best athletes The Best Small Forwards of All Time  

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List Rules Only NBA players who played small forward for most of their career

Who are the best small forwards of all time? A small forward serves a critical role in any basketball game, whether NCAA or pro, but this list is primarily concerned with the top small forwards in the NBA. Fans of the game know how important the small forward is: he is often one of the main scorers on the team. The small forward is also versatile, able to fill many roles for a team. Which small forward deserves the title of the best ever? That's for you to decide, with your votes. You can also add any small forwards who are missing from this list, and rerank it any way you want.

When it comes to deciding the best small forwards in the NBA, well, arguments might ensue. Everyone has a favorite -- whether it's LeBron James and his incredible size, strength and versatility, Larry Bird and his extraordinary shooting abilities or a modern era shooter with amazing shooting ability like Kevin Durant. Arguments can be made that virtually any one of the players listed here could be the best ever; certainly they are all among the top NBA players of all time, too.

If you're up for more voting, check out these lists of the greatest power forwards and the greatest shooting guards in NBA history, too. These are the top 10 small forwards in the NBA.
list ordered by

1
1,955 1,437
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Julius Erving Philadelphia 76ers, New York Nets

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2
1,176 682
Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Elgin Baylor Los Angeles Lakers

3
3,659 1,483
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat

4
2,985 1,270
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Larry Bird Boston Celtics

5
1,256 601
Dominique Wilkins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Dominique Wilkins Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic

6
1,825 1,003
Scottie Pippen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Scottie Pippen Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls

7
1,825 1,103
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Seattle Supersonics

8
965 529
James Worthy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
James Worthy Los Angeles Lakers

9
855 461
John Havlicek is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
John Havlicek Boston Celtics

10
1,143 643
Paul Pierce is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Paul Pierce Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics

11
588 306
Bernard King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Bernard King Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets

12
727 421
Vince Carter is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
tbb911 added Vince Carter Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns

13
664 363
Rick Barry is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Rick Barry New York Nets, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors

14
816 405
Tracy McGrady is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Tracy McGrady Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors

15
503 63
Kawhi Leonard is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
little JP Tokoto added Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs

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16
845 628
Carmelo Anthony is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Carmelo Anthony Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets

17
556 264
Chris Mullin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Chris Mullin Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors

18
416 280
Alex English is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Alex English Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks

19
571 311
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Grant Hill Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons

20
300 85
Clyde Drexler is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
lauren-charbono added Clyde Drexler Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets

21
531 293
Paul George is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
ZachCarlson added Paul George Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers

22
278 221
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Adrian Dantley Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz

23
184 129
David Thompson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
mkeith.peel added David Thompson Seattle Supersonics, Denver Nuggets

24
288 221
Glen Rice is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Glen Rice Houston Rockets, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers

25
303 213
Larry Johnson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Larry Johnson Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks

26
364 509
Andre Iguodala is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Andre Iguodala Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers

27
239 204
Robert Horry is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Robert Horry Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers

28
155 134
Mark Aguirre is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
NaroSlp added Mark Aguirre Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons

29
285 155
Moses Malone is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
ChristopherKeel added Moses Malone Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers

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30
115 158
Bob Dandridge is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Bobby Dandridge Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks

31
161 91
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
tom-charbono added Dennis Rodman Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons

32
217 264
Shawn Marion is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Shawn Marion Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat

33
141 71
Peja Stojaković is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
nir-einess added Peja Stojaković Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans

34
182 226
Jamaal Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Jamaal Wilkes Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers

35
70 78
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Billy Cunningham Philadelphia 76ers

36
173 171
Glenn Robinson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Glenn Robinson Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks

37
70 96
Bob Love is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
mkeith.peel added Bob Love New York Nets, Cincinnati Royals, Seattle Supersonics

38
208 447
Metta World Peace is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Metta World Peace Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings

39
97 111
Sean Elliott is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
NaroSlp added Sean Elliott Detroit Pistons

40
103 149
Kiki Vandeweghe is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Kiki Vandeweghe Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers

41
98 21
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Charles Barkley Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets

42
33 55
Kelly Tripucka is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Kelly Tripucka Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons

43
222 421
Rudy Gay is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Rudy Gay San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies

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44
33 69
Rudy Tomjanovich is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
MikeTrujillo added Rudy Tomjanovich Houston Rockets, San Diego Rockets

45
74 50
Detlef Schrempf is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
slaft added Detlef Schrempf Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers

46
124 169
Jamal Mashburn is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Jamal Mashburn Dallas Mavericks, Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans

47
152 183
Latrell Sprewell is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Latrell Sprewell Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks

48
166 355
Luol Deng is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Luol Deng Chicago Bulls

49
28 57
Marques Johnson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
slaft added Marques Johnson Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers

50
91 40
Gordon Hayward is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
StacyWolfe added Gordon Hayward