the league office agreed that having the center position as the only specific position singled out on the ballot was outdated and not representative of today’s game or players,” Stu Jackson said. “Our players have become more versatile each season, and this ballot will more accurately reflect that versatility.”
Not only does it say something about the game itself, it says something about the people watching it, and perhaps an evolution in the definition of positions amongst casual fans and serious fans alike.
If you asked somebody who's been watching the game for 30-40 years if guys like Tim Duncan and Pau Gasol, etc, were PF's they'd say yes and point to a guy like McHale. They (prime) worked out of the low and high post mostly, but utilized midrange game, face-up game, pick-and-roll/pops, and a jump shot often.
But if you ask somebody who's been watching the game for the past 3-4 years, somebody like Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Love, are the epitomes of a "power" forward. Stretching the defense for the center. Of course there are exceptions, ala Blake Griffin.
I don't think positions ever had super specific guidelines, but players like prime Tim Duncan and prime Shaq (the greatest players at their position IMO) definitely had different skill sets, patterns, and habits on the court, despite both being 7-footers.