There’s a massive range of players when it comes to power forward
It’s a position with no shortage of star talent, but where it can be challenging to make direct comparisons
We’ve picked our top 10 heading into the 2021/22 NBA season
The best power forwards in the NBA in 2021/22 are at the forefront of NBA betting.
We’ve got MVPs and a collection of All-NBA calibre players in our top 10. Our top three are key men for the three title favourites in online betting.
There are former first overall picks scattered throughout and several All-Stars who have defied perception and expectation to break out in a big way. Here are our 10 best power forwards in the NBA right now…
10) Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris doesn’t get the praise he deserves. As is often the case with the third-best player on a contender, they take a lot of blame but not much of the praise.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were both runners up for major awards, and now Simmons is trying to force his way out, resulting in an NBA drama so entertaining it might get picked up by Netflix. Harris just quietly goes about his work.
There are flaws in his game. He should be more trigger happy from three. He can go missing in the playoffs. The former Clipper is also coming off the most efficient season of his career, and he’s made notable strides on defence.
9) Julius Randle
The star of the Knicks’ remarkable 2020-21 season, Julius Randle still has a point to prove coming into 2021-22.
There was no doubt he deserved Most Improved Player, but his postseason struggles leave some uncertainty about his ability to replicate that campaign.
Randle’s role on offence will be tweaked with Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier on the team. He shouldn’t have to do as much playmaking, which should help him preserve energy for the back half of the year.
8) Pascal Siakam
Much maligned over the last year or so, Pascal Siakam has gone from fairy tale story on a title team to an underrated All-Star level talent.
Toronto’s 2020-21 can effectively be written off given the circumstances the team was in.
Back playing north of the border, the Raptors and Siakam should bounce back this season. The Cameroonian is one of the better two-way fours in the league.
7) Draymond Green
Draymond Green starred in the most recent of NBA dynasties as a center. Much of his best basketball in 2021-22 will likely come as a five too, but we’re classifying as a power forward for this purpose.
Green plays the position in a unique way. He’s switchable and elite one through five on defence.
On offence, he’s not a threat to score, but he’s the conductor of Golden State’s ball movement, which resulted in 8.9 dimes per game last season.
It’s not a direct comparison between Green and many others listed here, but this feels like the right spot.
6) Zion Williamson
Onto his third NBA coach already, Zion Williamson is yet to experience much winning in the pros. NBA predictions are almost impossible when it comes to the Pelicans, and part of that is Williamson’s health.
A foot injury means he’s going to miss the start of the season (again), and conditioning has been a foundation of conversation about the former first overall pick.
What Zion can do as an offensive force, both scoring inside and creating for others, earns him the six spot, but he’s got a long way to go as a defender and shooter.
5) Domantas Sabonis
With Myles Turner injured, Domantas Sabonis spent much of last season as a center.
He’s always been between the two positions, with Turner’s shooting and rim protection allowing the Lithuanian to play as a five on offence and a four on defence.
While he’s starting to add the three ball to his offensive arsenal, Sabonis is different to many modern bigs. He’s not a screen and dive finisher, nor is he a pure floor spacer.
Working on the block to attack smaller defenders and passing from the elbow, he’s the hub of everything the Pacers do on offence.
Indiana is going to look different this year with Rick Carlisle in charge – only time will tell if Sabonis remains a four long-term.
4) Jayson Tatum
Often used as a three earlier in his career, Jayson Tatum was almost exclusively a power forward in 2020-21.
Ime Udoka may use Tatum as a small forward at times this year after Al Horford returned in the offseason, but Tatum is expected to primarily play at the four.
While last year was disrupted by COVID-19 and general Celtics dysfunction, Tatum still put up career-highs across the board.
His progress as a playmaker has cemented him among the elite, and Boston will be expecting him to carry a similar burden this season after trading Kemba Walker.
3) Anthony Davis
Much like Sabonis and Green, Anthony Davis’ best basketball comes at the five.
He’s starting as the power forward for the Lakers once again, though, and will be splitting his minutes between the two positions throughout the regular season.
Coming off a down year, having once again battled injuries, there’s really no argument for Davis to be any higher than three on this list.
The Lakers are going to lean heavily on him at the defensive end having lost so many plus defenders in the offseason. It’ll be interesting to see how Frank Vogel utilises Davis on offence too, particularly in non-LeBron minutes.
2) Kevin Durant
Even the most optimistic basketball followers didn’t expect Kevin Durant to look like this after his Achilles injury. The Durant we witnessed in 2020-21 was the Durant we saw throughout his years in Oklahoma City and Oakland.
He almost single-handedly toppled the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the playoffs. The defence remains top tier and opponents have no answer when he gets it going on the offensive end.
Durant is already in the top 15 of the greatest NBA players of all-time. He could break the top 10 in the next couple of seasons.
1) Giannis Antetokounmpo
A two-time MVP and the reigning Finals MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo is not just the best power forward. He’s the best player in the NBA, narrowly beating out Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Steph Curry.
Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the title despite a knee injury midway through the playoffs.
He notched five rejections and scored 50 to clinch Milwaukee’s first championship in 50 years in what is universally acknowledged as one of the all-time great Finals performances.
There is no comparison for the Greek Freak. He’s a top five defender in the NBA and a truly unstoppable offensive force – there are more MVPs in his future, particularly if the jumper continues to develop.
*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*