40. Jason Thompson, Sacramento Kings
Stats: 7.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 0.6 APG
I’ve always liked Jason Thompson, but it’s a shame that he often doesn’t get enough minutes to fully showcase himself. He played all 82 games and started 61 of them, but only played 24.5 MPG, therefore having the worst season of his 6 year career. His PER was also pretty low at just 11.14, the lowest for any PF on the top 40 list. He’s a pretty efficient rebounder in the sense that he grabs a lot for the minimal minutes he gets. He just doesn’t get the time to fully show himself, and I’m not sure that will ever change.
39. Ryan Kelly, Los Angeles Lakers
Stats: 8.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.6 APG
Quite surprisingly, a rookie actually ended up on any of my rankings. He started 25 games due to Pau Gasol’s injury, which was great for Kelly because he got a lot of playing time. His overall stats were low because he played very little when Gasol was in the lineup. His rebounding could use some work considering he grabs just 3.7 of them a game. He’ll get better next year though as he looks to increase his minute totals a bit as the Lakers rebuild.
38. Trevor Booker, Washington Wizards
Stats: 6.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 0.9 APG
Booker was a solid backup PF for the young Wizards last year, averaging pretty typical stats for a role player. His role was to come in when Nene was tired and snag a few rebounds, not really needing to focus on offense. He played 72 games, the most of his career, starting 45 of them when Nene was hurt and still getting back into the lineup. He was an above average player in terms of efficiency, which was mainly because of his 55% shooting percentage, which is higher than most players in the league.
37. Glen Davis, Los Angeles Clippers/Orlando Magic
Stats: 9.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.1 APG
Davis seems to be losing relevance and importance as his career goes on, but the “Big Baby” will never become worthless. He’s still a solid scorer and rebounder, but is best as a bench player. He was released by the Magic last year after playing pretty well in 45 games (and 43 starts), and the Clippers decided to pick him up. The problem was that there was essentially no room for Davis in LA and his minutes decreased severely, as well as his stats. He averaged just 4.2 PPG and 3.2 RPG after changing teams. If he receives actual minutes off the bench, he can be an effective player, but not much can be expected of anyone who only plays 13.4 MPG.
36. Mike Scott, Atlanta Hawks
Stats: 9.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.9 APG
Not much was expected of Scott after he barely played in his rookie year, but his minutes doubled to 18.5 a game and his stats improved. He’s an undersized PF, but that gives him an advantage because of his effective shooting and range. A PER of 15.34 is also not bad considering the small role that he was given. With Al Horford out most of the year, there was more room for minutes in the front court, but I expect him to continue to receive minutes next year based on how he played. He’s a solid player.
35. Marcus Morris, Phoenix Suns
Stats: 9.7 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.1 APG
Morris got to play alongside his brother last year in Phoenix, but actually had to back him up despite being drafted just one pick away from him. He made good use of his 22 MPG, improving his shooting percentage and scoring in general. His rebounding could be a bit higher, but he makes up for it in his scoring ability. He can even score 3’s, averaging 1.2 of them a game last year. He’s a part of the young core for the Suns that has a very promising future, although I doubt Morris will ever be able to crack the starting lineup barring an injury.
34. Marvin Williams, Utah Jazz
Stats: 9.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.2 APG
Marvin Williams has always been a solid player, especially in terms of scoring. He had back to back seasons of single digit PPG though in Utah, which may also be a product of him being on a worse team. He still kept his rebounding up and averaged a career high 1.3 3-pointers a game, giving the Jazz a nice veteran presence. It doesn’t surprise me that he won’t be returning though considering the Jazz are going young, but he as a shot at starting for the Hornets next year after Josh McRoberts left.
33. Patrick Patterson, Sacramento Kings/Toronto Raptors
Stats: 8.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.2 APG
Two years ago it looked like Patterson was on the verge of becoming a starting caliber player for the Rockets, but that was cut off after he was surprisingly traded to the Kings in the middle of the season. Patterson had actually been starting most of the time in Houston, but after he was traded, he came off the bench and lost his step. He struggled at the beginning of last year in Sacramento, then was traded to Toronto where his scoring improved while receiving the same amount of minutes. He’s probably best suited as a bench player moving forward, although he’s worth sticking into the starting lineup once in a while.
32. Boris Diaw, San Antonio Spurs
Stats: 9.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.8 APG
It’s amazing what being on a championship caliber team can do to a player. Diaw, a veteran who was struggling and was traded in the middle of his fourth year in Charlotte to San Antonio, didn’t do much two years ago, but really stepped it up this past year. He is a jack of all trades, with passing being his most underrated ability. He shoots 52% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc, numbers that are quite impressive for a PF. He understands his role and defines what “role player” really means. He still managed to start 24 games last year due to the Spurs always mixing around their lineup.
31. Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
Stats: 12.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.1 APG
Middleton got to play a lot as a result of being on a bad team with a bunch of inexperienced players, and he made the most of it. Starting 64 games and playing in all 82, he averaged twice as many PPG as the year before, also doubling his rebounds and assists. He was also a very efficient 3-point shooter, shooting 41.4% from three. He’s probably not a real starter, but this was valuable experience that gives them the option to start him again if need be.