Power forward has become the NBA’s great melting pot, with all sorts of styles and skill sets taking on what had traditionally been a big man’s spot.
Give us your aging guys, your bigs who can’t hold their own in the paint, your wings who can’t keep up with quick guys on the perimeter. In the NBA, these guys all have a place to be free as the power forward position evolves into … something.
The 4 spot in the lineup used to be little more than a second center, another big guy to eat some glass and bump and grind on the low block.
In 2019, this couldn’t be further from the case.
As the NBA game has evolved further away from the rim and out onto the perimeter, the power forward position may be the most difficult spot in the modern era to truly define.
On one end of the spectrum, you have 7-footers who can shoot the lights out. There are former centers and more traditional 4s who have been able to stretch their games out to the perimeter.
At the same time, the Brooklyn Nets ran out starting lineups last season 21 times that included 6-foot-5 Treveon Graham — listed as a shooting guard — manning the 4. For the record, the Nets were 11-10 in those games; right about on par with their 42-40 finish.
So when asking the question, “Who’s playing the 4?”, the correct response might just be, “Who isn’t playing the 4?”
With that as a preface, here are the 30 players currently listed at the top of their team’s depth chart at the power forward spot, ranked from No. 30 up to No. 1.