The NBA’s Top 10 Young Power Forwards

Here’s a quick list of the top 10 power forwards under the age of 26, ranked in the order of a combination of current performance and trade value (regardless of salary).

I’ll also list the player’s age and his Player Efficiency Rating. Keep in mind that I am ranking the player based on their listed position at ESPN. Maybe I’ll move some of these guys around the next time I publish these lists.

1. Chris Bosh, Raptors
Age: 24
PER: 22.67

Bosh has averaged at least 22 points and nine rebounds in each of the last four seasons. He shoots 50% from the field and 83% from the line, but I’d like to see more blocks (0.8) from a guy his size. Will he rendezvous with LeBron at MSG in 2010? They would make a devastating duo.

2. Josh Smith, Hawks
Age: 23
PER: 16.23

Smith is having kind of an off year so far as he works himself back from an ankle injury. It’s a tough call between Smith and the next guy on this list, but I have to go with J-Smoov due to his versatility.

3. LaMarcus Aldridge, Blazers
Age: 23
PER: 17.96

He’s not very strong down low, but for a big guy he can really shoot the ball. He loves the face up jumper, and looks to be a 17/7 guy for the foreseeable future.

4. Paul Millsap, Jazz
Age: 23
PER: 19.96

Millsap is averaging 18 points and 11 boards (shooting 57% from the field) filling in for the injured Carlos Boozer, which makes some wonder if the Jazz should bother to re-sign Boozer when he opts out after the season.

5. Michael Beasley, Heat
Age: 19
PER: 14.95

I see Beasley as more of a small forward, but he’s listed as a PF. He is averaging 14 points and five boards in 27 minutes. I’d like to see better assist (1.0) numbers, but that should come with time.

6. Marvin Williams, Hawks
Age: 22
PER: 15.74

Williams is another guy that can play either forward position. He has really improved his long-range accuracy this season (+29%), but is still scoring at about the same rate. With the departure of Josh Childress, I thought Williams was going to take a big step forward this season, but his numbers are pretty much the same across the board.

7. Charlie Villanueva, Bucks
Age: 24
PER: 17.49

Can Charlie V play for Scott Skiles? So far, the answer seems to be yes, even though Skiles prefers Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s defense and rebounding. Villanueva is still a below average defensive player, but Villanueva can really light it up. He’s going to be a restricted free agent this summer, so it will be interesting to see what the Bucks do with him over the next 9 months.

8. Carl Landry, Rockets
Age: 25
PER: 19.19

For his minutes (21.3), Landry is one of the most productive big men in the game. He’s a great interior defender and his FG% is stellar (58%).

9. Brandon Bass, Mavericks
Age: 23
PER: 13.00

His biggest problem is that he plays the same position as Dirk Nowitzki. He’s strong as hell and has a nice face up game. It will be interesting to see how he flourishes once he’s somewhere where he’ll get 30+ minutes a game.

10. Kevin Love, Timberwolves
Age: 20
PER: 15.17

Granted, his 40% shooting is brutal, especially for a power forward, but Love is posting better than eight points and eight boards in just 24 minutes a game. With his passing ability, I thought that his assist numbers (1.2) would be better. Right now, it’s definitely looking like Memphis got the better of the Mayo-Love trade, but he should develop into a solid starting power forward.

So who am I missing? Before you jump all over me for leaving someone off the list, be sure to check the player’s age – all these guys are 25 or younger.

Other lists:

Top 10 Young Point Guards
Top 10 Young Shooting Guards
Top 10 Young Small Forwards

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