Aug 1, 2013; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) with guard Jrue Holiday (11) during a uniform unveiling at the team practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Right Down Euclid Rankings: Power Forwards

With the NBA in its yearly offseason lull, it’s as good a time as ever to rank the best players at each position. RDE co-editor Chris Manning and site blogger Trevor Magnotti will be taking a look at the Top 10 players (plus three honorable mentions) at each position for the next five weeks. The third of this series looks at the power forward position. (Editor’s note: Chris Bosh was not under consideration to be ranked, as he plays more center for the Miami Heat than power forward.)

Chris Manning’s Top 10

  1. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
  2. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
  3. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
  4. David West, Indiana Pacers
  5. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Spurs
  6. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
  7. Josh Smith, Detroit Pistons
  8. Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies
  9. Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn Nets
  10. Dirk Nowitski, Dallas Mavericks

Chris’s Thoughts

Love stands atop of this list for his, in my humble opinion and despite his injuries, underrated skills. Duncan, at 37 years of age, is still a consistently effective player. Three through five is where it gets tricky; Aldridge brings polished fluidity, West brings pure brute force and strength and Griffin brings the athleticism no other man has. You could flip them in any order and I would not complain. Davis is the name to watch on this list, as I think he is set for a breakout season with Jrue Holiday feeding him the ball and (hopefully) less games missed due to injury. Smith brings a hybrid game to the four, and when playing smart, efficient basketball is a fantastic player. Randolph is a brute on the block and is always a double-double threat. Garnett, while a relative shell of his former shelf, still has a niche in the league in the mid-range game and on defense. Nowitski is in a similar spot as Garnett – aging, but still a very effective player.

Honorable Mentions

–  Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets – While undersized, he plays hard, rebounds and is a 56.2 percent shooter from the field.

–  Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks – Underrated, tough and a very good rebounder. There’s a case for him to be in the Top 10.

–  Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder – Ibaka is stout defender, but is a better shooter than most make him out to be. If he can make strides there this season, I could justify a top ranking.

How the Cavaliers stack up

If only there was a way one could combine Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett into one very competent power forward. While both undersized, they both bring legitimate skills to the table. Thompson is an excellent rebounder and an improving offensive player. Bennett is stretch four who will need work on the defensive end. As for rankings, I’d put Thompson around right outside my honorable mentions in the 14-17 range, while Bennett is in the 20 range with a lot of room to grow.

Trevor Magnotti’s Top 10

  1. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
  2. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
  3. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
  4. Josh Smith, Detroit Pistons
  5. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
  6. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
  7. Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks
  8. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
  9. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder
  10. David West, Indiana Pacers

Trevor’s Thoughts

Kevin Love is the best power forward in the game today. While he’s battled injuries last season and his shooting suffered greatly, he’s a total game-changer for Minnesota and a Top 10 player if healthy. Griffin is approaching that level as a two-way player, showing great defensive prowess and an improving shot. Tim Duncan’s Old Man Game is untouchable, and he was a Top 5 defensive player last season. 4, 5 and 6 are somewhat interchangeable to me. Smoove is clearly the most talented, Aldridge is the most consistent and Davis might pass both in both categories this season or next. Paul Millsap is the league’s most underrated player, so he gets due credit at 7. Dirk is old and can’t defend anyone, but he’s still the best scorer on a fringe playoff team. Ibaka’s shooting range gives him a slight advantage over West, even though I think West is the better defensive player. It’s incredible to me how overrated Ibaka is on that side of the ball.

Honorable Mention

– Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz – There’s no way he doesn’t have a breakout season as the focal point of an insanely young Jazz offense.

– Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies – #Grit and #Grind are still unmatched.

– David Lee, Golden State Warriors -Deservedly gets killed for his defense, but still a stud on offense and on the glass.

How the Cavaliers stack up

I’d have Tristan Thompson in a similar spot as I put Dion Waiters. I’d say he’s around number 16 or 17 in the league right now, with a great chance to move up. Maybe Thompson will end up where I project Favors to be. His rebounding prowess, improving defense and the addition of a jumper all make the case for improvement here. I also would put Anthony Bennett somewhere in the 20s, only because we can’t be sure how good this guy is going to be this season.

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Tags: Anthony Benett Anthony Davis Blake Griffin Cleveland Cavaliers Tim Duncan Tristan Thompson

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