The power forward position in the NBA has really evolved over the years. Now more than ever power forwards can play the small forward position, and they can stretch the floor just as well as any guard in the league can. No more are power forwards just expected to play with their backs to the basket, they’re now expected the stretch the floor, create spacing, and some players are even expected to take the ball up the court from time to time. So without further ado, here are the top power forwards entering the 2017 NBA season!
10. Dirk Nowitzki
2016-2017 Stats: 14.2 PPG 6.5 REB 43.7 FG%
Even at his advanced age Dirk is still a very solid player in career. In what will likely be his last NBA season, Dirk will serve as a mentor to the younger players on the Mavs in a season that will and should be a farewell tour to one of the greatest players our league has ever seen.
9. Serge Ibaka
2016-2017 Stats: 14.2 PPG 6.8 REB 39.8 3P FG%
Serge Ibaka is no longer the menacing defensive presence in the post that he once was. He’s now a stretch big who CAN play intense interior defense but that’s no longer considered his strong suit. Maybe that’s just due to the direction the league is going toward now but regardless it’s weird seeing a player who was once considered one of the all time great shot blockers become a stretch big whose primary job is stretch the floor and knockdown threes.
8. James Johnson
2016-2017 Stats: 12.8 PPG 47.9 FG% 4.9 REB
James Johnson might be the most criminally underrated player the NBA has to offer. Easily one of the league’s best and most versatile defenders, Johnson can guard every position on the floor and he’s also transformed himself into a very solid three point shooter. His great season earned him a four year contract and now the Miami Heat are just hoping for him to continue his great production going forward.
7. Lamarcus Aldridge
2016-2017 stats: 17.3 PPG 7.3 REB 47.7 FG%
Aldridge hasn’t been the same player that he used to when he began his career with the Portland Trailblazers. Or maybe he IS the same player, he’s exactly who we thought he was and the bigger microscope on him due to him being a Spur has just highlighted his inefficiencies. I don’t want to completely rag on the guy, I mean after all his first year in San Antonio came with 67 wins and his second year came with another 60 win season and a WCF appearance but regardless, if the Spurs expect to dethrone Golden State… which is definitely possible.. Lamarcus will have to perform to that top five power forward potential that he definitely possesses.
6. Kristpas Porzingis
2016-2017 Stats: 18.1 PPG 7.2 REB 45.0 FFG%
More impressive than Kristpas Porzingis’ play is his willingness to play for the mess that is the New York Knicks. Maybe it’s understandable considering he’s from the country Latvia and he’s gotten nearly all of his American culture from living in New York and watching World Star Hip-Hop. But regardless maybe it’s just youthful ignorance or maybe not, the fact of the matter is KP can straight up hoop.
5. Kevin Love
2016-2017 Stats: 19.0 PPG 11.1 REB 42.7 FFG%
Kevin Love is still an exceptional basketball player and its criminal that people have forgotten that since he’s been in a Cavs uniform. He’s definitely had his fair share of issues since he’s been there, between Lebron’s “fitting out/fitting in” comments, figuring out how he fits alongside Lebron and Kyrie, and his health. But regardless Love is still an all star caliber power forward, an excellent rebounder, a deadly three point shooter, and above all else.. an NBA champion.
4. Paul Millsap
2016-2017 Stats: 18.1 PPG 7.7 REB 44.2 FG%
Paul Millsap might be one of the most versatile players the NBA has to offer. Millsap can play both the four spot and the three, an excellent shooter who can stretch the floor with ease, and easily one of the best defensive players the NBA has to offer.
3. Draymond Green
2016-2017 Stats: 10.2 PPG 7.9 REB 7.0 AST
Draymond Greens career has surprised a lot of players. Already a 2X champion, 2X all star, 3X All Defensive First Team, and a defensive player of the year. Draymond has probably had one of the most impressive careers for a guy just five years into his career.. I mean just look at everything he’s accomplished thus far. A great stretch big who can play the point, center, and of course the power forward position, Green is also the best passing big man in the game and sets is the driving force behind the Golden State Dynasty.
2. Blake Griffin
2016-2017 Stats: 21.6 PPG 8.1 REB 4.9 AST
Blake Griffin is STILL a great basketball player.. crazy right? People have convinced themselves for years that he’s no good which befuddles me to no end. A high flyer with who can still razzle & dazzle crowds with his thunderous dunks, Blake is one of the most exciting players in the NBA (still) and it will definitely be interesting to see how he adjusts to being the best player on the Clippers for the first time since his rookie season.
1. Anthony Davis
2016-2017 Stats: 28.0 PPG 11.8 REB 50.5 FG%
Anthony Davis is hands down the best power forward in the NBA and quite possibly the best big man PERIOD in the league. An excellent defensive player who has already led the league in blocked shots twice, and a three time all defensive player, Davis is also an excellent scorer who can light up the scoreboard just as efficient as anybody in the NBA. Often times when we talk about “two way players” you’ll hear the names Kawhi Leonard, Lebron, and Klay thompson brought up but honestly… Anthony Davis’ name doesn’t get brought up enough for that list and that’s criminal if you ask me.