Posted October 14, 2011 - 11:21 PM
If you start the NBA season right now, Blake Griffin is ahead of Gasol. I can argue for him last season, really. Neither play defense, and Griffin is more effective everywhere else. He's a more physical player (ten times more physical), he's faster, twenty times better on the break (on LBJ's level), he can rebound better despite being shorter (because he's quicker, stronger, jumps higher, and can box out anyone under the rim), and he's a better scorer.
Among PF's, Dirk and Blake already rank above Pau Gasol. I'm also sticking Kevin Love on the list. He's a better rebounder (by miles), scores the ball from 23 feet in, and passes twice as good as Gasol. If you don't consider him a PF (Darko was the center), well, he's still better than Gasol.
So, really, Pau Gasol is a top five PF. Dirk, Blake, and Love are better overall players. Amare and Aldridge are close, but they struggle grabbing boards and passing the ball, and Amare has zero defensive presence (worse than any other PF I just posted). Garnett has regressed.
The #4 power forward is not the 11th best player in the NBA.
In no order...Kobe, Dwight, James, Wade, Durant, Dirk, CP3, Rose, Griffin, Williams, Carmelo, Rondo, Love, and Nash (for running offenses by himself, best passer in the league, and being so efficient) are all above Gasol.
All things considered, I'd put Pau at #15 today.