Top NBA Power Forwards All-Time and 2022

Top NBA Power Forwards All-Time and 2022

The power forward position is one that has evolved in a big way in recent years. While traditional power forwards are known for having their back towards the basket and playing around the rim, several of today's power forwards are able to stretch the floor and shoot long range shots at a consistent rate.

With that being said, traditional power forwards dominate the list of the greatest power forwards in NBA history- largely in part due to their tremendous rebounding abilities, willingness to defend, and overall impact on the game itself.

Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History

1. Tim Duncan

Notable Accolades:​ 5x NBA Champion, 3x NBA Finals MVP, 2x NBA MVP, 15x NBA All-Star, 10x All-NBA First Team, 8x NBA All-Defensive First Team

Tim Duncan​, also known as the Big Fundamental, was a cornerstone of a San Antonio Spurs team that won 5 championships during his career. While he was never the flashiest or most athletic player on the floor, he was by far the most consistent and unselfish all around big man that the game has ever seen, earning him No.1 on this list.

2. Karl Malone


Notable Accolades: 2x NBA MVP, 14x NBA All-Star, 11x All-NBA First Team, 3x All-Defensive First Team

Karl Malone​ was a dominant big man on both ends of the floor, but his ability to use his body on to his advantage 0n defense is what separated him from the rest. He is known as one of the greatest players to never win a championship, having lost twice to Michael Jordan and the Bulls during their legendary run.

3. Kevin Garnett


Notable Accolades:​ 1x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 15x NBA All-Star, 4x All-NBA First Team, 1x NBA Defensive Player of the Year, 9x NBA All-Defensive First Team, 4x NBA Rebounding Champion

Kevin Garnett​ laid the foundation for the modern power forward by showing that he could do just about everything- he ranks in the top 20 all-time in career points, rebounds, blocks, steals, and career assist percentage.

4. Dirk Nowitzki


Notable Accolades:​ 1x NBA Champion, 1x NBA Finals MVP, 1x NBA MVP, 4x All-NBA First Team, NBA Three-Point Contest Champion

Dirk Nowitzki​ is widely regarded as the greatest international player to ever play in the NBA- and he has the numbers to back him up. Like Garnett, Nowitzki helped lay the foundation for today's big men by extending his range to be a deadly three-point shooter, including shooting 46% from three during the Mavericks' unlikely run to the 2011 NBA Title.

5. Giannis Antetokounmpo


Notable Accolades:​ 1x NBA Champion, 1x NBA Finals MVP, 2x NBA MVP, 6x NBA All-Star, 3x All-NBA First Team, 1x NBA Defensive Player of the Year, 3x NBA All-Defensive First Team

The Greek Freak​ is still a legend in the making, leaving no question that he very well could (and should) end up higher on this list when all is said and done. With such a strong, long frame, Giannis' dominance on the offensive end is paired with remarkable defensive instincts, making him one of the best two-way players in the NBA today.

6. Charles Barkley


Notable Accolades:​ 1x NBA MVP, 11x NBA All-Star, 5x All-NBA First Team, NBA Rebounding Leader

Charles Barkley​ is one of the most analytically efficient players in NBA history- from the 1985-86 season through the 1996-97 season, the Round Mound of Rebound averaged 23.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.9 blocks, all with a 61.9 true shooting percentage.

7. Kevin McHale


Notable Accolades:​ 3x NBA Champion, 7x NBA All-Star, 3x NBA All-Defensive First Team, 2x NBA Sixth Man of the Year

Kevin McHale​ is known for being one of the more unselfish players the league has ever seen, as the former No. 3 overall pick accepted his role off the bench on a dominate Celtics team and ended up being a critical piece of their dominance in the 1980s, winning two Sixth Man of the Year awards in the process.

8. Bob Pettit


Notable Accolades:​ 1x NBA Champion, 2X NBA MVP, 11x NBA All-Star, 4x NBA All-Star Game MVP, 10x All-NBA First Team, 2x NBA Scoring Champion

Bob Pettit​ was the league's premiere big man for a period of time, being named the first NBA MVP and leading the league in player efficiency for four straight seasons. Over his 11-year career, Pettit averaged an incredible 26.4 points and 16.2 rebounds per game.

9. Elvin Hayes


Notable Accolades:​ 1x NBA Champion, 12x NBA All-Star, 3x All-NBA First Team, NBA Scoring Champion, 2x NBA Rebounding Champion

Elvin Hayes'​ career was extremely productive, but he is often more recognized for his off-the-court issues, including run-ins with coaches, teammates, and the media. Over the course of his career, he averaged 21.0 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game.

10. Dennis Rodman


Notable Accolades: 5x NBA Champion, 2x NBA All-Star, 2x NBA Defensive Player of the Year, 7x NBA All-Defensive First Team, 7x NBA Rebounding Champion

Dennis Rodman​ is arguably the greatest rebounder the game has ever seen, leading the league in rebounding a remarkable seven times over the course of his career. Like Hayes, Rodman's career is highlighted by several off-the-court incidences, but no one could deny his ability and willingness to do his job and be a key part of several NBA championship teams.

Best Power Forwards of the 2021-22 NBA Season

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

2021-22 Stats:​ 29.9PTS, 11.6REB, 5.8AST, 1.1STL, 1.4BLK

Giannis Antetokounmpo​ continued to dominate the league this season, putting together another MVP-caliber season and leading the Bucks to the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, with a legitimate chance to make some noise coming out of the Eastern Conference.

2. Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

2021-22 Stats:​ 23.2PTS, 9.8REB, 3.0AST, 1.2STL, 2.2BLK

Anthony Davis​ was never able to consistently stay healthy this season, but when he did, he put up efficient numbers. Playing over half the season without their star Power Forward, the Lakers failed to make the playoffs two seasons removed from their 2o2o NBA Championship, and a large part of that is due to Davis' absence.

3. Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers/Sacramento Kings

2021-22 Stats:​ 18.9PTS, 12.1REB, 5.OAST

Domantas Sabonis​ had another very productive year both for the Pacers and the Kings, and the Kings will now look to add pieces around him as they build for the future.

4. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

2021-22 Stats:​ 7.5PTS, 7.3REB, 7.0AST, 1.3STL, 1.1BLK

Draymond Green​ is one of the most consistent players in the league, but what he does for the Warriors doesn't always show up in the stat sheet. His ability to facilitate the offense and create shots for his teammates is among the best in the NBA, making him a tremendous reason for Golden State's success when he is on the floor.

5. Pascal Siakim, Toronto Raptors

2021-22 Stats:​ 22.8PTS, 8.5REB, 5.3AST, 1.2STL

Pascal Siakim​ continues to grow each year, and this one was no different. 'Spicy P' averaged the most rebounds and assists that he has his entire career, and lead a young Raptors team to the No. 5 seed in a tight Eastern Conference.