NBA The Best Small Forwards of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
86.7k votes 13k voters 175k views 152 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
5,019 1,795
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

2
6,470 2,242
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers

3
2,919 3,049
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers, New York Nets

4
1,840 1,536
Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers

5
1,941 1,365
Dominique Wilkins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic

6
3,397 1,615
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Seattle Supersonics

7
3,060 1,366
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
1,558 932
James Worthy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers

9
1,277 815
John Havlicek is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

10
1,843 978
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
913 627
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
1,099 606
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
1,447 606
Tracy McGrady is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors

14
1,319 667
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
1,199 292
Kawhi Leonard is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
little JP Tokoto added Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs

16
659 483
Alex English is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks

17
687 206
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
1,338 1,036
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
847 429
Chris Mullin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors

20
429 377
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz

21
853 478
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons

22
912 470
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
334 249
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
383 98
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets

25
372 225
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
tom-charbono added Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons