Sports

The Best Small Forwards of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
115.8k votes 16.8k voters 208.1k views 135 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
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
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics
3
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers, New York Nets
4
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Seattle Supersonics
5
Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers
6
Dominique Wilkins is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic
7
Scottie Pippen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls
8
James Worthy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers
9
John Havlicek is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics
10
Kawhi Leonard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
little JP Tokoto added Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs
11
Paul Pierce is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets
12
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
Vince Carter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
tbb911 added Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns
14
Tracy McGrady is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors
15
Bernard King is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets
16
Carmelo Anthony is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets
17
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets
18
Alex English is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks
19
Paul George is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
ZachCarlson added Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers
20
Clyde Drexler is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
lauren-charbono added Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets
21
Paul Arizin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Philadelphia Warriors
22
Chris Mullin is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors
23
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz
24
Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Milwaukee Bucks
25
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons