Of all the positional rankings we’ve been doing, power forward is no doubt the most difficult, primarily because it’s constantly in flux. The concept of a stretch four is no longer a luxury item or a specialty, but a necessity in many offenses. There’s still room for low-post bruisers at this position, but more than ever, it demands versatility. Power forwards have to either be pick-and-roll weapons who can drag one or more defenders on a hard roll to the rim, shooters or both on offense, and they need to be able to defend either up or down a position on the other end. This makes it one of the most difficult to rank.
HONORABLE MENTION: Chris Bosh
When healthy, he’s one of the best players in the game, certainly one of the top-five players on this list. Since LeBron James’ last season in Miami, Bosh has expanded his shooting to the three-point line and become more adept at guarding centers without sacrificing virtually any of the quickness that allows him to shut down power forwards. His volume has increased and his efficiency inside the three-point line has decreased slightly, but LeBron isn’t there to feed him anymore, so y’know.
Of course, the problem is that no one knows how much he’ll play anymore, if at all. Blood clots aren’t an ACL tear — they’re a rare case for an otherwise-healthy 32-year-old to deal with, and we have no guarantee he’ll ever play again, or when it could recur if he does. So if Chris can ever get back with a clean bill of health, we know he’s still a beast.
20. Jared Dudley
Mercifully, we’re past the point where outdated dictates of size forced Dudley into the small forward spot, where he would get roasted day and night on the wing. He’s still a minus defensively, but the position has shrunk enough to where he’s not getting mauled in the post night after night, allowing his excellent three-point shooting to shine through. Back in Phoenix, where he had some of his best years, Dudley’s only a placeholder until Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender mature, but while he’s there, he’ll provide excellent spacing for Alex Len and Tyson Chandler to work.