30. Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns
Stats: 11.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.2 APG
Channing Frye has been very good since joining the Suns, and last year was more of the same. He continued his strong shooting performance, especially from the 3-point line, where he averaged 2 of them a game. He also grabbed a solid amount of rebounds, although just 5.1 per game isn’t too impressive for a guy that started all 82 games of the year. The Suns rotate their front court around a lot and therefore don’t give tons of minutes to any specific player. But Frye put up solid numbers for the amount of time he was out there, earning himself a new contract for the Magic.
29. Josh McRoberts, Charlotte Bobcats
Stats: 8.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.3 APG
Speaking of power forwards that switched teams this offseason, McRoberts ditched the Bobcats in their final year of existence and signed with the Heat. He started all 78 games he played last year in Charlotte, which was only the second year of his career where he started a majority of the season. He has never really been a strong scorer, and the extra minutes didn’t help that much. It’s not that he’s an inefficient scorer, he just doesn’t shoot that often. One thing that’s very impressive is that he passes the ball very well. He finished the season 2nd in APG among power forwards.
28. Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks
Stats: 11.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.3 APG
Ilyasova is a player that I’ve just been waiting and waiting for a monster season, but just as it looks like it’s about it happen, he disappears down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. There always seems to be a reason that’s holding back his success; last year it was injuries. Playing in just 55 games, he struggled to get on a role and shot very poorly all over the place. He has declined each of the last two seasons and it seems as though he’s going to be solidified as a guy that will have a few monster games, but won’t ever be able to string more than a few of them together. He’s starter quality, but low-end at best.
27. Drew Gooden, Washington Wizards
Stats: 8.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 0.7 APG
I was very, very surprised to see Gooden getting on the court at all last year. The Wizards signed him and only played him in 22 games, but he turned out to be a very solid veteran backup, shooting wonderfully from both the field and from the free throw line. His 89% FT% was one of the best among power forwards on this top 40 list. He went from completely worthless on the Bucks to a solid rotation big man on a playoff team- talk about a total turnaround. I bet he’ll do a pretty good job in the future as long as he knows his role, which led him to an astounding 18.44 PER.
26. Brandon Bass, Boston Celtics
Stats: 11.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.1 APG
Brandon Bass had one of his better years of his career last season, but it still wasn’t all that special. Yeah, he’ll get a few points and the slightly below average amount of rebounds, but it’s easy to forget that he’s even there. Players who start 73 games like him should be putting up better numbers than he did. He doesn’t receive an overly high amount of minutes, but actually shoots very efficiently. He just seems to be forgotten more often than not, and that was easier to do last year considering how bad the Celtics were.
25. Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors
Stats: 10.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.5 APG
Johnson is a very good rebounder and should be a starter in the NBA. Well, last year he finally got to start, and he had another solid season, although it was worse than the year before. What happened? Ok, so maybe he is better coming off the bench then. He did that primarily two years ago and had the best year of his career, grabbing 7.5 RPG in just 28.7 MPG. That’s a great average. I’m unsure what his role exactly should be, but he should be getting somewhere in between 25-30 minutes every game. He’s slightly undersized at PF, but can still get it done.
24. Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks
Stats: 11.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 0.5 APG
The #24 PF in the league should not also be one of the highest paid players in the league. Except, that’s what Stoudemire was last year. Two years ago he had a bad year, and this past year was even worse, but he got in a lot more than I expected. He came off the bench most games and provided a bit of a scoring spark behind his 55.7% shooting, which inflated his PER all the way to 18.89. I really don’t understand what happened to him, but he is no longer starter material. Just throw him on the bench and he’ll be a better than average backup. I think that’s all you can ask for.
23. Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers
Stats: 11.7 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 0.9 APG
Is it strange that Thompson is so far down on this list considering he averages close to a double double? Well, maybe, considering anyone who averages close to a double double must be good. His PER is below average for a starter though, pushing him down the list and into the twenties. But I don’t think the Cavaliers care at all what his PER will be next year with LeBron James on their team, and possibly Kevin Love, which would push Thompson out of the starting lineup or over to the Timberwolves. Either way, Thompson is a guy that I like. I wish I didn’t have to rank him this low, but his shooting is below that of comparable players.
22. Jordan Hill, Los Angeles Lakers
Stats: 9.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 0.8 APG
Yes, Hill is a pretty solid PF, but he probably isn’t good enough to start. He did it 32 times last year though because basically everyone got hurt on the Lakers, and averaged 7.4 RPG in just 20.8 MPG. That’s awesome. He’s what I call a “board machine.” He goes in, gets a ton of rebounds, makes a few high percentage shots, and leaves. That’s exactly what is needed of him and he delivers. Is that the kind of player who should be starting though? No, but the Lakers gave him a 3 year, $27 million contract, so he better play.
21. Brandon Wright, Dallas Mavericks
Stats: 9.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.5 APG
You’re probably wondering why Brandon Wright is all the way up at #21. He only played 58 games and averaged under 20 MPG. He didn’t start a single one of those. But, he does have one strong positive quality: shooting percentage. His shooting percentage was by far the highest among all power forwards in this list, and therefore he was awarded a very high PER of 23.60. Although it’s a bit of a spoiler, that’s just 0.08 lower than Dirk Nowitzki, his teammate in Dallas. He’s the definition of efficient big man, and that’s why the Mavericks have him.