8. PAUL MILLSAP, Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap combines his limitless energy with a high basketball IQ to be one of the more productive and efficient fours in the game. He’s a top ten scorer (16.6 points per game) and rebounder (8.8 boards per game) among power forwards and has done it at a bargain price ($8.6 million owed this season). He’s extremely active on defense and his 103 steals last season were the third-most in the entire NBA (no other power forward ranked in the top 20). He’s one of those right-place-at-the-right-time kind of guys and has a great nose for the ball.
The biggest knock on Millsap is his size; he is undersized for the power forward position and this weakness shows when he has to put a body on some of the more traditional fours in the league. But he plays aggressively and can out-quick the more lumbering bigs to loose balls and to the bucket. He jumpshot is nothing to freak out over, but his 71 percent at the rim was the second-best percentage in the league among qualified power forwards.
With young stud Derrick Favors breathing down his neck for additional playing time, it will be interesting to see how Millsap takes advantage of this season (a contract year) and whether or not he sticks with the Jazz beyond 2013. If he makes it to free agency next summer, there are plenty of teams that will be willing to fork out some decent cash for his services.