We continue our countdown of the Top 25 players at each position in 2022-23 with the power forwards. The power forward is historically one of the positions that have been loaded with talent. Some of the greatest players in history have claimed power forward as their primary position such as Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, and Charles Barkley. Of course, the list goes on and on as we dig through the past 75 years of basketball and the position of power forward is no different today.
At the top, you will find some of the best players in the game today. A few MVP candidates and No. 1 options sit towards the top of our Top 25. As you move down the list you will find that the talent is not limited to just superstars. There are elite role players and players who impact winning basketball up and down the list from top to bottom. The power forward position had fallen off for a few seasons but it might be time to officially claim that it is back.
Here are the Top 25 power forwards for the 2022-23 season.
25. Keegan Murray
2021-22 Stats: N/A
Kicking our list off at No. 25 is the 2022 Summer League MVP and rookie Keegan Murray. The new Kings forward has shown us already that he will adapt quickly to the NBA level. Murray is a two-way nightmare for opponents as he is able to slash to the basket and has an elite shot-creating ability. His handle and ability to knock down shots with some range make him a versatile offensive threat. He is also very energetic and skilled on the defensive end. He can generate takeaways with his quick hands and awareness to anticipate screens, cuts, and clog passing lanes.
Murray’s all-around skill was on full display this past summer in Las Vegas. In 4 Summer League games, Murray averaged 23.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, and 1.3 SPG. He was named the Summer League MVP as the best player among some other great young NBA talent. This is nothing new for Murray as he was one of the top players in the country during his sophomore season with the University Of Iowa. Murray will be a welcomed addition to a Kings team that is looking to break the longest playoff drought in the NBA currently. To begin 2022-23, look for him to be a key piece for Sacramento by backing up Harrison Barnes and Domantas Sabonis. By year’s end, he may establish himself as their next franchise player.
24. Patrick Williams
2021-22 Stats: 9.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Patrick Williams is coming off of a 2022 season that saw him appear in just 17 games for the Chicago Bulls. The pressure is beginning to build on the young man who the Bulls could end up being one of their most important pieces going into 2022-23. Williams has shown flashes of the ability to take the next step in his career during his rookie season in which he played 71 games for Chicago. Due to a broken wrist, his big 2021-22 season was derailed to the tune of 65 missed games. However, Williams showed some promise once again in the late season and playoffs to once again make us think he can make that jump.
In his final outing of the regular season, Williams went for 35 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves on 10-21 shooting. The Bulls were then faced with a tough first-round matchup in the first round of the playoffs in the Milwaukee Bucks. Williams went for 20+ in both games 4 on well over 50.0% shooting. He also takes on some of the toughest defensive matchups the league has to offer at his position and handled it like a veteran player who battled the entire time he was on the court. Williams can make a significant impact on the Bulls headed into 2022-23 if he can up his game consistently.
23. P.J. Washington
2021-22 Stats: 10.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.9 BPG
At 22 years old and in just his 3rd season with the Charlotte Hornets, P.J. Washington established himself as a key utility piece for the team in 2021-22. In a season that saw him make adjustment after adjustment, it looks like he finally round his place in Buzz City. Washington found success with his ability to play the power forward and center positions at effective levels. His ability to shoot and handle the ball opened up a fair amount of opportunity for him to contribute. He also made strides on the other end of the floor.
When Washington was locked in and focused on his defensive assignments, he shined for the Hornets in 2021-22. He threw around his weight well and used his body to defend bigger and more physical opponents. He disrupts and alters shots well, making him one of the more important pieces of the Hornets’ young core. With Miles Bridges no longer with the team, Washington’s role is sure to increase in 2022-23 making him a candidate for a possible Most Improved Player run.
22. Lauri Markkanen
2021-22 Stats: 14.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Lauri Markkanen will have a new home in 2022-23after spending the past season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Markkanen will be suiting up for the Jazz this upcoming season after being sent to Utah in the Donovan Mitchell trade. There were many ups and downs for him in 2022 with Cleveland but he seems primed to step in for Utah and be a big part of their plans. Once he was able to stay on the floor for Cleveland in 2022, he proved why he is worth the nearly $70 million contract.
Markkanen missed some time before the All-Star break last season both due to contracting Covid-19 and an ankle sprain that sidelined him for 11 games. He was able to find a rhythm with his new teammates after the break and prove that he was able to adjust to their system. In 23 games after All-Star Weekend, Markkanen averaged 16.7PPG and 6.2 RPG on 38.1% shooting from deep. Where he really improved was on the defensive end playing alongside Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. While he can’t possibly be what Rudy Gobert was for Utah, he can use his 7’0’’ frame to throw off offenses at times.
21. Jabari Smith
2021-22 Stats: N/A
The second rookie to make our list comes in at No. 21 and that is Jabari Smith of the Houston Rockets. Smith looks poised to make an immediate impact for the Rockets, having to step right into the starting role after the departure of Christian Wood. Smith spent his college career with Auburn University for a total of one season. Smith was a monster for the Tigers averaging 16.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.1 SPG, and 1.0 BPG. His defensive instincts made pro scouts drool and were the main reason for his 3rd overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
The defensive end of the ball is sure to be where Smith makes an immediate impact. His offensive game will likely need some work as he transitions from college where he was forced to create his own shot and attack rather than work in a system. He should get some open opportunities alongside Jalen Green and Kevin Porter jr. but he needs to improve his shooting efficiency before he commits to a high volume. Smith shot just 37.7% overall in the Summer League this year and it is definitely a point of emphasis for him heading into the season.
20. Dorian Finney-Smith
2021-22 Stats: 11.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.5 BPG
To the casual fan, Dorian Finney Smith may look like he doesn’t provide much for the Dallas Mavericks. To knowledgeable fans, he is an elite role player. Finney-Smith is a threat in a few situations on the offensive side of the ball. He is not your stereotypical power forward but he fits the mold in every way aside from his size. He knows exactly where to be and how to move without the ball to maximize the potential for open opportunities. He slashes and cuts to the basket perfectly whether that be for himself or to open up others. He possesses a smooth stroke from beyond the arc and in transition, which has proven to be more than effective.
He is also one of the more important pieces to the Mavericks’ defense. He is a staunch perimeter defender, able to close out quickly on outside shots as well as stick with most guards in the NBA. He can also guard multiple positions and even though he is slightly undersized, can force bigs out to the perimeter for more difficult shots. With the departure of Jalen Brunson, Dallas will be looking for another playmaker to step up alongside Luka Doncic. Finney-Smith can be the guy to alleviate that pressure if he stays consistent in 2022-23.
19. Aaron Gordon
2021-22 Stats: 15.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.6 BPG
In his first full season with the Denver Nuggets, Aaron Gordon sought to prove that he could be the asset the team thought they were acquiring at the 2020-21 trade deadline. He ended up doing just that by excelling on both ends of the court. On defense, he was their No. 1 stopper. He could post up with bigs or centers and possessed the strength to keep them at bay. Simultaneously, he had no problem chasing guards and smaller forwards on the perimeter and keeping them in front of him. Gordon’s ability to adapt to the constant rotation of injured players has been remarkable to watch.
Headed into 2021-22, Gordon was set to be the 3rd guy behind Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. That was quickly changed after just 2 weeks when Porter Jr. went down for the season. On offense, he was able to make and create much better shots than he had in the past despite the unexpected increase in touches and volume. He posted career-best true shooting numbers at 60.2%, well ahead of the league average. The 2022-23 season should see the return of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. Given what we have seen of Gordon’s ability to adjust to any situation, he can help Denver thrive no matter what they ask of him.
18. Paolo Banchero
2021-22 Stats: N/A
The last rookie to appear on this list is the No. 1 overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft, Paolo Banchero out of Duke University. Banchero is a unicorn in the sense that he plays the power forward position and has a big frame to go with it but he plays and scores like a shooting guard. Paolo has a deep bag that consists of a wide array of dribble moves that help him create high-percentage shots. His jab-step is a go-to creation move, especially from the mid-range where Banchero can shoot at a high percentage. With these in his arsenal, Banchero also makes easy work of getting himself to the basket.
At 6’10’’, Banchero makes the Orlando Magic one of the tallest lineups in the NBA. Banchero thrives on getting some momentum and stopping short for mid to medium-range shots. His long build and high release will cater perfectly to that skill set. This ability to create off of only one or two dribbles makes Banchero specifically dangerous when operating pick-and-rolls. He uses screens very well knowing that it is only setting him and his style of play up for success. Banchero can help Orlando climb out of the league basement potentially and is the favorite to take home the 2022-23 Rookie of the Year award.
17. Kyle Kuzma
2021-22 Stats: 17.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Kyle Kuzma is just one in a line of many to thrive in a new situation after leaving the Los Angeles Lakers. His new and improved role with the Washington Wizards has Kuzma playing some of the best and most relaxed basketball of his life. With the Wizards, Kuzma was given a higher usage rate than ever before and it paid off with a career season. He averaged the second-most PPG of his career while finding career-highs in rebounds, assists, and field goal percentage.
Kuzma’s role with the Wizards will be ultimately the same in 2022-23. The only goal for them now is to put it all together and play some winning basketball. Kuzma’s play will have a lot to do with which direction the team heads as the season progresses. He needs to continue to shoot the ball well while taking more high-percentage shots. He will need to stay aggressive on the glass for rebounds in order to grant Washington more possessions. If he can do that and the Wizards remain healthy, they could be a sleeper team in 2022-23, although it isn’t very likely.
16. Harrison Barnes
2021-22 Stats: 15.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Harrison Barnes will begin his 2022-23 campaign for the Sacramento Kings as their starting power forward. Barnes brings unique skills on both sides of the ball to play a significant role in the Kings’ offense. Over the past 4 seasons with the Kings, Barnes has improved his perimeter shooting, topping out at 39.0% from three last season. Barnes loves to go attack one-on-one matchups, leading to easy buckets both for him and his teammates.
Barnes’ role will expand to a more veteran one in 2022-23 as well. Barnes will help to develop new rookie Keegan Murray as well which will be important as the Kings look at Murray as a possible franchise player. Barnes brings some unique skills to the defensive side for the Kings as well. Barnes is versatile and disruptive on defense and is one of the most important defenders in Sacramento. Barnes can guard wings and guards on the perimeter while proving to be pretty effective on opposing bigs as well. The more disruptive he is, the better off the Kings are.
15. Christian Wood
2021-22 Stats: 17.9 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Christian Wood is yet another power forward that will be heading into a new situation in 2022-23. After spending the past 2 seasons with the Houston Rockets, Wood will be debuting with the Dallas Mavericks at the beginning of the 2022-23 season. Wood should be more than elated as he hopes to make the first playoff appearance of his 7-year career thus far. Wood will be the perfect fit in Dallas where he and Luka Doncic could possibly run the pick-and-roll to perfection.
Wood gives Dallas something that they haven’t had in years, a floor-spacing big man. He is a 39.0% three-point shooter which is a higher percentage than any other power forward that the Mavs have on their roster. He can create for himself if need be but will prove to be much more effective working alongside Doncic in other sets. Much like former Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis, the only thing that could derail Wood’s plans with Dallas is his health. A good sign is that he was on the court last season for Houston in 68 games which were a career-high. Look for Dallas to build upon their Western Conference Finals run in 2022 if Wood and Doncic find the chemistry we all are hoping they will.
14. Julius Randle
2021-22 Stats: 20.1 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 5.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Many will claim that Julius Randle took a step backward in 2021-22 one year after winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. However, Randle still showed that he was the offensively versatile big man from the year before. Yes, he was an All-Star in 2020-21 who reached levels of efficiency and scoring that he had never seen before in his career. With just a little drop in efficiency last season from Randle, the Knicks fell out of playoff contention.
This goes to show just how important Randle is to the Knicks’ success. He can still score, shoot, pass, and rebound among the best in the NBA, especially at the power forward position. He will be the perfect complimentary piece alongside the newly acquired Jalen Brunson and emerging star RJ Barrett. If Randle can return to his 202-21 form, look for the Knicks to make some noise in a loaded Eastern Conference. If not, Randle could be headed for trade by the deadline.
13. Jerami Grant
2021-22 Stats: 19.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 1.0 BPG
After a few years with the Detroit Pistons, Jerami Grant is headed to Portland to team up with Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers. Grant can do a little bit of everything across the board, adding a weapon that Lillard hasn’t seen since the days he had LaMarcus Aldridge. Now, while Grant may be no Aldridge, he is still a swiss army knife on both sides of the ball that is sure to boost Portland’s standings in the Western Conference. How much is what is yet to be determined.
The only knock on Grant is that sometimes he can hijack possessions without getting others involved. With Lillard at his side, that type of play from him will be nearly obsolete. Don’t get me wrong, Grant is very good when isolated in one-on-one situations but when Lillard and Anfernee Simons are out there, there is no need for it from Grant. He can spread the floor quite a bit and knock down shots from beyond the arc. His best feature may be his ability to guard multiple positions on defense. He has no problem banging around with the bigs in the post or chasing guards and wings out on the perimeter. Grant is a solid acquisition for Portland and they hope he can be one of their missing links in 2022-23.
12. John Collins
2021-22 Stats: 16.2 RPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.6 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Aside from his 3-point shooting, John Collins has improved his game in every which way in 2021-22 and over the past few seasons as a whole. His athleticism and court vision make him one of the more dangerous pick-and-roll men in the NBA. He can finish athletically on the roll-out or he can find an open shooter or cutter on his way to the basket. Collins suffered 2 nasty injuries in 2022, accounting for the dropoff in efficiency and scoring. Collins missed 28 games with a sprained finger and plantar fasciitis that also saw him miss some playoff time.
Where Collins has vastly improved is on defense. Coming into the league, his defense was a major cause for concern. He became an integral part of the Hawks’ defensive plans with his ability to switch onto smaller and faster guards as well as provide some elite-level rim protection. To say Collins has regressed after a Covid and injury-filled season would be doing no justice to the 24-year-old. Collins should prove to be a very important piece to an Atlanta team that has aspirations of competing for a Conference title.
11. Jaren Jackson Jr.
2021-22 Stats: 16.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, 2.3 BPG
Jaren Jackson Jr. just completed his 4th NBA season and it was by far his best yet. Jackson became a defensive beast for Memphis, finishing 5th in Defensive Player of the Year voting and leading the league in blocks with 2.3 BPG. Jackson could not be stopped, providing incredible rim protection for the Memphis Grizzlies and anchoring one of the best defenses in basketball. The only knock on Jackson is that his offense is still not improving to the level it was expected to by now.
I say this. If Jackson can provide the defense he has been displaying night in and night out, then why do we put so much pressure on him to improve offensively? He is still able to give the Grizzlies 16 points and 6 rebounds a game. That is more than sufficient for a team that gets its scoring from so many others. Jackson needs to remain the defensive force he is and everything else should fall right into place. When he gets his open opportunities from three, take them. Take what the defense gives you and attack at the right times. Jackson is a big part of what is happening in Memphis right now and you can expect that for years to come.
10. Tobias Harris
2021-22 Stats: 17.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 3.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Tobias Harris heads into his 4th season as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers with expectations that may be higher than ever before. Harris’s 2022 season is a tale of 2 halves that should leave Sixers fans with immense hope for 2022-23. Before the All-Star break, Harris struggled to find his rhythm on offense with no true point guard to set up his offense and having to create for himself a bit more. This led to a drop in efficiency and production. Once James Harden arrived, it went much differently.
With Harden and Embiid drawing most of the focus from defenders, Harris morphed into an elite three-point shooter, going for 40.3% from beyond the arc after the trade. He has settled into a role that sees him as the 4th option in Philadelphia, a role that Harris seems quite content with. Now that the pressure is off and Harris can settle into his game much more behind Harden, Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey, the 76ers should reap the benefits of a seriously potent offense. Look for Harris to be the x-factor pertaining to the Sixers’ success in 2022-23.
9. Scottie Barnes
2021-22 Stats: 15.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.7 BPG
The 2021-22 Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes lands at No. 9 on our list of power forwards for the 2022-23 season. Barnes exceeded expectations by a long shot in 2022, establishing himself as a franchise cornerstone for Toronto. Barnes stepped in as an athletic and tall wing that made an immediate impact on Toronto’s playoff run last season. He showed he can score at will, rebound as tough as nails on the glass, and even displayed his strengths as a playmaker and passer.
He began to display his skill as a point-forward as the 2021-22 season progressed also. Barnes injected an energy into the Raptors that they hadn’t seen since their 2019 NBA title run. Barnes was fantastic on defense as well. How many other forwards do you see taking the defensive assignment of both Kevin Durant and James Harden on the same night? In his first year as an NBA player, we saw Barnes go from a guy getting booed on draft night to a potential franchise player in no time. Can he step it up and get Toronto back to the postseason in 2022-23?
8. Evan Mobley
2021-22 Stats: 15.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.7 BPG
In his rookie season, Evan Mobley became an essential piece to the Cavaliers’ new look and helped to usher in a new era in Cleveland. Mobley has the perfect understanding of how to use his size and length in order to block and alter shots while staying out of foul trouble. He was an aggressive rebounder and efficient finisher at the rim for the Cavs as well in 2021-22. In the pick-and-roll, he could be utilized greatly in 2022-23, especially with the addition of Donovan Mitchell to the lineup.
Mobley’s biggest impact came on the defensive side of the ball. The 7-footer showed that he wasn’t afraid to take on any defensive assignment put in front of him. He was able to hold down the paint alongside Jarett Allen while showing the versatility to stay with guards if switched onto them. He still has room to grow on offense but his defensive capabilities are among the best in basketball. If Mobley improves his shooting and movement off of the ball, the Cavs will be a serious threat in the Eastern Conference in 2022-23.
7. Draymond Green
2021-22 Stats: 7.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 7.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.1 BPG
When we speak of the best of the best at playing their role and maximizing team success while doing so, we are talking about Draymond Green. Draymond understands to an exact science what his role is on the Golden State Warriors and it has paid off to the tune of 4 championships in 8 seasons including the 2022 NBA title. With him, the offense is a well-oiled machine and Green is the conductor. Without him, the Warriors look lost and unable to find any rhythm.
Green not only understands his role to perfection but everyone else’s on the floor as well. He is constantly directing teammates on defense while playing elite defense of his own. He often calls out rotations and switches so that his teammates adjust at a much more rapid pace than any other team in basketball. On offense, it is more of the same. Draymond directs traffic and displays patience while things play out in front of him. His instincts allow him to know what is going to happen before it does, allowing him to consistently make the right plays. As for 2022-23, well we already know what can happen if Draymond is once again at the top of his game.
6. Pascal Siakam
2021-22 Stats: 22.8 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 5.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Pascal Siakam is coming off of a season for the Toronto Raptors that earned him his 2nd All-NBA Team selection in 3 years. Siakam bounced back from a down year in 2020 to nearly match his career-high in PPG and surpass his career-highs in rebounds and assists. His presence back in the lineup in November was the catalyst for a successful season up north. He became the first player in Raptors history to average 20/5/5 for a season and helped the team reach the playoffs in a season they weren’t supposed to go anywhere.
Siakam really excelled as both a scorer and playmaker. He had 46 games of 20 points or more while recording 14 games of 30 points or more. As a playmaker, he recorded 21 games of 7 or more assists and tallied 2 triple-doubles for the first time in his career. Siakam showed that he can be trusted to take the pressure off of Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes to be the franchise guy in Toronto. Toronto can once again make some noise in 2022-23 if Siakam stays true to form.
5. Zion Williamson
2022-21 Stats: N/A
It may seem weird that we have a man that didn’t play an entire season ranked in our Top 5 power forwards but when that guy is Zion Williamson, those feelings should go away. Zion Williamson when healthy is one of the best players in basketball. The last time we saw him play, he averaged 27.0 PPG and 7.2 RPG on 61.1% shooting from the field. He finished at the basket 70.1% of the time. Does that seem like the numbers of someone who doesn’t deserve to be Top 5? Didn’t think so.
Zion has a chance to be the missing piece for the New Orleans Pelicans to be legitimate contenders in 2022-23. They have a solid young core in Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, and Herb Jones who held their own against the Suns in last year’s playoffs. The addition of Zion will bring back that interior presence that New Orleans missed dearly in 2021-22. He will take a lot of the pressure off of the other three guys, creating better and more opportunities for them in the long run. Some may doubt his ability to stay healthy but I am just glad we get to see him back on the floor in 2022-23.
4. Karl-Anthony Towns
2021-22 Stats: 24.6 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.1 BPG
For the first time in his NBA career, Karl-Anthony Towns will take the court as a power forward in 2022-23. With the addition of Rudy Gobert this offseason, Minnesota has a chance to trot out 2 of the best 7-footers in the NBA in the same lineup. Towns will man the power forward position which takes tremendous pressure off of his rebounding and defensive criticisms. Towns will be able to spread the floor way better than Gobert could, adding to his assertion that he is the best big-man shooter of all time.
Minnesota showed that they are ready to compete with the big dogs in the Western Conference on their playoff run last year. They went toe-to-toe with Memphis in the playoffs, who was one of the best teams in the NBA last season. At the center of it all was a much-improved Towns. Not in his numbers or his production but by the way he rallied himself and his teammates in big moments late in games. Towns and the Timberwolves will be aiming for a Top 6 seed in the West or better with their brand new front court ready to roll.
3. Anthony Davis
2021-22 Stats: 23.2 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 2.3 BPG
Yeah we know, cut the Anthony “Day To Day” Davis jokes now. Davis is coming off of a season in which he missed 42 games due to various lower extremity injuries. When he was on the court, he was the same old Davis. He scores in bunches and defends at a high level, especially in the interior where he alters shots tremendously. The problem is, that he has to stay on the court.
A fully healthy Lakers team should be scary with a fully healthy Davis next to LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. They just need to find a way to coexist. Davis needs to attack the basket more as he did in 2020 when the Lakers won the championship rather than settling for outside shots that have taken a major dip efficiency-wise. I understand that it is the way of the land in 2022 NBA basketball, but it shouldn’t be for Davis when he is much more dominant inside. I think a fully healthy and consistent Davis can help deliver a championship to Los Angeles once again. Will the rest of the supporting cast be able to step up?
2. Kevin Durant
2021-22 Stats: 29.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 6.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Now that the drama of the 2022 NBA offseason has wrapped up, Kevin Durant can get back to trying to deliver the Brooklyn Nets their first title in franchise history. After a summer of trying to get out of Brooklyn, Durant returns to a sem- re-tooled roster as its No. 1 option. Durant is one of the more lethal scorers in the league still with the ability to take over a game from all three levels of offense. He is one of the more efficient perimeter players in basketball as well and nearly automatic from mid-range.
Perhaps the most underrated parts of Durant’s game are his playmaking and defense. Durant recorded the 2nd highest APG for a power forward in 2021-22 with his innate ability to find shooters and cutters off of the drive. His defense has always been better than average too. It is just that no one recognizes it because his offense is so good. Durant is no perimeter defensive stopper but his weak side abilities prove to be vital on runs when he can alter and block shots using his 7’0’’ frame. No one knows what to expect from Brooklyn in 2022-23 but with Durant as their No. 1 guy, they are sure to be competing for a championship at the end of the season.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
2021-22 Stats: 29.9 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.4 BPG
Is anyone surprised? Giannis Antetokounmpo is not only the best power forward in basketball but he is simply the best player overall in the entire NBA. Over the past 4 seasons, Giannis has gone from a skilled player with an uncertain future to a dominant game changer on both offense and defense. On offense, it doesn’t matter where he gets the ball, Giannis will find a way to either get to the rim, knock down a short jumper, or make a play for one of his teammates. He continues to improve on his jumper as it has been an area of emphasis for a few seasons now and as it gets better, Giannis becomes more and more dangerous.
It goes without saying just how unstoppable Giannis is in transition offenses. The amazing thing is that most of Milwaukee’s transition buckets come from a defensive play that Giannis made and he will get down the floor in no time to finish it. His rim protection is the best in the league and it doesn’t need to be shown in BPG. Watch him for 5 minutes and you can see just how much his mere presence disrupts the flow of an opponent’s game plan. I expect another MVP season out of Giannis in 2022-23 with a very good chance for the Bucks to return to the top of the mountain as NBA champions.