As we have mentioned in some of our previous rankings posts, we will be ranking the top players at each position leading up to the 2019 NBA Draft to help you prepare. These are the posts we have already done relating to rankings:
Today, we continue on with a list of the best power forwards in the NBA Draft. There’s a solid list of ones, including the player who will be selected first overall without a doubt, Zion. There are a couple players out of this group that will be major sleepers and will fall a lot further than they should.
10. Jaylen Hoard
A couple of the above players, including Isaiah Roby, Sagaba Konate, Jalen McDaniels, and Eric Paschall, were extremely hard to leave off. We just loved the potential of Jaylen Hoard’s game. He’s tough, can guard positions 2-4, and has some great finishing ability. The 35.5 vertical leap wasn’t too impressive at the Combine which has us a bit worried as he is already undersized as a 4 who can’t stretch the floor right now. Jaylen shot just 22.6% from deep on low volume, but we do think his form and touch are good enough to be able to work that percentage up.
9. Darius Bazley
Outside of High School film, we haven’t been able to see Bazley in a game setting aside from the Combine scrimmage. He showed us a lot in terms of crafty finishing and the ability to shoot from outside, but there’s still so much we’ve yet to see. Darius definitely has improved since High School, which was a given. He’s one of the more unknown players in this draft which has two sides to it. We can see a team taking a chance on him in the late 1st round.
8. Zylan Cheatham
We’ve mentioned it before, but we’ll do it again: Zylan Cheatham is one of our major super sleepers from this draft. Unbelievable rebounder, underrated shot form suggesting improved shooting, great passer, and can defend all 5 positions. That’s Zylan Cheatham for you. Remember the name because you’ll be hearing a lot more of him.
7. Luka Samanic
Samanic has been gaining more and more traction as a realistic 1st round pick in this draft because of how he’s been shooting in workouts and playing overseas in his previous games. Over his last 3 competitions this year, Samanic is averaging 17 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 61% from the field and 64% from deep. He has some great potential as a stretch big at the next level.
6. Nicolas Claxton
Claxton wasn’t able to get too much attention during the season because of how poor of a team Georgia was. Nic has a ton of potential. He’s long, versatile, and athletic. He made some pretty electric plays and improved in almost every facet of his game from his freshman campaign. Claxton’s stock has risen significantly since the end of the college season and we expect his name to be called quite early on draft night.
5. Rui Hachimura
There is a lot of hate on Rui Hachimura as of late as a prospect, especially on NBA Draft Twitter. The concern of how his game will translate to the next level is very real. With that being said, we cannot ignore the improvements he has made in his game. The jump he made from his sophomore year to this past junior season was unbelievable. He’s got a dominant mid-range game and has shown some promise defensively on the switch. Rui will be a lottery pick this year.
4. PJ Washington
PJ Washington has a very similar archetype to Grant Williams. He’s smart and strong, but undersized, just like Grant. The one difference is that Grant is an even better defender and free throw shooter. PJ did happen to hit over 40% from deep on the year for Kentucky. The improvements he made from his freshman year are more than notable. PJ will most likely be fall right outside the lottery on draft night.
3. Grant Williams
Unlike Rui Hachimura, Grant Williams is beloved throughout NBA Draft Twitter. Many of our Draft writers are split on him. We all agree how he’s a great defender and extremely smart. The major concerns we have are around his height, being that he’s only 6’7, and his outside shot. Still, many of our writers are betting that his IQ is just so high that he’ll figure it all out. He’ll be dangerous if he falls to a playoff team.
2. Brandon Clarke
If only Brandon Clarke was 3 inches taller. He’s 6’8 with a 6’8 wingspan, but has the athleticism and instincts needed to be a great rim protector and all around defender. He is perfect for today’s NBA as he can switch onto any position. Offensively, he has shown a nice touch around the rim and the potential to develop a nice jump shot. His form was completely revamped from his time at San Jose State to this past year at Gonzaga. There’s still so much left to be revealed in his game. He’ll be a lottery pick and should find much success in the NBA.
1. Zion Williamson
There’s not much to say here about Zion Williamson. He’s the best player in this draft without a doubt. The Pelicans are getting themselves someone who will be a future multi-year All-Star and already one of the top 30 best players in the NBA.