2021 NBA free agent rankings: Top power forwards available right now

·12 min read

The 2021 free-agent power class is headlined by two restricted free agents, though one may be a bit more easily had than the other.

John Collins leads the pack, and rightfully so based on his production, upside as a floor-spacing big man and much-improved impact to winning in 2020-21. It’s hard to see the Hawks letting him go easily, but perhaps there’s still some ill-will there about Atlanta bypassing signing him to an extension last offseason.

After Collins is Lauri Markkanen, who still has potential based on his outside shooting ability out of the frontcourt, but who has been very inconsistent in his NBA career and who might need some toughening up before becoming as impactful of a player as someone with his skillset should be.

Then, there’s Bobby Portis, a reserve big man who has proven in his career that he can be someone trusted to come off the bench and do some solid scoring, be it on a bad team or a great one.

At No. 4, we have the resurgent Blake Griffin, who looked like a brand-new guy following his move to the Nets, and who could interest teams with his energy and playmaking ability. He even proved with Brooklyn that he can still dunk, too!

Below, check out our full rankings for the 2021 NBA free-agent power forward class.


John Collins / Restricted free agent / Last team: Atlanta

John Collins
John Collins

Despite posting huge numbers consistently, it still sometimes seems like he still hasn't fully figured out his game, which is scary considering how good he is as-is. On offense, at least. His defense still needs refining. 2020/21 stats: 17.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 55.6 FG%, 39.9 3P% Career earnings: $11,059,862 Agent:Sean Kennedy

Lauri Markkanen / Restricted free agent / Last team: Chicago

Lauri Markkanen
Lauri Markkanen

Mar 31, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (24) dribbles against Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric (20) during the second half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Floor-stretching power forward who can hit some shots off the dribble. Coming off his best shooting season, which could help his value in free agency. Overall a very inconsistent player throughout his career, though. 2020/21 stats: 13.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.9 apg, 48.0 FG%, 40.2 3P% Career earnings: $20,389,668 Agent: Michael Lelchitski

Bobby Portis / Player option / Last team: Milwaukee

Bobby Portis
Bobby Portis

Very solid backup big man who provides impressive scoring punch off the bench. Capable outside shooter and finisher around the basket, though not a good rebounder for his position. Plays with a lot of energy and can fire up teammates with his play. 2020/21 stats: 11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.1 apg, 52.3 FG%, 47.1 3P% Career earnings: $25,382,386 Agent:Mark Bartelstein

Blake Griffin / Last team: Brooklyn

Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin

Looked like a new man as a member of the Nets, displaying athleticism and effort we hadn't seen from him in a long while. For a big man, he's an excellent playmaker and creator and his versatility on defense has really improved. 2020/21 stats: 11.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 42.3 FG%, 34.1 3P% Career earnings: $226,026,896 Agent:Jeff Schwartz

Kelly Olynyk / Last team: Houston

Kelly Olynyk
Kelly Olynyk

Good scoring big man off the bench who can space the floor, handle the ball and pass it well for a power forward. Not totally lost defensively when forced to switch, but he's not much of a rebounder or rim-protector. 2020/21 stats: 13.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.9 apg, 48.4 FG%, 34.2 3P% Career earnings: $60,353,524 Agent:Greg Lawrence

Jeff Green / Last team: Brooklyn

Jeff Green
Jeff Green

Veteran wing who can even play some small-ball center. Coming off the best shooting season of his career and that, plus his versatility at his size, make him an extremely solid role player. 2020/21 stats: 11.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 49.2 FG%, 41.2 3P% Career earnings: $72,434,810 Agent:Jason Glushon

Carmelo Anthony / Last team: Portland

Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony

He may be in the twilight of his career but he just posted the most accurate outside shooting campaign at age 36. Also still remains completely unafraid of stepping up and taking big shots when his team needs it most. 2020/21 stats: 13.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.5 apg, 42.1 FG%, 40.9 3P% Career earnings: $238,202,011 Agent:Aaron Mintz

Paul Millsap / Last team: Denver

Paul Millsap
Paul Millsap

Starting to show signs of slowing down, but still can be an effective big man off the bench who's still a solid playmaker and shooter for a big man. 2020/21 stats: 9.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.8 apg, 47.6 FG%, 34.3 3P% Career earnings: $190,800,096 Agent:DeAngelo Simmons

JaMychal Green / Player option / Last team: Denver

JaMychal Green
JaMychal Green

Floor-stretching big man with some face-up scoring ability. Not much of a rebounder and just a so-so defender, however. 2020/21 stats: 8.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.9 apg, 46.3 FG%, 39.9 3P% Career earnings: $30,636,962 Agent:Mike Hodges

Rudy Gay / Last team: San Antonio

Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay

Steady presence on the court thanks to his veteran experience. Can do some scoring out of the low block and likes to hit outside shots from the corners. 2020/21 stats: 11.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.4 apg, 42.0 FG%, 38.1 3P% Career earnings: $166,046,165 Agent:Raymond Brothers

PJ Tucker / Last team: Milwaukee

One of the best defenders in basketball on the wing. Isn't afraid to match up and get physical with the league's brightest stars. Good shooter from the corners. 2020/21 stats: 3.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.2 apg, 37.3 FG%, 33.6 3P% Career earnings: $50,427,354 Agent: Andre Buck

Georges Niang / Last team: Utah

Despite a weird release on his jumper, he's turned into one of the better shooting wings over recent seasons. Good effort on defense. 2020/21 stats: 6.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.8 apg, 43.7 FG%, 42.5 3P% Career earnings: $5,768,765 Agent: Mark Bartelstein

Markieff Morris / Last team: LA Lakers

Coming off a very inconsistent season, one that saw him just barely cling to a rotation spot in the playoffs. Shot it terribly in 2020-21, though that could have been an aberration. 2020/21 stats: 6.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 40.5 FG%, 31.1 3P% Career earnings: $46,507,874 Agent: Chafie Fields

James Johnson / Last team: New Orleans

Can do a bit of everything on offense, be it handle the ball, run a pick and roll as a playmaker or screener, slash to the basket or shoot with his feet set. Can also defend multiple positions. Slowing down athletically. 2020/21 stats: 7.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 44.6 FG%, 25.8 3P% Career earnings: $77,011,415 Agent: Mark Bartelstein

Taj Gibson / Last team: New York

Taj Gibson
Taj Gibson

Steady big man who is at his best off the bench but can even be a spot starter when needed. Good touch around the basket with some short-midrange shooting ability. 2020/21 stats: 5.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 0.8 apg, 62.7 FG%, 20.0 3P% Career earnings: $78,792,655 Agent:Mark Bartelstein

Jarred Vanderbilt / Restricted free agent / Last team: Minnesota

Very impactful defender on the wing who has versatility in who he defends. Puts up huge steals and blocks numbers in limited playing time. Offensive game needs work but huge upside defensively. 2020/21 stats: 5.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 60.6 FG%, 20.0 3P% Career earnings: $3,919,177 Agent: Bill Duffy

Nemanja Bjelica / Last team: Miami

Floor-spacing stretch-4 with a pretty outside stroke, though his numbers last season didn't reflect that. Underrated passer. Doesn't provide much on defense. 2020/21 stats: 6.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 45.4 FG%, 31.8 3P% Career earnings: $32,175,000 Agent: Jason Ranne

Solomon Hill / Last team: Atlanta

Veteran swingman who is usually well-liked by teammates. Does the dirty work, willing to defend anyone. An OK shooter with his feet set. 2020/21 stats: 4.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, 35.9 FG%, 32.1 3P% Career earnings: $56,082,718 Agent: Chris Emens

Maurice Harkless / Last team: Sacramento

Forward with a great wingspan who can defend guards and fellow swingmen alike. His lack of a consistent outside jumper has really held him back. 2020/21 stats: 5.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 41.8 FG%, 27.4 3P% Career earnings: $53,446,697 Agent: Bill Duffy

Stanley Johnson / Last team: Toronto

Stanley Johnson
Stanley Johnson

Wing with good strength but completely lacking any sort of reliable offensive game due to poor ball-handling and shooting prowess. More of a defender and energy player. 2020/21 stats: 4.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 38.2 FG%, 32.8 3P% Career earnings: $20,277,191 Agent:Bill Duffy

Mike Scott / Last team: Philadelphia

Undersized big man who really is just a shooter from the corners at this stage in his career. 2020/21 stats: 4.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.8 apg, 36.0 FG%, 34.2 3P% Career earnings: $27,064,863 Agent: Aaron Mintz

Jabari Parker / Last team: Boston

Coming off the worst season of his career, though he did end it on somewhat of a high note with the Celtics, showing some ability as a reserve scorer. That's probably his ceiling right now, a bench player who can occasionally get you some buckets. 2020/21 stats: 5.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.8 apg, 54.5 FG%, 18.2 3P% Career earnings: $55,670,441 Agent: Reggie Brown

JaKarr Sampson / Last team: Indiana

Explosive, high-energy swingman who thrives doing the dirty work around the paint and defensively. 2020/21 stats: 4.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.1 apg, 49.6 FG%, 20.0 3P% Career earnings: $5,393,602 Agent: Aaron Turner

Marquese Chriss / Last team: Golden State

Bouncy big man with great physical tools who hasn't been able to put it all together yet. Injuries have set him back some. 2020/21 stats: 6.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 35.7 FG%, 20.0 3P% Career earnings: $11,045,403 Agent: Aaron Goodwin

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson / Last team: Portland

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Dirty-work forward who is at his best defensively where he's able to guard multiple positions. Mediocre shooter but can finish plays around the rim. 2020/21 stats: 2.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 50.0 FG% Career earnings: $9,660,113 Agent:Adie von Gontard

Zach Collins / Restricted free agent / Last team: Portland

Another player who was thought to have great upside ahead of the draft but has seen his career derailed due to injuries. Face-up potential out of the frontcourt with good toughness down low. 2020/21 stats: 5.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.9 apg, 44.4 FG%, 32.4 3P% Career earnings: $16,332,615 Agent: Mark Bartelstein

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist / Last team: Dallas

Elite size and good-to-great athleticism, as well as length, on the wing, who gets after it defensively and doesn't shy away from tough matchups. Problem is, his complete lack of an offensive game. 2019/20 stats: 2.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.6 apg, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P% Career earnings: $60,356,045 Agent: Mitch Nathan

Patrick Patterson / Last team: LA Clippers

Big man lacking in athleticism but with decent shooting touch from beyond the arc. 2020/21 stats: 5.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.8 apg, 43.6 FG%, 35.7 3P% Career earnings: $43,925,266 Agent: Sam Goldfeder

Semi Ojeleye / Restricted free agent / Last team: Boston

One of the strongest players in the league, but poor feel on offense and inconsistent shooting hamper his impact. 2020/21 stats: 4.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.7 apg, 40.3 FG%, 36.7 3P% Career earnings: $6,041,604 Agent: Sean Kennedy

Trey Lyles / Last team: San Antonio

Big man with some shooting and ball-handling ability. Lacks strength down low. 2020/21 stats: 5.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.6 apg, 47.8 FG%, 35.0 3P% Career earnings: $21,386,049 Agent: Rich Paul

Nicolo Melli / Restricted free agent / Last team: Dallas

Floor-spacing power forward who isn't a consistent enough shooter. 2020/21 stats: 3.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.0 apg, 32.6 FG%, 27.1 3P% Career earnings: $8,000,000 Agent: Sam Goldfeder

Ersan Ilyasova / Last team: Utah

Veteran big man with outside shooting ability and a strong willingness to take charges. 2020/21 stats: 3.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.2 apg, 38.9 FG%, 43.9 3P% Career earnings: $69,733,301 Agent: Aylton Tesch

Gary Clark / Restricted free agent / Last team: Philadelphia

Solid defender on the wing who can shoot it some when left open. 2020/21 stats: 3.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.8 apg, 30.3 FG%, 28.7 3P% Career earnings: $3,411,345 Agent: Adam Pensack

Freddie Gillespie / Restricted free agent / Toronto

Good rebounder and shot-blocker despite average athleticism. 2020/21 stats: 5.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.5 apg, 52.4 FG% Career earnings: $363,015 Agent: Mike Naiditch

Donta Hall / Restricted free agent / Last team: Orlando

Respectable shot-blocker and rebounder who does the majority of his limited scoring in the paint. 2020/21 stats: 5.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 71.4 FG% Career earnings: $477,780 Agent: Andy Bountogianis

Nathan Knight / Restricted free agent / Last team: Atlanta

Big man lacking in athleticism but has a good amount of skill and a funky left-handed face-up game. 2020/21 stats: 3.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.2 apg, 37.0 FG%, 18.2 3P% Career earnings: $522,989 Agent: Sean Kennedy

DJ Wilson / Restricted free agent / Last team: Houston

Came in with the upside of a shot-blocking three-point shooter out of the frontcourt, but never really developed into that role. Plays with good energy. 2020/21 stats: 5.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.7 apg, 40.5 FG%, 34.5 3P% Career earnings: $12,178,720 Agent: Darren 'Mats' Matsubara