NBA: Ranking all 30 starting power forwards for 2017-18

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Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images /
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10. Jae Crowder, Cleveland Cavaliers

With Tyronn Lue planning on moving Tristan Thompson to the bench and starting Kevin Love at the 5, all the Sixth Man of the Year talk for Jae Crowder seems to be dead; the former Celtics swingman will be starting as a small-ball 4.

Though he’s only 6’6″, Crowder has the strength and build to defend power forwards, as he’s done for stretches in the past. This is going to take a physical toll on him, and there’s a good chance Lue could jettison this lineup when Love at the 5 leads to the Cleveland Cavaliers hemorrhaging points.

However, it sounds like this is the designated plan moving forward, and after averaging 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game on .463/.398/.811 shooting splits, Crowder was one of the league’s more underrated two-way wings. Adjusting to the life of a full-time power forward will take some work, but Crowder has the tools to be a dynamic yet understated presence in the starting lineup for a title contender.