With a strong group of 5 players that have a legitimate argument to enter the top-10 rankings among national class of 2013 prospects, this crop of power forwards has the potential to produce perhaps the largest amount of future NBA players among all positions.
Classifying this collection of prospects by position is open to the most debate among the five positions, as several of the players can be small forwards at the next level (Aaron Gordon, Jarell Martin, Johnathan Williams, Chris Wood), while others have the strength, post play, current height or projected growth necessary to be centers in college (Chris Walker, Bobby Portis, Zena Edosomwan).
Still, there’s no doubt who the head of the class is, Julius Randle. It would be hard to argue that Randle isn’t anything other than an ideally suited power forward for the current and future NBA playing style. Yes, he did float and spend more time on the perimeter than many observers would have hoped he would over the spring and summer, but it’s fair to assume that looking towards the future, Randle probably will need to expand on those aspects of the game. As it stands, Randle is just as close to an ideal power forward as anyone can be headed into their senior year of high school.
As mentioned above, Aaron Gordon is likely to see time at small forward as much as he is at power forward in college. Despite missing spring and summer time, Gordon emerged from injury with a force seldom seen in the class. He’s a dynamic athlete that is expanding his ball skills and mid-range shooting to complete the transition to the “3″, though it is not finalized yet.
In terms of raw ability, Florida Gators commit Chris Walker is second to none. His long frame, explosive bounce and transition finishing stand out, though he is far from refined. Similarly, North Carolina Tar Heels pledge Isaiah Hicks is like a gazelle moving up and down the court, with length and seemingly effortless movement.
Two players from the south shot up the charts in the spring and summer, Jarell Martin and Bobby Portis (Arkansas Razorbacks commit). Quite simply, both had moments where they looked among the top-10 prospects in the class nationally, though neither has established the consistency or demonstrated the skill set to be universally regarded in that manner.
Skilled face up big man Johnathan Williams and New York City native Jermaine Lawrence both have worlds of potential. Williams is advanced in the paint, while Lawrence has the athleticism and bounce to star as he refines his game. Also, Austin Nichols and Chris Wood (early UNLV commit) had moments during the evaluation periods where they looked as if they can be McDonald’s All-American candidates with continued development. Nichols has a great all-around game, while Wood’s agility, athleticism and shooting make him a mismatch against other big men.
|1||Julius Randle||6'-8"||220||Prestonwood Christian (TX)||Texas Titans|
|2||Aaron Gordon||6'-8"||205||Archbishop Mitty (CA)||Oakland Soldiers|
|3||Chris Walker||6'-9"||205||Holmes County (FL)||Florida Rams||Florida|
|4||Isaiah Hicks||6'-8"||205||Webb (NC)||Garner Road||North Carolina|
|5||Jarell Martin||6'-8"||215||Madison Prep (LA)||Louisiana Elite|
|6||Bobby Portis||6'-8"||210||Hall (AR)||Arkansas Wings||Arkansas|
|7||Johnathan Williams||6'-8"||205||Southwind (TN)||Bluff City Legends|
|8||Jermaine Lawrence||6'-9"||205||Pope John XXIII (NJ)||NY Rens|
|9||Austin Nichols||6'-8"||205||Briarcrest Christian (TN)||M33M|
|10||Chris Wood||6'-8"||180||Findlay Prep (NV)||Las Vegas Prospects||UNLV|
|11||Jordan Mickey||6'-7"||190||Grace Prep (TX)||Urban DFW|
|12||Zena Edosomwan||6'-8"||225||Northfield Mount Hermon (NH)||Belmont Shore||Harvard|
|13||Derrick Griffin||6'-6"||190||Terry (TX)||Houston Hoops||Texas A&M|
|14||Tyler Roberson||6'-7"||190||Roselle Catholic (NJ)||NJ Roadrunners|
|15||Mike Young||6'-8"||210||St. Benedict's Prep (NJ)||NJ Playaz||Pittsburgh|
|16||Devin Williams||6'-8"||225||Montverde Academy (FL)||Ohio Basketball Club|
|17||Elijah Macon||6'-8"||205||Brewster Academy (NH)||None||West Virginia|
|18||Junior Etu||6'-8"||210||Bishop O'Connell (VA)||DC Assault|
|19||Shannon Hale||6'-8"||205||Christ School (NC)||St. Louis Eagles||Alabama|
|20||Vincent Hunter||6'-7"||205||Consortium (MI)||Detroit Stars|
|21||Jarquez Smith||6'-9"||210||Jones County (GA)||Georgia Stars|
|22||Derek Willis||6'-9"||200||Bullitt East (KY)||Kentucky Elite||Kentucky|
|23||Austin Colbert||6'-8"||200||Hotchkiss School (CT)||Team Final|
|24||Jordan Bell||6'-7"||205||Long Beach Poly (CA)||Compton Magic|
|25||Akoy Agau||6'-8"||230||Omaha Central (NE)||Team Nebraska|