This year’s crop of big men is noticeably deeper than it’s ever been, with upwards of 25 power forwards and centers primed to come off the board by the end of the fourth round. The norm has shifted, and instead of reaching for a center early due to positional scarcity and the requisite Y! roster requirements, you’ll now find yourself passing up a few so you don’t end up with a roster full of them. To avoid redundancy, what you’ll find below are tiered rankings of any and all notable players with eligibility at power forward, center, or both.
By way of Basketball Monster, here’s a projection of the value distribution for the top 30 power forwards and centers this season:
Position averages, top 25 power forwards in year-end Yahoo! rank
10-11 - 50% FG, 79% FT, 0.5 3PM, 17.2 PTS, 8.5 REB, 2.4 AST, 1.9 TO, 1.0 STL, 1.1 BLK
09-10 - 50% FG, 78% FT, 0.5 3PM, 17.4 PTS, 8.7 REB, 2.4 AST, 1.9 TO, 1.0 STL, 1.0 BLK
Position averages, top 25 centers in year-end Yahoo! rank
10-11 - 51% FG,74% FT, 0.2 3PT, 15.6 PTS, 9.2 REB, 1.9 AST, 1.7 TO, 0.8 STL, 1.3 BLK
09-10 - 52% FG, 74% FT, 0.3 3PT, 16.3 PTS, 9.5 REB, 2.1 AST, 1.9 TO, 0.8 STL, 1.2 BLK
The rankings below are for nine-category roto leagues. “ADP” numbers are as of 12/19 and “10-11” denotes a player’s year-end rank from the 2010-11 season
Will miss out on elite PGs at the 1-2 turn; LBJ's 7 APG becomes crucial
Lakers' anchor this year with Kobe hurt, Bynum suspended + injury-prone
Value comes down to settings; near impossible to account for his FT%
Will only improve under Adelman; majority of his value invested in REB
Only player to post top-10 total value in each of the past eight seasons
Is 42% 3PT sustainable? Added threes catapult him into first round
Iso-heavy ways discouraged under Sloan; 22/11/3 after coaching change
Developed post game, proved he could be THE guy; on cusp of stardom
Can do it all; post-break decline a concern - move to PF would be ideal
Jumped to 4th among PF's in block rate, but will lose REB to Chandler
Can do it all; post-break decline a concern - move to PF would be ideal
Dramatic improvement in Portland; will thrive in new up-tempo system
Still a big question mark defensively, but so many possibilites with CP3
Dominant defensive force; shot selection only thing holding him back
One of two to average one steal/block/three; top-10 value before injury
Just about everything went wrong last season; due for bounce-back
Loses even more looks with additions of West, Hill; efficiency drag
Suffered effects of mono for good portion of season; Deron only helps
Undeniable talent level; mid-range game there, expect him to add more
Big drops in scoring/rebound rate; 19/8, plus- efficiency plenty valuable
Efficient scorer who's perhaps too unselfish; 30.5 mpg just inexplicable
Made a few major improvements in rebound rate, efficiency, assist rate
Still has a ways to go, but a great passer for his size; better suited at PF
Hesitant to buy into career year; not thrilled about potential move to SF
62 missed games over last two seasons; still improving offensively
Had an off-year by his standards but still avg'd 2.2 3PM, top-40 value
Can do more than finish PNRs; 44% beyond 10 ft could open up game
Value, mid-range game all hinge on that surgically-repared right elbow
Near identical per-36 averages as Ibaka; difference is focus, attitude
Defers a bit too much; entering prime but capped ceiling w/ Z-Bo, Gay
Not buying the resurgence at 32; hit a fluky 49% of shots from 10-15 ft
Will be on a minutes watch; can his knees hold up w/ condensed sked?
Already suspended five games; Lakers will lean on him more than usual
Declining and on minutes watch, but could be great value at a bargain
Loses his bread and butter pick-and- pop w/ CP3; coming off torn ACL
Great buy-low candidate; usually dramatically better after All-Star break
Career-highs in FG%, 3PT% will regress; versatility will be huge for DAL
Less than 60 GP in 4 of last 7 years; has to rediscover mid-range game
Led all PF's in pure point ratio; will get all the minutes he can handle
Combo forward miscast as a center; shooting %%'s should normalize
Dalembert will hurt efforts on glass, but perenial threat to crack top-75
Criminally underrated big man; developing offensive game, mid-range J
Three-point gunner also solid on offensive glass; rank inflated by TO's
Only 23 and still plenty of room for growth; avg'd 11.6 pts per 40 at rim
Still deadly off the catch from deep; 2nd amongst SF's in pure point rating
Lob City stand up; will likely lead the league in FG% with CP3 on board
Cut foul rate but asthma limits minutes; takes way too many long twos
Re-upped for a year in NJ; still remains one of league's best rebounders
Want no part of him, but dearth of scorers in CLE keeps him relevant
See: Jamison, Antawn
76 missed games in the last 3 yrs; career-high %%'s will surely regress
Posted career-high TS%; no CP3 means more looks, but less quality
Lands in HOU where he'll fit in just fine; elite rebounder, shot blocker
Talent level is undeniable, but maturity level and inefficiency still issues
Will finally get his shot to start after being inexplicably buried on bench
Worth speculating on in case he ends up in NJ; plenty of AST/REB/BLK
Needs to be far more assertive in Year 2 to make the leap (12.1% usage)
Inability to guard opposing SF's limits him to PF, where Love resides
Still needs to cut foul rate, but efficient scorer who draws a lot of fouls
Looking svelte these days; shed about 30 pounds over the off-season
Steps into hole left by Chandler's departure; poor FT% main drawback
Should see plenty of minutes as part of woefully thin Boston frontcourt
Shawn Marion, Grant Hill, Austin Daye, Derrick Williams, Michael Beasley, Chris Kaman, Rashard Lewis, DeJuan Blair, Patrick Patterson, Charlie Villanueva, Al Harrington, J.J. Hickson, Josh McRoberts, Ersan Ilyasova, Jonas Jerebko, Drew Gooden
Marcus Camby, Darko Milicic, Carl Landry, Glen Davis, Derrick Favors, Robin Lopez, Kenneth Faried, Tristan Thompson, James Johnson, Udonis Haslem, Tiago Splitter, Shawne Williams, Matt Bonner, Ekpe Udoh
Players to Target
JaVale McGee - Though Ibaka is clearly the superior player of the two, we’re only concerned with numbers here and, well, their per-36 minute averages are strikingly similar. The only real difference is that McGee was markedly worse from the free-throw line at 59 percent. Is that alone worth the near-three round difference in their ADP? It’s not, and even though McGee looks totally disengaged on the court at times and makes mistakes so egregious that it makes you wonder if he even knows the rules, he’s a dominant shot blocker and those 2.5 blocks per game alone are enough to carry his value.
Greg Monroe - While his lack of athleticism will limit his long-term upside, all Monroe will really need to do to outperform his draft position is to continue playing like he did during the final three months of the season. Monroe put up top-30 value during that span, highlighted by 9.0 rpg, 1.4 spg, and plus-efficiency (66% FG, 1.0 TO's).
Players to Avoid
Elton Brand - Just not buying that Brand is having some sort of resurgence at the age of 32, especially when it was largely fueled by a career-high (and largely fluky) 49 percent from 10-15 feet. An expected regression to the mean there combined with a deteriorating post game and middling rebound rate are plenty reason to be pessimistic about his outlook this season.
Danny Granger - In years past he’s been able to get away with a workload usually reserved for superstars (~20 shots a game, ~30 percent of total possessions), but now that the Pacers have actually added legitimate talent around him (West, Collison, Hill, Hibbert), those days are long gone. Granger is still the team’s de facto first option, but the upgrade from Josh McRoberts to David West at power forward alone will cost Granger a few looks. For a player more reliant on volume than he would leave you to believe, and one who managed a -2.6 pure point rating as a catch-and-shoot option, none of this bodes well for his value.
David West - He’s been one of the more consistent players over the past six years, posting a player efficiency rating no lower than 18.99 during that span. West is simply masterful from mid-range, hitting 47 percent of his long twos and 44 percent of his attempts from 10-15 feet. All of that fails to address his current situation though. Not only is he coming off a torn ACL injury, but he’s also leaving Chris Paul behind as well. That pick-and-pop game with CP3 that was his bread and butter for years? Gone. There’s a huge difference in the distributing skills of Paul and Darren Collison, and that’s a big deal when 86 percent of his looks from 10-15 feet – which make up a third of his total volume – are assisted. There’s just far too much uncertainty here and I’m nowhere near confident enough in him regaining form to justify his current ADP (48.1).
Ryan Anderson - His rank tends to be inflated by his miniscule turnover rate, but he’s an extremely effective and underrated scorer (19.4 points per 40 minutes) who takes about 65 percent of his attempts from three-point range and converts at a high clip (39.4 percent). Anderson is also proficient on the offensive glass (18th among PF's), which leads to even more high-percentage looks in the form of layups and free throws. Don’t sleep too long on him in the mid-to-late rounds.
DeAndre Jordan - The addition of Chris Paul alone is enough to expect significant improvement from him this season. For a big man who lacks any ability to create his own offense, a quality passer makes all the difference, and there simply isn’t a better distributor out there than Paul.
Tyrus Thomas - It’s still baffling to me how Thomas, in the midst of the best season of his career, was left out of the starting lineup – in favor of Boris Diaw and Kwame Brown, mind you – and held to just 21 minutes a game, his lowest in four seasons. Just inexplicable. He’s well-known for his shot blocking ability (second among PF’s in block rate), but he’s also developed a nice mid-range game (44% on long twos) over the last two years and converted his athleticism into an ability to finish around the basket. A scoring rate of 19.5 points per 40 minutes is nothing to scoff at, and that, combined with his steal and rebound rates, make him a potential gold mine.
Josh McRoberts - The Lakers are completely decimated right now, and between Kobe’s wrist injury, Bynum’s suspension, and the Odom salary dump, they’re a three-man team that’s dangerously short on depth. Signing McRoberts at the veteran’s minimum was a huge and severely understated move for them because as it stands, he’d be their fourth best player. No seriously, name a player on that roster outside of Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum who’s clearly better. That’s not to overstate McRoberts’ abilities, because he has clear limitations, but what he does do well is score efficiently (5th among PF’s in TS%), and find the open man (4th among PF’s in assist rate). He proved plenty useful for stretches last year in Indiana, and should get consistent minutes on a team who could use all the help they can get from their bench.