NBA Tier 5: Young starting power forwards and fast risers
30) Obi Toppin-Indiana Pacers
29) Saddiq Bey-Atlanta Hawks
28) Patrick Williams-Chicago Bulls
27) Isaiah Stewart, Detroit Pistons
26) Jabari Smith-Houston Rockets
25) Keegan Murray-Sacramento Kings
Don’t let Tier 5 fool you; there is some talent here. This tier is intended for younger starters who haven’t played enough games to rank with more established starters. Case and point are players such as Jabari Smith and Keegan Murray, both of whom have significant potential.
Murray played big minutes for one of the best teams in the NBA last season as a rookie and even drilled 41% of his 6.3 3-point attempts per game. Smith Jr. is a stretch four with the ability to put the ball on the floor and drive; he also shows promise on the defensive end as a rim protector. However, he has played fewer than 80 games in the NBA.
Rounding out the group of six are Bey, Williams, and Stewart. Bey will likely replace John Collins in the Hawks’ starting five, and he’ll provide a shooting upgrade at the four but is a limited defensive player.
The Bulls are still waiting for Williams to break out, but he is still a useful player, especially on defense, where he is Chicago’s main wing-stopper. As for Stewart, the Pistons may opt to play big, and Stew may start at power forward. He has shown enough as a shooter to serve as a floor-spacing big man, though the Pistons probably have better options at power forward.