2014 NBA Draft: Ranking the Top 5 Power Forward Prospects

By Frank Gasparetti on May 29, 2014

Who Should the Orlando Magic Take with the No. 4 Pick?

The Power Forward position in this year’s draft offers a ton of talented players, all with a variety of skill sets.  There are prospects that are stretch fours – something that more and more teams are wanting each year.  Also you have a good mix of your traditional or bruiser type power forwards who could come in and contribute instantly.

Here is my top 5:

5. Jarnell Stokes – Tennessee

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Height – 6′ 8.5″

Weight – 263

Age – 20

Stokes is a fantastic rebounder, and we all know rebounding translates well at the next level.  He averaged 15.0 points a game as well as 10.5 rebounds per game.  Also Stokes averaged 13.5 rebounds per 40 pace adjusted, the highest out of all players in this year’s draft.  With his big body and large hands Stokes is a player that can contribute in the NBA right away.  In fact, he is so tough and strong that I believe he will be considered one of the most underrated prospects in this draft a few years from now.  Stokes also sported a very impressive 27.5 PER in his final season for the Vols.  Expect Jarnell Stokes to be selected somewhere in the 20′s but he may fall to the early second round.

4. Adreian Payne – Michigan State 

payne

 

Height – 6′ 9.75″

Weight – 239

Age – 23

There is a ton of things to like about Payne; his strength, his shooting ability, as well as his finishing ability at the rim.  However there are also a few things scouts are not too fond of as well; like his lung condition, defensive struggles, and of course his age – which is by far the biggest knock against him, as he is one of the oldest players in this year’ s draft at 23 years old.  Every player entering has their flaws, but selecting a younger player allows a team more time to develop them.  If you forget about his age, Payne’s skills alone make him appear worthy of a top 10 selection, but that’s just not how things go. Come draft day, I see him possibly sneaking his way into the lottery as early as 12 or possibly dropping all the way to the late 20′s.

3. Aaron Gordon – Arizona 

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Height – 6′ 8.75″

Weight – 220

Age – 18

Aaron Gordon does a ton of things that I love.  He is a fantastic defender, a freak athlete, knows how to get to the basket…  I could go on and on.  The problem is that he’s a bit of a tweener:  Not possessing the strength to bang with larger NBA 4′s and doesn’t have the jump shot to be able to play the 3.  However, it does appear that his jump shot is improving a bit, seen here in his draft workout.  Gordon has Blake Griffin potential at the 4 and if he can improve his jump shot he has the potential to turn into an Andre Iguodala type player at the 3.

2. Julius Randle – Kentucky 

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Height – 6’9

Weight- 250

Age – 19

Julius Randle has a unique skill set; as he is a mobile bruiser.  For being so big and strong he is extremely quick for his size.  Randle can bang in the post or drive from the perimeter, making him one of the most offensively polished bigs in the draft.   To go along with his offense, he is also a hardworking defender and an aggressive rebounder.  What I like most about Randle is the heart he plays with.  You can just tell he is out there hustling, giving it his all, and trying very hard to win.  There’s no doubt Randle is a lock for the top 10.

1. Noah Vonleh – Indiana

vonleh

Height – 6′ 9.5″

Weight – 247

Age – 18

Vonleh is the type of stretch four that scouts drool about.  There is so much to like about him just from a physical standpoint, with his 7’4 wingspan and his absolutely massive hands.  Vonleh does it all – He rebounds, can shoot the 3, has great post moves and hook shots, can finish well, and he is very mobile for his size.  He does seem to get a bit lost on defense though and isn’t a great passer, but these are all very fixable problems.  I see Vonleh as a similar player to what Chris Bosh was when he played for the Raptors:  Very aggressive, demanding the ball, and wanting to score.

****NOTE**** I am considering Dario Saric as a Small Forward.

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