NBA The Best Small Forwards of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
80k votes 12k voters 166.9k 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
2,740 2,721
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers, New York Nets

2
5,954 2,085
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
4,635 1,680
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

4
1,723 1,373
Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers

5
1,822 1,219
Dominique Wilkins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic

6
3,087 1,519
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
2,816 1,315
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
1,441 864
James Worthy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers

9
1,188 738
John Havlicek is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

10
1,706 898
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
853 547
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
1,012 553
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
1,316 563
Tracy McGrady is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors

14
1,201 626
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
620 429
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
1,052 251
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
593 173
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
1,245 952
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
785 395
Chris Mullin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors

20
779 438
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons

21
390 336
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
806 444
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
298 220
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
374 321
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
412 309
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
264 162
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
328 196
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
427 250
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
312 80
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets

30
488 680
Andre Iguodala is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets

31
166 243
Bob Dandridge is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks

32
298 113
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls

33
322 292
Robert Horry is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers

34
114 143
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers

35
203 213
Mark Aguirre is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
NaroSlp added Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons

36
246 292
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
87 43
Sam Jones is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

38
113 146
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
289 356
Shawn Marion is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat

40
228 229
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 92
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
62 112
Marques Johnson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
slaft added Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers

43
136 205
Kiki Vandeweghe is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers

44
260 523
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
203 238
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
190 99
Gordon Hayward is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
StacyWolfe added Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics

47
134 165
Sean Elliott is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
NaroSlp added Detroit Pistons

48
272 493
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
134 64
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
New Orleans Pelicans

50
156 218
Jamal Mashburn is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Dallas Mavericks, Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans