NBA The Best Small Forwards of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
78k votes 11.7k voters 164.3k views 154 items

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
5,812 2,035
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers

2
2,683 2,639
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers, New York Nets

3
4,501 1,651
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

4
1,671 1,336
Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers

5
1,783 1,178
Dominique Wilkins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic

6
2,749 1,297
Scottie Pippen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls

7
2,990 1,488
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Seattle Supersonics

8
1,403 844
James Worthy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers

9
1,172 716
John Havlicek is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

10
1,669 882
Paul Pierce is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets

11
837 529
Bernard King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets

12
987 540
Rick Barry is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
New York Nets, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors

13
1,273 554
Tracy McGrady is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors

14
1,164 618
Vince Carter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
tbb911 added Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns

15
604 417
Alex English is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks

16
1,007 236
Kawhi Leonard is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
little JP Tokoto added Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs

17
572 167
Clyde Drexler is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
lauren-charbono added Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets

18
1,230 927
Carmelo Anthony is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets

19
772 386
Chris Mullin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors

20
767 429
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons

21
384 326
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz

22
784 437
Paul George is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
ZachCarlson added Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers

23
291 213
David Thompson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
mkeith.peel added Seattle Supersonics, Denver Nuggets

24
365 315
Glen Rice is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Houston Rockets, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers

25
403 301
Larry Johnson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks

26
255 153
Peja Stojaković is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
nir-einess added Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans

27
314 185
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
tom-charbono added Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons

28
413 244
Moses Malone is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
ChristopherKeel added Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers

29
481 664
Andre Iguodala is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets

30
284 77
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets

31
162 237
Bob Dandridge is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks

32
320 286
Robert Horry is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers

33
272 104
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls

34
202 208
Mark Aguirre is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
NaroSlp added Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons

35
110 140
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers

36
243 288
Jamaal Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers

37
83 40
Sam Jones is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

38
111 144
Bob Love is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
mkeith.peel added New York Nets, Cincinnati Royals, Seattle Supersonics

39
287 349
Shawn Marion is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat

40
225 227
Glenn Robinson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks

41
134 89
Detlef Schrempf is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
slaft added Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers

42
135 202
Kiki Vandeweghe is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers

43
58 109
Marques Johnson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
slaft added Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers

44
259 516
Metta World Peace is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings

45
200 235
Latrell Sprewell is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks

46
182 95
Gordon Hayward is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
StacyWolfe added Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics

47
132 162
Sean Elliott is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
NaroSlp added Detroit Pistons

48
265 489
Rudy Gay is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies

49
155 215
Jamal Mashburn is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Dallas Mavericks, Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans

50
45 99
Kelly Tripucka is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons