In today’s NBA, three point shooting and point guards have dominated the sport for the last several years. But point guards may not be that far ahead of the other positions as you think. The small forwards in the league are putting the world on notice. Not every player at the three spot can be the best tho, so here’s the countdown of the top 10 small forwards in today’s NBA.
10. Chandler Parsons (Memphis Grizzlies)
Injuries have been the theme of Chandler Parsons’s career for the last couple seasons. Before his injury-riddled days, he was considered by many to be one of the best up and coming forwards in the league. Now though, after some rough seasons in Dallas, he is not drawing a lot of attention. It does not change the fact that Parsons is still capable of being a valuable 2 way player in this league. And while he may not be the Grizzlies BEST player, he will certainly make the team better.
9. Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets)
Another player that flies under the radar, Batum has been the model of consistency for the Hornets. His teammates always know they can count on him night in and night out to bring the best of his game. What really makes him a top ten small forward though is how much better he makes his teammates. He always makes the right pass and is willing to let the spotlight shine on someone else. Between his consistency and the way he makes the guys around him better, Batum is one of the most underrated players in the league.
8. Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings)
For a guy that can score in so many ways, his game gets so little respect. True, he cannot carry a team. But he can dominate the game in a way that impacts his team for the better. He can score in so many ways, defensive schemes have trouble getting underneath Gay’s skin. Even though scoring is his specialty, his isolation defense isn’t too bad either. He’s an extremely valuable asset for the Kings and is the only reason they have any type of relevance right now.
7. Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors)
People seem to have short term memory when it comes to Iguodala and his days before the Warriors. He was on a Denver nuggets team that was top 4 in the Western Conference and was the major player in them being so successful. He guards players exceptionally well and is well known for his defensive efforts on big name NBA stars. Iguodala’s comfort zone is inside the paint, where he finds ways to finish around the rim. However, he has found his stroke from outside recently at an alarming rate. Now playing the sixth man for the team, we can only expect Iguodala’s performance to continue.
6. Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz)
The Jazz are almost a lock to make the playoffs this season. The only thing that might stop them from getting there is and injury to their best player, Gordon Hayward. Hayward is one of the best scorers on this list. While he is not the loudest player in the league, he can light it up at any time. If you’re not convinced, just take a look at his stat line for the 2015-2016 season: 19.7 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds.
5. Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
From his first appearances at Syracuse, the world knew Carmelo would be something special. It didn’t take long for him to prove everyone right. Even today, at over 30 years old, Carmelo will go down as the best scorer in Knicks history. He may also go down as the most clutch because he has never shied away from the big, game-changing moments. With all that being said, though, I still don’t think people always appreciate what he brings to the game. He brings a never quit attitude, and a loyalty and passion for the game that only very few can match.
4. Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
The official superstar of the San Antonio Spurs. Not only is Kawhi a top 4 small forward in the league, he’s also a top ten player. Unlike many other on this list, though, he’s on here mostly for his defense, not his scoring. His big hands and strong frame provide the perfect combination to be the back to back defensive player of the year. he can still score, though, and he is more than willing to put the scoring load on his soldiers. But what’s so amazing about Kawhi is the way he stays away from the noise and drama of the long NBA season.
3. Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
When Paul George broke his leg in team USA practice, a lot of fans though his career was over. But today, Paul George has recovered to become to third best shooting guard and a top ten player in the NBA. Paul George is the leader on the floor and the voice in the locker room. His leadership has been leading the Pacers to respectability for that past couple years. There’s nothing George can’t do. Need a shot? He’s got it. Need to stop a great shooter from scoring? He’s got it. Need to close out a close game? He can bring it home.
2. Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors)
The Slimreapeaper. The Durantuala. This guy goes by many names, but none of them can truly much just how deadly this guy is. Not many folks out there liked his decision to join the Warriors this summer. And I am definitely one of those who is STILL against it. But no matter how much respect we lose for Durant, it does not take away from this guys’ talent. His almost 7-foot frame makes him a formidable defender, and really, there is nothing this guy cannot do to help his team win the game.
1. LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Welp….I’m sure nobody took this as a surprise. The King is the best player in the game, and he has been for over 5 years. His talent is something you only really see once in a lifetime, and his game is something that may never be seen again. Finisher, playmaker, defender, rebounder, leader, closer. There is really nothing this guy can’t do. The only question left LeBron had to answer now, is how long he can remain at the top. LeBron is the ultimate and best basketball player in the game today.
So while a lot of people may disagree with some on this list, let’s all agree on one thing: The SF position is STACKED!