Ranking: The Top 25 power forwards for the 2022-23 season

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Ranking: The Top 25 power forwards for the 2022-23 season

Ranking

Ranking: The Top 25 power forwards for the 2022-23 season

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Today, we are here to talk about the Top 25 power forwards for the upcoming 2022-23 season, as voted upon and aggregated based on the votes of our team of writers and editors.

Power forward is one of the league’s most loaded positions, as even the bottom of this ranking boasts a lot of reliable role players and promising, just-freshly-drafted young guys.

At the top, however, sits a perennial MVP candidate and various All-NBA-level guys, showing just how stacked the four-spot is.

With so many guys to discuss, let’s get right into action.

25
Keegan Murray (Sacramento)

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The reigning Summer League Most Valuable Player, Keegan Murray has Sacramento Kings fans giddy with excitement based on the upcoming rookie’s play in the annual offseason showcase.

Murray received MVP and 1st Team All-Summer League honors for his efforts, which saw him put up 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals on 50.0 percent shooting, 40.0 percent from three. That impressive showing came after a sophomore season at Iowa in which Murray was just as impressive, putting up 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks on 39.8 percent shooting from three.

A long, athletic swingman-type at the 4-spot who can dribble, shoot, slash to the bucket and rack up takeaways on the defensive end, Murray has huge potential as a two-way force.

Will he be impactful enough in his first year to help the Kings break the NBA’s longest playoff drought? That remains to be seen, but with his ball-handling and three-point shooting potential, Murray looks like he’ll be a great fit alongside the likes of Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox.

We expect a big rookie campaign out of Murray.

For the latest Keegan Murray rumors and salary info, click here.

24
Lauri Markkanen (Cleveland)

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The raw averages may not reflect it, but Lauri Markkanen just had one of the most impactful seasons of his career in his first campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Averaging 14.8 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 35.8 percent from the floor, Markkanen made the Cavaliers 4.1 points per 100 possessions better during his time on the floor. It’s not difficult to see why, either, as Cleveland boasts a strong frontcourt featuring Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, making Markkanen’s floor-spacing prowess at the power-forward spot key for the team’s offense.

Markkanen may be tapped out potential-wise as his numbers haven’t really gotten dramatically better over the past few seasons, but as a complementary piece on a playoff-caliber team, the Finnish big man seems to have found his niche.

For the latest Lauri Markkanen rumors and salary info, click here.

23
Dorian Finney-Smith (Dallas)

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A role-playing force for the Dallas Mavericks, Dorian Finney-Smith has settled in wonderfully in his starting role over the past few campaigns, even if he may not be the prototypical starting power forward.

Tasked with spacing the floor from three, cutting off the ball, thriving in transition and, most importantly, defending – often multiple positions – on the other end, Finney-Smith does all of the dirty work for Dallas while rarely seeking out his own stats.

As such, his averages – 11.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals – don’t jump off the page, but his 39.5 percent shooting mark from three is key for the Mavericks, as his ability to be a Swiss Army knife on the defensive end, where he’s asked to guard up and down the positional scale.

Finney-Smith has clearly been effective in his role, too, as over the past three combined seasons the former Florida standout has made Dallas 5.0 points per 100 possessions better during his playing time.

He’s not a star player and he’ll never be one, but in his role, Finney-Smith is one of the most reliable starting 4-men in the league.

For the latest Dorian Finney-Smith rumors and salary info, click here.

22
Jabari Smith (Houston)

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The second Top 4 2022 NBA draftee in our ranking so far, Jabari Smith should thrive right away as a first-year player, but likely moreso on the defensive end than offensively.

That’s based on his play as a prospect and in the just-past Summer League, where the Auburn Tiger averaged 14.4 points on 37.7 percent shooting (and an ugly 25.9 percent mark from three) and merely 1.8 assists, but chipped in 9.4 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks, all noteworthy clips.

That indicates that Smith is ready to contribute at a solid level everywhere besides offensively as a rookie, though his shooting marks should improve considering his solid jump-shooting stroke and the more-open looks he’ll get playing off of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green.

Still, Smith’s knocks as a prospect revolved around his playmaking (he gets tunnel vision and likes to attack one-on-one) and propensity for needing to take difficult shots to score at the college level, characteristics that will likely get exposed in his first season as a pro.

Regardless, Smith has special potential as a point-stopper, both individually and as a help defender, thanks to his quick feet, intensity, length and instincts, and that should allow him to thrive on the less glamorous end of the floor right away.

For the latest Jabari Smith rumors and salary info, click here.

21
Wendell Carter (Orlando)

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Somewhat quietly, Wendell Carter is coming off a strong season for the Orlando Magic, one in which he averaged 15.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 three-pointers on 52.5 percent shooting, flashing all of the skills that made him so enticing as a prospect all the way back before the 2018 draft.

The advanced analytics rated Carter highly, too, with VORP ranking him as the 67th-most-impactful player last season, BPM as the 53rd-most-impactful player and Win Shares per 48 minutes the 54th-most-impactful player.

There are questions on whether Carter will be able to replicate that success next season or even improve upon it based on what his role will be, with Paolo Banchero drafted first overall to play power forward for the team and Jonathan Isaac returning from a long injury layoff.

Perhaps tasked with playing center again, will that limit Carter’s effectiveness for the Magic in 2022-23? We doubt it, as his shooting and overall versatility offensively should continue to thrive in Orlando while he has the rebounding, size and toughness to continue to do well next season, even at the 5.

For the latest Wendell Carter rumors and salary info, click here.

20
Cam Johnson (Phoenix)

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Many questioned the Phoenix Suns for drafting a then-23-year-old Cam Johnson 11th overall in 2019 due to his age and not-so-well-rounded skill set, as Johnson was purely a shooter who didn’t offer much else as a prospect.

Johnson has proven the Suns to be savvy for the draft pick, however, as he has been an important part of some elite Phoenix teams since joining the squad three seasons ago. The North Carolina product is coming off his best season, too, averaging a career-high 12.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 2021-22 while shooting 42.5 percent from three, the fourth-most-accurate mark in the league among players to fire away five-plus nightly triples.

What’s more, with his feet set, Johnson was one of the most precise marksmen in the league last season, producing 1.25 points per possession (PPP) on spot-up-jump-shot opportunities, placing him in the league’s 94th percentile and good for the NBA’s seventh-best clip.

On a team with stars up and down the starting lineup, Johnson’s shooting has proven to be pivotal, opening up the floor for the likes of Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton, as has his ability to defend multiple positions, albeit far from an elite level.

For the latest Cam Johnson rumors and salary info, click here.

19
Aaron Gordon (Denver)

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Through a season-plus, Aaron Gordon has proven to be an excellent fit with the Denver Nuggets, playing the frontcourt spot next to the two-time reigning league MVP, Nikola Jokic.

Gordon, a defensive specialist who can scorer as a slasher, in transition and with his feet set from beyond the arc, shines on the point-stopping side of the floor thanks to his versatility and athleticism, an area where he helps take some of the load off of Jokic, who is far from an elite defender in his own right.

The numbers reflect that, as Gordon made the Nuggets 9.0 points per 100 possessions better during his time on the floor, though sharing so much time with the Serbian superstar center certainly had a hand in that.

Still, Gordon averaged 15.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 52.0 percent from the floor and 33.5 percent from three, solid numbers overall, and was one of the most reliable players Denver had all years.

With a returning Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. in 2022-23, Gordon’s raw stats might take a slight hit, but his impact should be amplified even further on what projects to be a loaded Nuggets squad.

For the latest Aaron Gordon rumors and salary info, click here.

18
Kyle Kuzma (Washington)

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A versatile power forward with shooting and dribbling ability, Kyle Kuzma just had the best season of his career, at least according to BPM and VORP, two somewhat reliable advanced metrics.

The raw numbers were solid, too, with Kuzma averaging 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 34.1 percent from beyond the arc. Although both Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis, who’s coming up later on our list, play power forward, the duo is skilled enough to have success together, as both players can space the floor from three, handle the basketball and create for others.

The Washington Wizards may struggle defensively and on the glass with Kuzma and Porzingis starting in their frontcourt, but they should provide enough offense for the team to be able to outscore foes on some nights.

For the latest Kyle Kuzma rumors and salary info, click here.

17
Harrison Barnes (Sacramento)

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A reliable veteran 4-man who knows his role and performs it well, both on and off the floor, Harrison Barnes has been a versatile, floor-spacing power forward for the Sacramento Kings, one who can defend wings and bigs at a respectable level.

Barnes is coming off of a solid campaign, averaging 16.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 39.4 percent from beyond the arc. That last statistic is particularly noteworthy, as Barnes used to be a somewhat inconsistent shooter before becoming a 39.1 percent shooter from three over the past four seasons.

Barnes, a well-liked locker-room presence, will be tasked with helping in the development of first-year high draft pick Murray in 2022-23. Will Murray take Barnes’ starting job next season? It’s possible, particularly if the Iowa State Hawkeye carries over his Summer League form to the regular season.

And if he does, don’t be surprised if the Kings try to trade Barnes to a contender, as his skill set would mesh perfectly with some of the top teams in the league thanks to his face-up scoring, spot-up shooting and defensive versatility.

For the latest Harrison Barnes rumors and salary info, click here.

16
Jerami Grant (Portland)

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After much speculation over the past couple of seasons, the much-discussed Jerami Grant-to-Blazers trade finally came to fruition this summer, with Portland acquiring the former Team USA forward in exchange for draft capital.

Grant should provide the Blazers with immediate defensive versatility, the type the team has been lacking in the Damian Lillard era, as a player who can legitimately guard multiple positions at a solid-enough level while still providing Portland with scoring as a slasher and in transition with some spot-up shooting and iso bucket-getting chops.

Coming off of a season that saw him average 19.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 1.0 blocks while shooting 35.8 percent from three, Grant’s raw numbers will certainly take a hit as he’ll no longer be playing on a No. 1 pick contender, but his two-way impact will be crucial for a Blazers squad hoping to get back into the playoffs in 2022-23.

For the latest Jerami Grant rumors and salary info, click here.

15
Christian Wood (Dallas)

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Another power forward set to begin 2022-23 in new colors, Christian Wood was traded from the Rockets to the Dallas Mavericks, a deal that went down in exchange for draft capital and mostly salary filler.

Wood should fit in well with the Mavericks, providing the team and star Luka Doncic with a floor-spacing big man, something they have lacked of late, to open up driving lanes and scoring opportunities. Wood is coming off of a solid 2021-22 season, putting up 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 50.1 percent from the floor and – most importantly – 39.0 percent from three.

For comparison’s sake to the Mavericks’ returning frontcourt options, even Davis Bertans, a supposed shooting specialist, hit just 36.0 percent from three as a Dallas player. The next highest three-point percentage from a frontcourt Maverick was Maxi Kleber at 32.5 percent.

Clearly, Wood will provide the team’s big-man rotation with a solid boost from the outside shooting department while also giving them some pick-and-roll scoring and face-up bucket-getting chops.

For the latest Christian Wood rumors and salary info, click here.

14
Kristaps Porzingis (Washington)

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As long as he can maintain some semblance of health, Porzingis will continue to be a productive big man next season, as he has been since returning from his most recent long injury layoff back in 2018-19.

Perhaps in part due to having a bigger role, Porzingis’ numbers last year were more impressive as a Wizard than they were as a Maverick, with his scoring (19.2 points to 22.1), rebounding (7.7 boards to 8.8) and three-point percentage (28.3 percent to 36.7) seeing noteworthy upticks following his midseason trade to the nation’s capital.

With Bradley Beal returning and Porzingis getting more touches than he did in Dallas, the Latvian big man has All-Star potential in 2022-23, playing in the weaker Eastern Conference and putting up over 20 points nightly. That might come down to how healthy he is and how strong of a team Washington boasts.

Regardless, the sharpshooting, shot-blocking, face-up-game savvy Porzingis has loads of talent and if he’s able to stay on the floor for the majority of the season, the Wizards will be a far better team for it.

For the latest Kristaps Porzingis rumors and salary info, click here.

13
John Collins (Atlanta)

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Although it appears John Collins may have tapped out his potential already considering his static level of production and impact over the past few seasons, that doesn’t mean he’s not a very solid starting-level power forward, one fit for the modern game.

For starters, Collins boasts one elite skill set, his finishing out of the pick-and-roll, an important trait for the bigs of today, as elite roll men open up space for others and grant shooting opportunities to the guards running those sets. In 2021-22, Collins scored 1.44 PPP as the pick-and-roll roll man, placing him in the NBA’s 95th percentile. It was also the best mark in the league among players with at least 100 such opportunities.

On top of that, Collins is also a solid outside shooter, hitting 38.8 percent of his threes over the past three seasons combined, a healthy enough mark to require a defense’s attention.

So although his raw averages from last season – 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds – don’t jump off the page, Collins is still one of the league’s steadier starting power forwards, at least on the offensive end.

His defense is another story, but with Clint Capela manning the paint and Dejounte Murray now around to suffocate opposing ball-handlers, that deficiency can be somewhat masked in 2022-23. The Atlanta Hawks will at least be hoping so.

For the latest John Collins rumors and salary info, click here.

12
Julius Randle (New York)

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Julius Randle – an offensively versatile big man who can score, rebound and create for others – experienced a bit of a fall from grace from 2020-21 to 2021-22, one that caused the New York Knicks to stumble out of playoff contention and one that saw Randle go from All-Star to an accolade-less campaign last year.

Still, even with a rather noteworthy drop in statistical impact, Randle still managed to put up numbers that other players would love to average, producing 20.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists nightly, though shooting a paltry 41.1 percent from the floor and 30.8 percent from three.

For comparison, the season prior, Randle put up a 24.1/10.2/6.0 stat line on very tidy 45.6/41.1/81.1 percent shooting splits, all All-Star-level marks.

If Randle is able to regain that 2021-22 form, he’ll surely outpace his place in these rankings. But if another inefficient campaign is ahead for the former Kentucky standout, New York might start to seriously look into trading him, rumors of which are already circulating.

For the latest Julius Randle rumors and salary info, click here.

11
Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis)

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The advanced analytics may be mixed in their reception of his output, but there’s no doubt Jaren Jackson Jr. has developed into one of the league’s premiere defenders and into a key cog for what has become an elite Memphis Grizzlies squad.

For the first time in his career, Jackson posted a positive swing rating last season, with the Grizzlies being 4.1 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor. It’s easy to see why, too, with the shot-blocking menace averaging 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 three-pointers and a league-leading 2.3 blocks per contest.

Filling the all-important modern archetype of rim-protecting floor-spacer, Jackson has blossomed into one of the league’s truly unique big men, although his rebounding still leaves something to be desired.

Even so, Jackson can score in the post, facing up in isolation and as a spot-up shooter while swatting away shots left and right on the defensive end. And if it weren’t for the uncertainty surrounding his foot injury, which will keep him out through the start of the 2022-23 campaign, he might rank even higher than where we have him.

For the latest Jaren Jackson Jr. rumors and salary info, click here.

10
Paolo Banchero (Orlando)

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The Magic saw enough after two Summer League contests to shut the No. 1 pick of the most recent draft, Banchero, down for the rest of the offseason showcase and with good reason, as why risk injury to a player who is going to be so vital towards the team’s 2022-23 efforts and who already acquitted himself so well in the two showings he did have?

In those two contests, Banchero showed every bit of skill and talent that made him the top pick in the 2022 draft, and maybe even more, averaging 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.0 blocks (albeit with 10 total turnovers and nine fouls), facing up on opponents, hitting tough fall-away jumpers and looking like an athletic specimen when attacking the basket.

Banchero is a smooth scorer and a creative passer who gives a ton of effort on the defensive end, too, the type of player a rebuilding squad like the Magic can truly build around thanks to his on- and off-court characteristics.

The favorite to take home Rookie of the Year in 2022-23, we expect an exciting season out of the Duke Blue Devil who’ll be manning the 4-spot in Orlando.

For the latest Paolo Banchero rumors and salary info, click here.

9
Tobias Harris (Philadelphia)

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A tweener between a 3 and a 4, Tobias Harris is an impactful two-way frontcourt player and a great fit next to a center the likes of Joel Embiid, who likes to post up and attack the basket with face-ups and drives to the rim.

Last season, Harris was his usual reliable self for the Philadelphia 76ers, good for 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists nightly while shooting 36.7 percent from three. He was also solid defensively, where his quick feet and plus-size allowed him to defend swingmen, power forwards and some guards when called upon to do so.

Harris may never be an All-Star, but in his role, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more trustworthy power forward who can score buckets in isolation, shoot off the dribble, space the floor and defend multiple positions.

For the latest Tobias Harris rumors and salary info, click here.

8
Draymond Green (Golden State)

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Draymond Green is no longer at his peak as a player, which was clear to anyone who watched the Golden State Warriors’ run to the 2021-22 championship. Sure, the now-four-time champion had moments of brilliance where he resembled his former Defensive Player of the Year self, but there were others where foul trouble or poor play would get him benched in key stretches for Golden State.

The numbers bear that out, too, as Green’s swing rating last season (the Warriors were a meager 1.3 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor in the regular season) was the third-worst mark of his career.

Regardless, Green was the starting power forward for the eventual champions and he did elevate his play in the postseason, where his swing rating grew all the way to +10.6 points per 100 possessions, so it’s also clear that Green can still produce elite-level impact when the stakes are at their highest.

How long will the 2021-22 All-Star be able to keep that up? It remains to be seen, but for now, Green remains one of the league’s best at the position, even if he isn’t at the level he once was.

For the latest Draymond Green rumors and salary info, click here.

7
Scottie Barnes (Toronto)

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Scottie Barnes has been talked about a whole lot this offseason and not just because of his impressive Rookie of the Year campaign in 2021-22.

No, he’s also been in the news because not only do the Brooklyn Nets reportedly covet him in any potential Kevin Durant deal, but the Toronto Raptors apparently are unwilling to part with him, even if it means landing for the former league MVP.

We’ll see if that holds true as we get closer to the 2022-23 season and Durant keeps pressuring Brooklyn to trade him, but either way, it’s hard to fault Toronto for its stance, as the 21-year-old Barnes appears to have special potential.

In his first season as a pro, Barnes was fantastic, averaging 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3. assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 49.2 percent from the floor. The former Florida State standout’s best performance came against the Los Angeles Lakers when he went toe-to-toe with LeBron James, scoring 31 points, securing 17 rebounds and dishing out six helpers while hitting 66.7 percent of his shots attempts.

Versatile on both ends of the floor and capable of elite play on either side of the court, Barnes is a rare power forward who can grab a rebound and bring the ball down himself to set up the offense, either getting a bucket himself or setting up a teammate for an easy look.

He can also guard – and guard well – almost every position on the court thanks to his quick feet, long arms and hustle on that end.

His jump shot still needs work, but his willingness to lay his body on the line to make winning plays is unique for a player who’s been considered an elite prospect dating back to his high-school days.

It remains to be seen whether Barnes will live up to his full potential but based on his play so far and his work ethic, the Raptors could very well have a future star on their hands.

For the latest Scottie Barnes rumors and salary info, click here.

6
Evan Mobley (Cleveland)

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If the award didn’t go to Barnes, Evan Mobley would have surely taken home Rookie of the Year last season after posting an equally impressive inaugural campaign to his rival in Canada.

Mobley might actually have an even higher ceiling than Barnes, too, as a supremely skilled big man with game-changing defensive potential and traits on the offensive end so unique for a 7-footer.

As a rookie, Mobley put up 15.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 blocks nightly while shooting 50.8 percent from the floor, though just 25.0 percent from three. Still, just looking at how smooth his jumper is from the midrange, it’s not too hopeful to believe Mobley will one day become a reliable shooter from beyond the arc.

On top of that, the former USC Trojan has already shown impressive skill level for a big man, as he’s capable of handling the rock, creating for teammates and has soft touch around the basket and further from it, all in a 7-foot package with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, one possessing quick feet that allow for Mobley to not get exposed when forced to switch onto guards on defense.

The potential with Mobley is truly enormous and he’ll be one of the more exciting players to watch blossom over the coming years of his career.

For the latest Evan Mobley rumors and salary info, click here.

5
Pascal Siakam (Toronto)

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After what some considered a down 2021-22 season for Pascal Siakam, the Raptors forward bounced back in a huge way in 2022-23, earning 3rd Team All-NBA honors after averaging 22.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.3 steals on 49.4/34.4/74.9 percent shooting splits.

Siakam is a bundle of energy on both ends of the floor, energy that he has grown to channel and use in an extremely efficient manner. He’s a terror in transition, capable of grabbing a board and bringing it down the floor to score himself before opponents can catch up; he has the ball-handling to get by foes in the halfcourt, too; and he has a respectable-enough jumper to require respect from defenses.

Those skills all make Siakam quite rare for a power forward, though in the modern position-less NBA, the New Mexico State product is a perfect fit.

Already a proven piece after Toronto’s championship run in 2018-19, Siakam remains one of the league’s more underrated players, but if Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is to be believed, that might not be the case going forward, as Siakam looks set to have his best NBA season in 2022-23:

Hence, his lofty place in these rankings.

For the latest Pascal Siakam rumors and salary info, click here.

4
Zion Williamson (New Orleans)

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The season-long layoff may have caused many to forget the type of talent the New Orleans Pelicans have in Zion Williamson, who looked like a transcendent talent the last time he took the court for the team.

In 2020-21, the former Duke Blue Devil was otherworldly, averaging 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 61.1 percent from the floor. Putting up 25.7 points in his first two seasons, both of which came prior to his turning 21, Williamson actually holds the distinction of being the first player ever to average at least 25.0 points before turning 21.

And to do that with the level of efficiency Williamson did make the feat even more special, as the big man is shooting over 60.0 percent from the floor for his career.

Naturally, the advanced analytics raved about Williamson’s impact in 2020-21, with BPM ranking him the 11th-most-impactful player of the year, WS/48 13th and PER fourth overall.

Williamson is like a modern-day Shaquille O’Neal, completely overmatching opponents in the paint, leaving them hopeless of slowing him down once he gets the ball close to the basket. But he also possesses the level of skill required for modern stars, with an above-average ball handle for a man of his size and underrated passing instincts.

His outside shot still needs work but even so, Williamson is completely dominant every time he sets foot on the hardwood thanks to his driving and finishing ability.

Granted, we are still taking a risk by ranking him this highly considering we haven’t seen him play in an official NBA game since May of 2021, and he is coming off of a serious foot injury. But we’re working under the belief he’ll be fully healthy to kick off 2022-23 – he looks pretty healthy here, for example…

…and if that is the case, Williamson will be one of the league’s top players overall, not just power forwards.

For the latest Zion Williamson rumors and salary info, click here.

3
Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota)

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A player who would have been in our center rankings at this point last offseason, Karl-Anthony Towns shifts one spot down the positional scale and checks in as the No. 3 power forward for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

We expect Towns’ transition to full-time power forward to be a rather seamless one considering his supremely high skill level for a big man, an almost-7-footer capable of shooting at an elite level, handling the basketball, passing and facing up to score from the perimeter.

In 2021-22, Towns was great once again, averaging 24.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.1 blocks while leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to the playoffs, albeit failing to get out of the first round. He ranked 11th in VORP, 14th in BPM and fifth in Win Shares, one spot behind his new frontcourt mate.

The Wolves will surely have far greater expectations of Towns and Co. this season after the expensive acquisition of Rudy Gobert to man the paint and shore up what was a mediocre paint defense last year. With Towns and Gobert, Minnesota will boast arguably the league’s toughest frontcourt, one that will batter foes on the glass and protect the paint with force and aplomb.

We expect big things out of the Timberwolves’ “new” 4-man in 2022-23.

For the latest Karl-Anthony Towns rumors and salary info, click here.

2
Anthony Davis (LA Lakers)

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A ranking more based on reputation than production from the previous season, Anthony Davis is our projected second-best power forward for the 2022-23 seasons.

The Lakers will be hoping for this to be the case at least, as the team was extremely disappointing last campaign and didn’t do a whole lot to change matters over the course of the current offseason.

Still, if Davis plays at the level he’s capable of when healthy, the sky is the limit for a Los Angeles team that has LeBron James still operating at an All-NBA level. Even despite his injury-plagued status last year, Davis still put up impressive numbers, averaging 23.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.3 blocks while shooting 53.2 percent from the floor.

The question is: Will Davis be able to stay healthy enough to give the Lakers an apt championship-level sidekick? Because when he’s not hurt, Davis remains a two-way force, blocking shots at an elite rate, scoring a whole lot of buckets from the midrange and low block and changing the game on the glass.

It’s just about Davis staying on the floor and not getting hurt.

For the latest Anthony Davis rumors and salary info, click here.

1
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee)

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If we were doing this project in a different way, ranking the NBA’s top players instead of breaking it down by position, Giannis Antetokounmpo would rank perhaps at No. 1 but without a doubt in the Top 3, as the Greek Freak, despite not winning MVP in either of the last two seasons, remains arguably the league’s most impactful player thanks to his contributions on both sides of the floor.

The advanced analytics agree with that assessment, with VORP ranking Antetokounmpo the No. 2 player of the 2021-22 season, BPM likewise No. 2, as well as Win Shares, WS/48 and PER, all placing the 27-year-old as the second-best player last season. Even our own Global Rating metric ranks Antetokounmpo as the No. 2 player of the last 365 days.

We don’t need advanced stats to tell us that, however, as his raw averages –  29.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks on 55.3 percent shooting – remain ridiculous while the eye test also makes it quite clear the type of player the Milwaukee Bucks power forward is.

An absolute force when he catches the ball down low, Antetokounmpo can also grab a rebound, hightail it in transition himself, throw down monster dunks or create for others, as well as score on face-up opportunities. His outside jumper will never be a strength but even then, Antetokounmpo can at least knock down threes at this point in his career.

Defensively, too, the former league MVP is magnificent, racking up takeaways thanks to his ridiculous wingspan and high-level effort, blocking shots, even those that appear safe from his long arms, and boasting the ability to guard every position on the floor.

In all, Antetokounmpo is one of the two or three best basketball players in the world, and 2022-23 should be more of the same for the future Hall-of-Famer.

For the latest Giannis Antetokounmpo rumors and salary info, click here.

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