NBA The Best Small Forwards of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
80.6k votes 12.1k voters 167.5k 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
2,758 2,744
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers, New York Nets

2
4,668 1,687
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

3
5,996 2,097
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers

4
1,729 1,389
Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers

5
1,834 1,230
Dominique Wilkins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic

6
3,107 1,526
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
2,835 1,321
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
1,451 871
James Worthy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers

9
1,198 741
John Havlicek is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

10
1,720 908
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
857 554
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
1,020 557
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
1,326 567
Tracy McGrady is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors

14
1,211 628
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
623 434
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
1,064 255
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
601 175
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
1,250 959
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
788 398
Chris Mullin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors

20
787 441
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons

21
391 340
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
811 447
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
301 222
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
378 325
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
416 312
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
269 164
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
331 198
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
431 252
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
316 81
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets

30
490 684
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
303 114
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls

32
166 246
Bob Dandridge is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
JohnWade added Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks

33
322 294
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
116 143
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers

35
203 215
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
246 294
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 44
Sam Jones is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Boston Celtics

38
113 147
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
289 357
Shawn Marion is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat

40
229 230
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
136 93
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
63 112
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
138 205
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
261 525
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
191 100
Gordon Hayward is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
StacyWolfe added Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics

46
203 240
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
134 166
Sean Elliott is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
NaroSlp added Detroit Pistons

48
272 494
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
136 65
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Small Forwards of All Time
New Orleans Pelicans

50
156 219
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