NBA The Best Small Forwards of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
73.6k votes 11k voters 158.7k views 121 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
2,571 2,416
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers, New York Nets

2
5,448 1,949
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
4,249 1,605
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

4
1,590 1,247
Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers

5
1,712 1,102
Dominique Wilkins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic

6
2,824 1,438
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
2,606 1,252
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
1,342 798
James Worthy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers

9
1,125 679
John Havlicek is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

10
1,599 835
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
797 484
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
938 503
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
1,202 532
Tracy McGrady is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors

14
1,097 597
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
580 388
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
919 213
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
1,176 867
Carmelo Anthony is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets

18
746 356
Chris Mullin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors

19
525 155
Clyde Drexler is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
lauren-charbono added Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets

20
732 408
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons

21
369 304
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
739 417
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
272 194
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
385 283
Larry Johnson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks

25
349 296
Glen Rice is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Houston Rockets, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers

26
235 133
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
460 638
Andre Iguodala is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets

28
281 169
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
tom-charbono added Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons

29
389 228
Moses Malone is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
ChristopherKeel added Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers

30
307 270
Robert Horry is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers

31
197 191
Mark Aguirre is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
NaroSlp added Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons

32
151 220
Bob Dandridge is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks

33
236 275
Jamaal Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers

34
235 71
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets

35
100 131
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers

36
277 338
Shawn Marion is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat

37
228 92
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls

38
216 214
Glenn Robinson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks

39
122 79
Detlef Schrempf is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
slaft added Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers

40
100 133
Bob Love is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
mkeith.peel added New York Nets, Cincinnati Royals, Seattle Supersonics

41
253 499
Metta World Peace is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings

42
127 189
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
124 149
Sean Elliott is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
NaroSlp added Detroit Pistons

44
170 79
Gordon Hayward is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
StacyWolfe added Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics

45
64 34
Sam Jones is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

46
190 223
Latrell Sprewell is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
wiabux added Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks

47
258 478
Rudy Gay is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies

48
47 98
Marques Johnson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
slaft added Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers

49
52 109
Rudy Tomjanovich is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
MikeTrujillo added Houston Rockets, San Diego Rockets

50
145 206
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