The NBA may be going smaller but there’s always room for a talented young big man.
The new wave of “bigs” hardly resembles the traditional version of power forwards and centers. Rather than exclusively setting up shop in the low post, the modern-day version of the big man is much more athletic and versatile.
An exciting development for the league in general is that many of them are just heading into their prime years. Topping that list, at least at the start of the season, was Anthony Davis, who led the Pelicans to a playoff berth last spring.
Davis can overwhelm opponents at both ends of the floor with his varied skills and imposing length. But the 22-year-old’s numbers have taken a slight dip this season while adjusting to a new coaching staff. In particular, Davis’ shooting percentage has fallen from 53.5 a year ago to 49.2 while the Pelicans have lost two-thirds of their games.
In the meantime, several other big men 25 years old or younger have shined during the first half of the season. Pistons center Andre Drummond leads the league in rebounding by a wide margin while also displaying much improved low-post moves.
Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins may be better known for his temper than his production, but he’s the NBA’s highest-scoring big man at 24.4 points per game.
At 6’7”, Warriors power forward Draymond Green may not cut as imposing a figure as many other power forwards, but his all-around contributions have been dazzling. He has posted three consecutive triple-doubles for a team that has lost just two games.
A couple of rookies have also made big impressions in their inaugural campaigns. The Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns has justified his status of being the top overall pick by averaging 15.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in his first 35 games.
Meanwhile, Kristaps Porzingis has taken the Big Apple by storm, drowning out the draft-night boos with a torrent of big performances. The 7’3” European import is already the Knicks’ leading rebounder and shot-blocker and has shooting range that extends beyond the 3-point arc.
This leads us to our question of the day: Which frontcourt player 25 years old or younger would you choose to build your franchise around?
Please take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the subject. We look forward to what you have to say.