Sports
19.3k voters

The Best Small Forwards of All Time

Updated September 14, 2021 115.1k votes 19.3k voters 223.7k views133 items

List RulesOnly 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.
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  • 1
    Boston Celtics
    6,415
    2,289

    BirthplaceWest Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana, United States of America

  • 2
    Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat
    7,950
    3,065

    BirthplaceAkron, Ohio, United States of America

  • 3
    Seattle Supersonics, Oklahoma City Thunder
    4,539
    1,989

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

  • 4
    Chicago Bulls, Portland Trail Blazers
    3,739
    1,820

    BirthplaceHamburg, Arkansas, United States of America

  • 5
    little JP Tokoto addedToronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs
    2,529
    864

    BirthplaceRiverside, California

  • 6
    Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic
    1,934
    1,124

    BirthplaceBartow, Florida, United States of America

  • 7
    New York Nets, Houston Rockets
    1,411
    1,034

    BirthplaceElizabeth, New Jersey, United States of America

  • 8
    Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics
    2,127
    1,648

    BirthplaceOakland, California

  • 9
    Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics
    2,248
    1,991

    BirthplaceParis, France

  • 10
    Boston Celtics
    1,523
    1,201

    BirthplaceMartins Ferry, Ohio, United States of America

  • 11
    Milwaukee Bucks
    816
    401

    BirthplaceAthens, Greece

  • 12
    tbb911 addedSacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies
    1,724
    1,173

    BirthplaceDaytona Beach, Florida, United States of America

  • 13
    Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia Warriors
    754
    469

    BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

  • 14
    Los Angeles Lakers
    2,177
    2,099

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

  • 15
    Los Angeles Lakers
    1,810
    1,631

    BirthplaceGastonia, North Carolina, United States of America

  • 16
    Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers
    368
    175

    BirthplaceSplit, Croatia, Yugoslavia

  • 17
    Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks
    1,642
    1,654

    BirthplaceBrooklyn, New York

  • 18
    ZachCarlson addedOklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers
    1,263
    1,215

    BirthplacePalmdale, California

  • 19
    Miami Heat
    129
    41

    BirthplaceHouston, Texas

  • 20
    lauren-charbono addedPortland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets
    1,027
    896

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA

  • 21
    Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets
    1,341
    508

    BirthplaceLeeds, Alabama, United States of America

  • 22
    TRENT13 addedDallas Mavericks
    130
    67

    BirthplaceLjubljana, Slovenia

  • 23
    Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic
    951
    1,065

    BirthplaceDallas, Texas, United States of America

  • 24
    StacyWolfe addedUtah Jazz, Boston Celtics
    266
    253

    BirthplaceIndianapolis, Indiana

  • 25
    TRENT13 addedBoston Celtics
    66
    27

    BirthplaceSt. Louis, Missouri