2013 NBA Draft: Top Power Forwards

Jackie Carmichael, PF, Illinois State

I had a chance to see Carmichael up close over the summer playing in the Nike Elite camps and he was impressive not just as a player but also as a person. Maturity was a trait that was quickly on display while we spoke. The remainder of the camp Carmichael was not the most flashy prospect but was very effective.

As a senior, Carmichael is averaging over 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. At Illinois State, Carmichael does not get to go against the top competition often but looked very good in a close loss to Louisville.

Carmichael is a balanced player that contributes on both ends of the court, has good size, and athleticism. While he is not destined to be an All-Star, Carmichael could be a quality backup or even slightly above-average starting power forward in the NBA. I’d expect Carmichael to hear his name called somewhere in the early part of round two.

Trevor Mbakwe, PF, Minnesota

I am a huge fan of Mbakwe and believe he is one of the most underrated players in the country. Mbakwe, 24 years old, is not your typical prospect but he has posted some unbelievable efficiency rates while at Minnesota.

The calling card of Mbakwe’s game is defense and rebounding. If not for a minutes restriction as he returns from an ACL injury Mbakwe would be averaging a double-double. Despite being 6’8″, Mbakwe is freakishly long, explosive, and very focused. In the NBA it would not be a surprise to see him defend players on the perimeter or in the post. I hesitate to toss around Dennis Rodman, comparisons but this is the type of player that can have that same type of impact minus the personal baggage.

Offensively, Mbakwe doesn’t force bad shots, has good vision, and is a decent passer. Most of his offense will come from putbacks and dunks. Based on talent, athleticism, and his grittiness, Mbakwe would normally be a first-round pick but due to several injuries he is likely a second-rounder.

Richard Howell, PF, North Carolina State

When you watch North Carolina State you probably don’t pay close attention to Howell or the impact he has on the game. Howell fills up the stat sheet on a nightly basis averaging a double-double, shooting over 58%, with 2 assists, and 1 block and steal a game. On a team with C.J. Leslie, Lorenzo Brown, and a cast of talented freshmen, Howell has stepped up as a leader for Mark Gottfried.

If Howell is not within 10 feet he is playing too far away from the basket, but he is that player that does all the dirty work for his team — setting screens, boxing out, and keeping balls alive. The improvements Howell has made to his game are apparent, and NBA scouts who have been in Raleigh the last few years to scout Leslie and Brown have come away impressed with Howell’s development.

Defensively, Howell will add toughness to any team he is a part of while working tirelessly for every rebound. In the past watching Howell, he has irked a few opponents with hard screens, but he plays with the type intensity that scouts clamor for.

If Howell were a few inches taller he could legitimately play center and would have much higher value, but as it stands should be a Udonis Haslem type of player for whichever teams selects him. As NBA teams continue to draft with a philosophy of building a team rather than selecting the best player available, it would not be a surprise to see Howell selected somewhere in the top 45.

(RELATED: Top Point Guard Prospects | Shooting Guards | Small Forwards  |  Top 1O Euro Prospects

Joe Kotoch is the Editor-in-Chief of Pro Basketball Draft, a leading scouting service in the world of professional basketball. Before Joe created PBD, he served as an NBPA & FIBA certified agent and scouted players all across the world. Born and raised in Cleveland, Joe also contributes to Fox Sports Ohio and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. You can follow Joe on Twitter @Probballdraft.



  1. stepxxxxz says

    sorry for typos. Tougher than HIS rep. As an add on plumlee……he can really get up and down the floor. And he’s strong…..as is miles, the older bro. I can see mason going top ten by the end of the day. Tony Mitchell is a freak. A physical freak. An elite intimidating defender….but i dont know where his head is. And for now at least, his shot is close to broken. There is also erik murphy at florida. A bit of a plodder, and not a great rebounder….but he can certainly score. Has a genuine post up game. How that translates to the NBA however, I dont know.

  2. stepxxxxz says

    WOW, im so glad reading this as I would second almost all of whats said. First, Agree totally about Mbakwe……soooooo underrated. This guy is going to be a solid pro, a very tough defender who can score more than you’d expect. Good free throw shooter too, which speaks to his discipline. Carmichal is a nice prospect. Not an elite athlete and more of a self made player, he is still going to be a solid role player in the NBA. He has a nice touch on his shot, too. Bennett oddly enough reminds me a bit of David Lee. Same facing the basket moves. Bennett is longer, and a better defender, but Lee shoots with more range. But thats what you get with bennet….a david lee level of play. Howell is fine…..reminds me a bit of kevin jones last year. A role player, but a hard working one. Young i dont like. Awkward, and doesnt enough of any one thing to make me want him. McAdoo reminds me some of kris humphries…….looks big and strong but just isnt. Soft soft and lacks court awareness. Id add gorgui dieng….who i think is more of a four than a five. He’s a stronger version of larry sanders. Mason Plumlee is really a four too. He cant play the five…ergo should be on this list. He is going to be a good but not great pro. But i love how chippy his play is…tougher than her rep. Cody is cody. A lamarcus aldridge kind of game. Quick and skilled….might have some trouble getting off against bigger fours though

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