The Top 50 Power Forwards of All-Time: The Big Fundamental and The Mailman Top the List

1Tim Duncan1950.610.832.22x15x1x15x5x3x15x0
2Karl Malone2551.610.13.61.42x14x2x14x004x0
3Kevin Garnett17.849.7103.71.41x15x1x9x1x012x1x
4Dirk Nowitzki20.747.
5Elvin Hayes2145.212.51.82012x06x1x02x0
6Kevin McHale17.955.
7Charles Barkley22.
8Dennis Rodman7.352.
9Bob Pettit26.443.616.23N/A2x11x4x11x1x000
10Vern Mikkelsen14.440.39.42.2N/A06x04x4x000
11Anthony Davis2451.710.42.22.407x1x3x003x0
12Chris Webber20.747.
13Draymond Green943.56.951.103x02x3x05x1x
14Chris Bosh19.249.48.520.8011x01x2x000
15Rudy Tomjanovich17.450.18.120.705x000000
16Horace Grant11.
17LaMarcus Aldridge19.549.18.320.707x05x0000
18Blake Griffin21.749.
19Kevin Love18.
20Tom Chambers18.
21Shawn Kemp14.648.
22Amar'e Stoudemire18.953.
23Giannis Antetokounmpo2052.
24Antawn Jamison18.545.
25Elton Brand15.9509.52.11.702x01x0000
26Buck Williams12.854.9101.30.803x01x004x0
27Carlos Boozer16.
28Bob Boozer14.846.28.11.4N/A01x001x000
29Maurice Lucas14.647.
30Kevin Willis12.
31Rasheed Wallace14.446.
32Dave DeBusschere16.143.2112.90.508x01x2x06x0
33Cliff Robinson17.246.88.320.700000000
34Zach Randolph16.647.
35David West13.649.
36Larry Nance17.154.682.62.203x00003x0
37Jermaine O'Neal13.
38Otis Thorpe1454.
39Josh Smith14.545.
40Danny Manning1451.
41Paul Silas9.443.
42Derrick Coleman16.544.
43Lamar Odom13.346.
44Antoine Walker17.541.
45Anthony Mason10.950.
46David Lee13.553.
47Kenyon Martin12.348.
48Serge Ibaka12.651.
49Kristaps Porziņģis18.
50Al Jefferson15.749.

1. Tim Duncan

Throughout Duncan’s entire tenure with the San Antonio Spurs, he was the true definition of the unselfish superstar and was a huge part of creating the franchise’s team-oriented culture. The result: two MVP awards, fifteen trips to the All-Star, All-Defensive, and All-NBA Teams, five championships, and three Finals MVPs. It’s safe to say that Duncan compiled a resume that any NBA player dreams of and did it all while setting an example for the future generations. In addition to his ridiculous accolades, Duncan finished his career 14th in scoring, 6th in rebounds, and 4th in blocks. He is by far the best power forward of all-time and deserves to be in the conversation for the greatest player of all-time considering his accomplishments.

2. Karl Malone

Without a championship resume to solidify his place amongst the all-time greats, Malone’s position on this list is very fitting, considering he ranks in the top ten for career points and rebounds. The Mailman is the league’s second-highest scorer of all-time, and Malone should stay in the second spot if LeBron James fails to pass him in the next couple of years. Malone was a fourteen-time All-Star and All-NBA Team member and averaged better than ten rebounds per game in his career. Despite his lack of championship success, Malone formed the greatest pick-and-roll duo alongside John Stockton.

3. Kevin Garnett

Garnett is widely recognized as one of the best two-way players in NBA history. Before his success with the Boston Celtics, KG was one of the best players in the NBA in a Minnesota Timberwolves uniform. Garnett won an MVP award with Minnesota and would go on to make fifteen All-Star appearances, nine All-NBA selections, and twelve All-Defensive Teams in his career. He is also one of three players on my list to win a Defensive Player of the Year award and won a championship with the Celtics during the latter stages of his career. In addition to a terrific NBA resume, Garnett also ranks amongst the best in several all-time categories. He ranks 18th in career scoring and 9th in total rebounds.

4. Dirk Nowitzki

Perhaps the greatest international player of all-time, assuming Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic don’t surpass him, Nowitzki ranks amongst the greatest offensive players of all-time. Dirk played his entire career with the Dallas Mavericks and was a pillar of loyalty and commitment to an NBA franchise. Nowitzki is one of only seven players ever to reach the 30,000-point milestone and averaged 20.7 points per game. He was a fourteen-time All-Star and made twelve All-NBA Teams. In one of the most impressive NBA Finals performances in history, Dirk led the underdog-Mavericks to a tile against LeBron James and the Miami Heat while taking home Finals MVP honors.

5. Elvin Hayes

Hayes may be one of the more underrated players in NBA history. He is one of the few players to rank inside the top 25 in career, points, rebounds, and blocks. While averaging 21 and 12.5 rebounds in his career, Hayes made twelve All-Star selections and also won an NBA Championship with the Washington Bullets during the 1977 season. His impressive scoring ability helped Hayes finish 10th all-time in career points and was the scoring champion during the 1968-69 season.

6. Kevin McHale

Another Celtic great on my all-time lists, McHale was a highly skilled big man who progressed from 6th man to starter, to NBA star. He averaged just under 18 points and 7.5 rebounds for his career and made seven All-Star selections, six All-Defensive Teams, and three championships with Boston.

7. Charles Barkley

Listed at just 6’6”, Barkley may be the greatest undersized big man of all-time. He’s one of only four players to tally at least 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 4,000 career assists. In addition to his personality and fiery on-court attitude, Barkley was as good of a player as advertised. He dominated opponents while making 11 All-Star and All-NBA Teams, and even won an MVP award during the 1992-93 season.

8. Dennis Rodman

The Worm was arguably the best defensive player in the game’s history. Not only did Rodman win five titles with the Chicago Bulls, but he made eight All-Defensive Teams and won Defensive Player of the Year twice. Many consider Rodman to be the best rebounder ever, and at 6’7” Rodman led the NBA in rebounding seven times. He is also first in all-time offensive rebounding percentage and second in all-time defensive rebounding percentage.

9. Bob Petit

At the height of his career, Petit was the best power forward in the NBA and averaged a double-double throughout his entire career. He retired with one NBA Championship title, and an 11-time All-Star and 10 All-NBA Team member. Petit also holds the third-best rebounding per-game average (16.2 RPG) and trails only Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

10. Vern Mikkelsen

In the 1950s, Mikkelsen starred for the Minneapolis Lakers and went on to win four titles in his career. Mikkelsen was also a six-time All-Star and made the All-ABA Team four times. He averaged just below a double-double in his career and was only one of six players to eclipse the 10,000 career-point marks at the time he retired from basketball.

11. Anthony Davis

While Davis doesn’t make the top ten on this list, he’s a top-five talent for the position of all-time. At just 27 years old, Davis has the potential and skill set to become the best player in the NBA at some point in the future. So far, he’s made seven All-Star selections and 3 All-NBA and Defensive Teams. Davis is one of the best defensive players in the game and has led the league in blocks three times. He’s still hasn’t won a ring and hasn’t made it passed the second round of the playoffs, but Davis and the Lakers should add to their championship hardware in the next couple seasons or so.

12. Chris Webber

Before going down with a knee injury in 2003, Webber was among the top power forwards in the game and even finished as high as fourth in the MVP race during the 2000 season. He’s a 5-time All-Star and All-NBA member who averaged better than 20 points per game in his career.

13. Draymond Green

What Draymond Green lacks in individual stats compared to other players on this list, he makes up for with his resume and championship resume. Green has been one of the most essential pieces for the Golden State Warriors, especially in the last 5-7 years. He’s a three-time Champion and All-Star, won Defensive Player of the Year in 2016, and his impact on winning towards the Warrior franchise may be only second to Stephen Curry.

14. Chris Bosh

Before joining LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat, Bosh was one of the top players at his position for the Toronto Raptors. The eleven-time All-Star 19.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in his career in addition to two championships with Miami. His selflessness may have resulted in lesser individual stats. However, Bosh’s selflessness allowed him to compete for championships at the end of his career, while still being an All-Star caliber player.

15. Rudy Tomjanovich

In the 1970s, Tomjanovich was a perennial All-Star who made the All-Star team five times. A truly efficient player, Tomjanovich shot better than 50 percent from the field in his career while averaging just a shade under 17.5 points per game.

16. Horace Grant

Despite somewhat average individual stats, Horace Grant finished his career a winner. The one-time All-Star won four rings in his NBA career and was one of the better defenders at his position, making the All-Defensive Team four times. Grant was extremely effective as a scorer, highlighted by his 50.1 shooting percentage, and was an excellent option for the Chicago Bulls. They needed to surround Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen with consistent players during their championship runs.

17. LaMarcus Aldridge

Perhaps the only accolade missing from Aldridge’s career is a championship ring. Before his time with the San Antonio Spurs, Aldridge was amongst the best in the NBA during his tenure with the Portland Trailblazers. He’s a 7-time All-Star and 5-time All-NBA team selection. The NBA veteran also has career averages of 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds.

18. Blake Griffin

Before being hobbled by injuries, Blake Griffin was amongst the best in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers. The former number one overall pick is a six-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA Team member. He’s most known for his high-flying and thunderous dunks and would be higher on this list if he had any championship resume.

19. Kevin Love

Before his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love dominated the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Love’s most celebrated individual accomplishment came in 2010 when he put up 30 points and 30 rebounds in a game versus the New York Knicks. Love’s career accolades include five All-Star selections and a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

20. Tom Chambers

Chambers was the NBA’s first unrestricted free agent and was one of the best scorers in league history. He scored more than 20,000 points in his career, along with four All-Star appearances and 2 All-NBA selections.

21. Shawn Kemp

One of the game’s greatest dunkers, Shawn Kemp, starred for the Seattle SuperSonics in the late 1990s and was a perennial All-Star from 1992-1997. He made six All-Star appearances and three All-NBA Teams. Before losing much of his athleticism due to injuries, Kemp 18 points, and 10 rebounds on a nightly basis. His place on my list would be higher had he and Seattle not run into Michael Jordan’s Bull in the NBA Finals.

22. Amar’e Stoudemire

In Stoudemire’s prime, he was a top ten player at his position with the Phoenix Suns and was one of the more athletic big men in the NBA. As Steve Nash’s pick-and-roll partner, Stat would make 6 All-Star selections and 3 All-NBA Teams. His career averages are just under 19 points and 8 rebounds per game.

23. Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak’s rise to stardom is one of the most impressive stories in the NBA. He drafted in the latter half of the first round and has made tremendous strides in every season of his career. Giannis has one MVP award, four All-Star appearances, three All-NBA selections, and two Defensive Team appearances to his name. In his short NBA career, he’s already surpassed many of those at his position and could finish among the top five when his career is all said and done.

24. Antawn Jamison

Jamison was a multiple-time All-Star with the Washington Wizards early on in his career. A tremendous scorer, Jamison put up 20 points and 7 rebounds per season six times in his career. His career averages include 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

25. Elton Brand

Brand entered the league before the 1999 season and went on to win ROY while averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. He made two All-Star selections with the Clippers and averaged at least 20 points and 10 rebounds six times in his seventeen-year career. Despite most of his success coming early on in his career, Brand was a steady role player off the bench and could be counted on for his rebounding and interior presence.

26. Buck Williams

Williams’ career was a model of consistency and efficiency. The 17-year NBA veteran averaged a double-double for his entire career and led the league in field goal percentage twice. Williams made the All-Star game three times and was also an excellent defender, as he made four All-Defensive Team selections.

27. Carlos Boozer

From 2002-2012, Boozer was amongst the power forwards in the NBA. With the Utah Jazz, Boozer made two All-Star games and one All-NBA Team. A highly efficient player, Boozer shot 52.1 percent from the field in his career and almost averaged a double-double. Alongside Deron Williams, Boozer and the Jazz made the playoffs several times before he signed with the Chicago Bulls in 2010.

28. Bob Boozer

In no relation at all to Carlos Boozer, Bob Boozer was amongst the top power forwards in the late 1960s. With the Bulls, he made one All-Star appearance and averaged 21 points in two of the three seasons with Chicago. In 10 of his 12 seasons, Boozer averaged better than ten points per game and won an NBA Championship with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970.

29. Maurice Lucas

Lucas was a four-time All-Star early on in his career with the Portland Trailblazer, averaging nearly 18 points and 11 rebounds in those six years. In the 1976 season, Lucas averaged 20.2 points and 11.4 rebounds and helped Portland win a title that year. Lucas also made an All-Star appearance later on in his thirties with the Phoenix Suns.

30. Kevin Willis

In Willis’ twenty-five-year career, he played for eight different teams, and most prominently, the Atlanta Hawks. With the Hawks, Willis made the All-Star and All-NBA Teams once while averaging double-digit points every season but his rookie year for the team. From 1991-1995, Willis grabbed more than 10 rebounds per game, including a career-high 18 rebounds per game in 1994. Willis also won a championship with the San Antonio Spurs during the 2002-03 season.

31. Rasheed Wallace

Wallace was one of the more underrated big men at his position during his time in the NBA. Many fans remember Wallace’s on-court antics more than his play, as Wallace racked up more than 300 technical fouls throughout his career (NBA record 41 during the 2000-01 season). Despite the number of technical fouls he picked up, Wallace was a terrific player and made the All-Star game four times while winning an NBA Championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2003.

32. Dave DeBusschere

DeBusschere was a top player in the league in the 1960s and 1970s. DeBusschere made three All-Star appearances with the Detroit Pistons before making five straight selections with the New York Knicks from 1969-1973. He was an excellent scorer and rebounder throughout his career, highlighted by his 16.1 points and 11 rebounds per game averages. DeBusschere also made six All-Defensive Teams and won two NBA Championships in his 13 seasons in the league.

33. Cliff Robinson

For 12 NBA seasons, Robinson spent time with Cleveland, Washington, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Excluding his finals season in the league, Robinson averaged double-digit points and better than five rebounds per game. A 17.2-point per game scorer, Robinson recorded six seasons of at least 18 points per game, including a career-high 20.2 points during the 1981 season.

34. Zach Randolph

Randolph began his career in Portland in 2001. By year three, he was already a 20-point, 10-rebound per night player, and would achieve that feat six more times in his career. After bouncing around the league for a few seasons, Randolph found a home with the Memphis Grizzlies and began the grit-and-grind era. He was a two-time All-Star and one-time All-NBA Team selection with Memphis and would help the team make numerous playoff appearances.

35. David West

Before stints with the Spurs, Pacers, and Warriors, West starred for the New Orleans Hornets during the mid to late 200s. With the Hornets, West was a 2-time All-Star who averaged better than 17 points and 7 rebounds in six of his eight seasons with the team. West and Chris Paul formed one of the better pick-and-roll duos in the NBA before West was utilized as more of a role player in the late stages of his career.

36. Larry Nance

Nance carved out a very successful career with Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers. One of the best high-flyers that the game has ever seen, Larry Nance made 3 All-Star appearances and All-Defensive Teams in his 14 NBA seasons. Nance recorded 12 seasons of double-digit points and 7 rebounds per game.

37. Jermaine O’Neal

In the early 2000s, O’Neal was amongst the top big men in the NBA. He made six straight All-Star appearances from 2001-2006, three All-NBA teams, and was awarded the NBA’s MIP during the 2001-02 season. In those six years, O’Neal averaged around 20 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Averaging 1.8 blocks for his career, O’Neal finished number 23rd on the all-time block list.

38. Otis Thorpe

Over 19 NBA seasons, Otis Thorpe displayed a high level of consistency in both the scoring and rebounding departments. The one-time All-Star and NBA Champ averaged 14 points, 8.2 rebounds on 54.6 percent shooting during his career.

39. Josh Smith

Earning the nickname J-Smoove, Josh Smith ranked near the top players at his position in the 2000s and early 2010s. Smith recorded twelve straight seasons of double-digit points and at least six rebounds per game. Smith was an uber-athletic forward who has some of the more impressive dunks in NBA history. Even as a top player for the Atlanta Hawks, Smith never made an All-Star Team, which hurts his position on my list.

40. Danny Manning

At the height of his career, Manning was an All-Star level player for the Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks in the early 1990s. The 2-time All-Star recorded eleven straight seasons of double-digit scoring averages and averaged 20 points or more two times in his career.

41. Paul Silas

Silas is regarded as one of the best rebounders and defenders in NBA history, regardless of position. He averaged just under 10 rebounds for his career and ranks 21st in career rebounds with 12,357. Silas averaged 11 or more rebounds in eight of his eighteen seasons, including a career-high 13 rebounds per game in 1972 for the Boston Celtics. Silas also won three rings with Boston while making the All-Defensive Team five times.

42. Derrick Coleman

Coleman was a tremendous scorer and rebounder during the early parts of his career. He entered the league in 1990 and won ROY while averaging 18.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Coleman continued his dominance, as he averaged more than 20 points and 10.5 rebounds per game from 1992-1995. He finished his career in 2005 as a 1-time All-Star and 2-time All-NBA member.

43. Lamar Odom

Odom is most notably known for his time with both Los Angeles teams. He was drafted by the Clippers before the 1999 season and made the All-Rookie Team while posting 16.6 points 7.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. Odom was one of the league’s top 6th men who helped the Lakers win 2 NBA Championships in the 2000s, was awarded the NBA’s 6-MOY during the 2010-11 NBA season.

44. Antoine Walker

Antoine Walker, another excellent scorer and rebounder at the power forward position, was a consistent performer during the late 1990s to mid-2000s. The 3-time All-Star and 1-time NBA Champ eclipsed 20 points per game six times in his career. Walker was also one of the first stretch fours in the NBA, highlighted by his 32.5 career three-point percentage.

45. Anthony Mason

Mason was another great 6th Man of the 1990s and early 2000s. He made one All-Star, All-NBA, and All-Defensive Team and holds career averages of 10.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Mason was awarded as the NBA’s 6MOY in 1994 while averaging 9.9 points and 8.4 rebounds on 56 percent shooting.

46. David Lee

Before assuming a bench role on the Warriors’ 2015 championship team, David Lee was an above-average player for the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors. From 2005-2014, Lee made the All-Star game twice and was a one-time member of the All-NBA Team. Lee’s selflessness allowed Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to become the stars they are today and helped the franchise win its first championship since 1975.

47. Kenyon Martin

Martin is most remembered for his toughness and physical play in the 2000s and early 2010s. He helped the New Jersey nets compete for a championship and made the All-Star game during the 2003-04 season. Martin finished his career averaging 12.3 points, 6,8 rebounds, and more than 1 steal and 1 block per game.

48. Serge Ibaka

Since entering the NBA before the 2009 season, Ibaka has been one of the best defenders and shot blockers of his generation. He’s led the league in blocks twice and made the All-Defensive team three times. In addition to his stellar defense, Ibaka is a capable scorer and an excellent shooter for his position. He’s had four seasons of at least 15 points per game and has shot 36.1 percent from three in his career.

49. Kristaps Porziņģis

In just under four seasons in the NBA, Porziņģis has cemented himself as one of the top big men in the league and could be a potential MVP-caliber player. The 1-time All-Star has career averages of 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Alongside Luka Doncic, Porziņģis should have the Dallas Mavericks contending for championships for the next decade or so.

50. Al Jefferson

Among the last traditional big men in the NBA, Jefferson retired after the 2017 season as one of the best big men in basketball from the mid-2000s to late 2010s. Although he never made an All-Star appearance, Jefferson’s career averages include 15.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

Diehard Laker and Seahawk fan. I unfortunately witnessed the Seattle Seahawks passing the ball on the 1 yard line. I hope that sports can unite people and bring them closer together. Current student at Chapman University.

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