Following up on my first Fan Post on my feelings of the Nuggets centers highest and lowest potentials, I thought I'd move over to power forward. While there are only two clear-cut true power forwards on the roster, being Kenneth Faried and Anthony Randolph, I decided to add Wilson Chandler in as well because I think he'll be getting more minutes at power forward than any other player aside from Faried and if not, his style most resembles a power forwards game among our tweeners.
In my view, it's odd when you look at our forwards, we don't have any true back to the basket players with good height, length and bulk. Faried is the size of a small forward with a very solid wingspan and strength, but gets most of his points off of hustle, second chance points and running the floor.
Anthony Randolph is 6'11, but he plays more like a shooting guard, preferring to stay around the perimeter on offense. Neither player posts up or have any desire to play post defense on the bigger forwards of the league. Even though Faried is unorthodox, he is efficient, posting a PER as high as many all-stars in the league. Randolph is still faster and jumps higher than most players who are his height and so he can be a nightmare to stop in a fast tempo offense.
The talk of Wilson Chandler being traded for an elite 3 pointer like Kevin Martin or J.J Redick seem less likely with all of the wings currently on the team and a trade for a more traditional power forward like Paul Milshap could be possible, moving Faried to the bench to play 25-30 minutes a night.
Dream Case- the ultimate potential of a player, not very often do players live up to their full potential, but we can dream anyway, can't we?
Best case- A more realistic destination point for most players, only around 50-65% of players turn into their best case scenario however.
Worst case- A player who regresses falls into this category. Or just sort of stays where they are.
Dream Case- There are certain players that you are excited to watch. Some put up stats that would light up a pinball machine. Some mystify the crowd with their human highlight film athletic ability and dunks. The players that I love to watch are the ones who make winning plays. They aren’t the ones who necessarily lead their team in scoring or are their go to guy down the stretch. No they are the ones who make plays to put their teams in position to win. It could be with their rebounding, shot making, passing, or just overall hustle.
No player in history did that more than Dennis Rodman, and that is the one player that Kenneth reminds me of the most. it isn't so much the size that gets you rebounds, but the intelligence and know-how of where to be when the ball clanks. Faried is a very hard player to box out because he is strong, quick, and knows how to position himself, just like Rodman. His post-man defense needs work like Rodman, but it's no surprise that he models his game after the man who won rings with two different teams because of his hustle, energy and strength despite just being the size of a small forward. The best trait that he possesses is a lost art in today’s game. He doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be successful.
Odds- 5/ 45
Upside- Paul Milshap. While Faried is better in a lot of areas than Milshap, he still needs to become a better post defender and not let others back him down and use his strength to his advantage. If he develops post moves, not necessarily a reliable jump shot, but instead good footwork with the ball to shake defenders away and take reliable hook shots, layups and of course dunks, then Faried will demand more respect in the half-court game. Milshap's post-moves are a thing of beauty, and if Faried can work on his post moves, the sky is the limit.
His style of play proves that being active and playing with energy can get big men into a game. Faried’s game lacks skill scoring with his back to the basket, but that doesn’t stop him from being effective. Post players at every level need to understand that activity level is a skill.
. Kenneth is one of the smallest power forwards in the NBA at 6’7 and along with Paul Milsap are the two top NBA’s best undersized power forwards. He does this by being the most energetic big man on the floor and having an impact on the game with his activity level. He doesn’t just sit on the block and pout when he doesn’t get the ball. Faried finds ways to put his team in a position to win. Athletically, Faried is superior to Milshap but more raw in terms of offensive moves, if Faried fails to develop as a strong post defender, he still can go the way of Milshap.
Downside- Reggie Evans- A great rebounder who can't find the rim after he gets an offensive rebound, Faried can develop into this kind of player if he loses his energy and doesn't develop other areas of his game like a midrange. Still I think it's very likely that he will become better than this with his intangibles. Faried still has some trouble finishing near the rim and his lack of awareness of where the rim is seems to be steadily improving, but it's still a concern.
Thankfully, Faried is seeking only one form of ball.
Faried is just mad that he doesn't like his seats. I'd be angry too.
Last thoughts - There are 10 things I look for in an undersized forward that are strong indicators of success in the league, let us go through the 10 and rate Faried for each, shall we?
Strength, Grit & Physical Play- 8.5
Big Body & Positioning- 7
Post Moves & Craftiness-6
Instincts & Anticipation- 8
Face Up Jumper-4.5
This is not Anthony Randolph
Dreamside- Randolph is one of those players that is really hard to pin down in terms of who he plays like.. he is as tall as a center but only weighs around 200, he likes to play around the perimeter and doesn't bang down low in the post. I'd say however that I'd hope he'd end up like Tayshaun Prince the most, because of the length, wingspan and style of play.
If he learned to utilize his wingspan, and did a little of everything like scoring, rebounding, passing and blocking and stealing.. I'd be very happy since he still has a lot of untapped potential.
He’s not a strong, take-it-to-the-hoop PF. He has finesse moves. In fact, let’s quote Draft Express for this one: "…settling for weak, off-balance, turn-around jumpers from midrange, fading away from contact in the post…" Snap Judgment: Not good. But let’s delve deeper. Here is what is written in his NBA Draft profile: " Runs the floor like a deer and has amazing fluidity ... " Why the hell would I want a Bambi on the Nuggets? I suppose that's a better compliment than "runs the floor like a gazelle" I still think he has potential to be a strong player who does it all type like Prince, probably in a more poor form.
Upside- Randolph is a poor rebounder for his position, but he has jaw dropping athleticism and a freakish wingspan, so I'd say his realistic potential would be something like Lamar Odom meets Jared Jefferies and they have a kid. For those of you unfamiliar, Jared Jefferies is a freakish athlete with very subpar basketball skills.
At this point, Randolph is sort of like the taller version of him, so that athleticism might be the only thing keeping him in the league. However, what is interesting about Randolph, aside from being left handed, is that his release point is very high and if he develops that shot further than how it is now, he'd be very hard to defend from 15-20 feet out.
Odom sort of does everything on the court and runs the court very well for a 6'11 man. Randolph really needs to watch videos of Odom and learn how to use his mobility and size to make an impact of the court. He can outrun most big men but has trouble finishing liked Odom. Thankfully for Randolph, George Karl's system doesn't require a high basketball i.q and depends more on athleticism up and down the court. The sooner Randolph plays how Karl likes, the higher chance he will see himself into the rotation. He seems to me like a player Karl would like.
While Odom could teach him how to play, Eddie Curry should take him out to a buffet.
Downside- Where he is at now seems to be quite a downside from what the player he was at LSU, and he reminds me a bit of Tim Thomas.. just a really tall guy who can't rebound, was athletic and shot decently and like Randolph, appears to go from team to team to team to team throughout his career. Not that it's bad.. just not a piece you'd want in rotation on a good team.
Randolph really needs to gain muscle and weight.. he's still just as skinny as he was coming out of college.
Anthony Randolphs lone media day picture.
Some pictures say a million words. This one only says one word.
Dreamside- poor man's Scottie Pippen. Hypothetically, when Wilson Chandler is healthy.. and yes I really do emphasize the hypothetically... Chandler is actually quite a nifty player who can do it all. He defends very well like a bigger and stronger version of Arron Afflalo, he can pass, shoot and score and rebound quite well. However, Wilson Chandler is never healthy, from what it seems. There are times when he does play a lot of Pippen however when his game is on.
At this point in his career, he is a homeless version of Pippen, the kind of homeless that plays you really bad covers on an un-tuned guitar on the street. He is still young, and despite his overwhelming aura of meh, he is a solid do-it-all kind of player.
The 6’8" Chandler is best suited for the small forward position but has potential to create serious matchup problems at the power forward and shooting guard spots. Chandler’s combination of size, shooting ability and athleticism render him a tough matchup for two-guards and big men alike, and his devastating finishing ability ties the package together to represent tremendous upside.
Upside- Poor man's Andre Iguodala. See where I'm getting at? Is a pattern forming? Wilson Chandler does basically everything Iguodala does on the court, just not as well! No wonder he is the most talked about Nugget in trade talks, he is beyond redundant at this point, still however.. a poor man's Iguodala sounds tempting off the bench, and if Chandler gets back to full health, he might work his way into 6th man of the year talks.
He has a long way to go, but it is possible. It would be interesting to see Chandler in a non D'Antoni system for a full year to see what kind of player he really is.
Downside- Joey Graham. He is strong, athletic, smooth, good rebounder, can post up, good shotblocker, doesn't play hard all the time, closer to 6-6 or 6-7, tweener (plays primarily PF in college will need to develop into a SF in NBA), needs to develop his ball handling and range on his shot to be a wing in NBA, will struggle to guard NBAwings due to lack of quickness, poor shot selection. Chandler reminds me of joey graham they both have excellent bodies, are strong, athletic, and perhaps it is possible that in a non D'Antoni system, that is all he is... food for thought.
And now ladies and gentlemen..