This is no longer your daddy’s power forward position. Gone are the Shawn Kemp‘s, Charles Barkley‘s, and Karl Malone‘s of yesteryear. Thanks to the greatness of Dirk Nowitzki we now have a strong need for a stretch four as we move into the era of positionless basketball.
The forward position is probably the most loaded it has ever been in the NBA (this also includes small forwards).
30. Davis Bertans – Washington Wizards
By default, he might be the Wizards’ second option in scoring this season. The cupboard is pretty bare until John Wall returns — if he does.
29. Rodions Kurucs – Brooklyn Nets
Kurucs is a solid forward option, he’ll do a lot of clean-up as a fourth of the fifth option on the court.
28. Kelly Olynyk – Miami Heat
Again, another solid forward who is projected to put up 17-8 this year.
27. Zach Collins – Portland Trail Blazers
Okay, hear me out on this one. There’s a chance he becomes a solid third option for the Blazers this season. In the preseason he looked a lot more active and had a better connection with CJ and Dame in the pick and roll game over Whiteside. I think he’s going to capitalize on the opportunities and have a big year. With that said, there is a chance he’s traded before the year is over.
26. Lauri Markkanen – Chicago Bulls
There is a good chance that Markkanen ends up being a 20-10 guy this coming season. He needs to stay healthy and he’ll be a great compliment to LaVine.
25. Rudy Gay – San Antonio Spurs
The world has been trying to write off Gay for a long time. He is a solid third option behand DeRozan and Aldridge.
24. Miles Bridges – Charlotte Hornets
I have him ranked high because I like his potential on a Hornets roster that doesn’t feature a whole lot of scoring options outside of Rozier. I look for Bridges to take a big leap this year.
23. Aaron Gordon – Orlando Magic
Gordon is an athletic freak, but he’s yet to put a full season together to match those athletic gifts really pay off.
22. Dario Saric – Phoenix Suns
He’s probably a distant third option for the Suns this coming season. Booker is going to take roughly 70% of the shots for the Suns this year.
21. Robert Covington – Minnesota Timberwolves
He’s not going to get a lot of looks offensively – especially since he’ll take up a lot of the same real estate as Towns. His value is his ability to switch and guard all five positions on the floor really well. He ends up taking away more points than he scores, have to love a guy like that.
20. Julius Randle – New York Knicks
Randle might be the Knicks’ best offensive weapon this year. Granted that’s not a big call out. There’s a great shot Randle is a 25-12 guy this season.
19. John Collins – Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are going to score a lot of points this year and Collins should see quite a few balls drop through the hoop. He regressed defensively last season and he needs to get that tightened up.
18. P.J. Tucker – Houston Rockets
Tucker is by far the best three-and-D guy in the league. He’s undersized for the position but has no problem switching to guard any of the five positions on the floor.
17. Jaren Jackson Jr. – Memphis Grizzlies
Jackson is probably the second scoring option for the Grizzlies this season. He’s a decent defender and could jump up offensively this year. I would love to see him improve those rebounding numbers. They are light for his position.
16. Bojan Bogdanovic – Utah Jazz
He’s a natural big-bodied three, so that makes him a great stretch four, something that the Jazz have needed. While they are going to miss the rebounding of Favors, the Jazz are going to enjoy the space that Bojan provides. Look for the Jazz to be a much more potent offensive unit this year because of this man.
15. Zion Williamson – New Orleans Pelicans
When he played in preseason he looked like a runaway MVP candidate, but that knee injury is troublesome. I thought Zion would come into the league a little bit lighter, but I’m not sure if his frame allows it. If he’s healthy he could be a top-five player in the league. But I worry about his health.
14. Danilo Gallinari – Oklahoma City Thunder
There is about a 0.25% chance he ends the season on the Thunder. While he’s on the roster he’s going to be the Thunder’s best scoring option. As always this comes down to his health. Gallinari has only played in 70+ games twice in his now ten-year career.
13. Marvin Bagley Jr. – Sacramento Kings
I’m not sure why he didn’t start last year, he was the Kings best power forward. I’m predicting a 22-11 type season for him as the Kings flirt with the playoffs.
12. Domantas Sabonis – Indiana Pacers
There are rumors he’s not signing a long term extension in Indiana and therefore could be moved. While in Indiana he could be one of the main scoring options for the Nate McMillan and team. We’re not sure when Oladipo will be back, but the Pacers are going to be hard up for some scoring until then.
11. Paul Millsap – Denver Nuggets
The man is ageless. For most of his career, he was considered a number one option and on the Nuggets he is probably the fourth option. He brings the team a tough-nosed interior presence for the Nuggets who play a bit more finesse style.
10. Kristaps Porzingis – Dallas Mavericks
The Unicorn is back! It’s been a long time since Porzingis has played meaningful minutes in a meaningful NBA game. We shouldn’t expect too much, but after some of his preseason performances, maybe we should.
9. Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers
He’s regressed a little, he’s been a bit more injury-prone, but he’s still one of the better guys in the whole league. Hopefully, he can stay healthy and get moved to a contender.
8. Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics
Now that Kyrie isn’t slowing things down and clogging up his space look for Tatum to have a big bounce-back season. He has a chance to be the team’s leading scorer this year, but we’ll have to see how the chemistry with Kemba shakes out.
7. Al Horford – Philadelphia 76ers
Horford isn’t going to have to anchor the defense for the first time in what seems like a decade with Embiid playing next to him on the backline. I’m not sure how he’s going to fit into the offensive flow with the Sixers just yet. I think he’ll be the third option off motion sets.
6. Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors
Green is going to need to pick up his scoring a little bit with KD gone and Klay probably not going back until the All-Star Break at the earliest. We know his defense is going to be top-notch, we know he’ll make plays as a point forward, and we know he is going to annoy the crap out of the other team.
5. Blake Griffin – Detroit Pistons
Now that he’s in Detroit you almost think he’s retired even though he made the All-Star team last year. With Griffin, you’re going to get some nice looking jumpers and some vicious dunks.
4. Pascal Siakam – Toronto Raptors
Our man just got paid. Now with Kawhi gone, it might be safe to say he is the Raptors’ best player. There’s a good chance that he flirts with 22-10 season.
3. Paul George – Los Angeles Clippers
We probably won’t see George until November, but when he gets back he’s going to be asked to probably rotate the forward position with Kawhi. One he returns he’ll probably get about 24 points a game, almost ten boards, a few steals and be in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year.
2. Anthony Davis – Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron is the bigger name, but Anthony Davis is going to have bigger stats across the board. I think Davis is going to be in the MVP conversation all year, but end up losing to the person ranked ahead of him.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis made it look way too easy in the preseason. Yes, no one plays defense in the preseason, but Jesus, Giannis looked like a man playing a bunch of newborns on some possessions.