We’ve already given you who the top-10 power forwards of all time are, but what about the best in the NBA right now?
When you are trying to break down any of these lists you have to have certain parameters and criteria in order to make the playing field as level as possible. This cannot be stressed enough when you’re talking about the four position.
Especially in today’s NBA, players often become hybrid players who play a mix of two positions. For instance, Karl-Anthony Towns sometimes plays at power forward but is predominantly a center. When it comes to a player who plays both forward roles, you have to look at the one he’s officially listed at, like LeBron James who plays at both the three and the four, but we all know that James is not only a small forward, he’s the best that ever picked up a basketball.
Another criteria taken into consideration is time. Only counting guys who played a minimum of 800 minutes last season were in consideration, so you won’t see any injured players or rookies. Sorry, Ben Simmons, maybe next year.
Finally, stats count. Since the power forward is so dramatically different now than it was when Tim Duncan was drafted 20 years ago – players are more versatile now and are asked to spread the floor instead of primarily post and inside-only PFs. Defense is always tough to gauge, so we’re using ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus as the benchmark to go along with each power forward’s efficiency, shooting percentage, minutes, and usage rate.
Now that all of that is out of the way, here are the best five power forwards in the league right now:
5. Draymond Green
You definitely don’t think of Green as the fifth-best PF in the league, in fact you probably have him in your top two. But here’s where the stats come in: Green had a down season in 20169-17 coming it at 43rd of all power forwards that met the criteria for the list with a 52.2 TS%. That coupled with his usage rate being low as a result of playing with guys like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant doesn’t help. brought his score down, as did the low usage rate created by sharing the court with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant.
Make no mistakes about it, this is based on a formula laid out above, not any rational person’s opinion. Green is hands down one of the top two in the league.