In the ever-evolving landscape of the NBA, small forwards hold a pivotal role, bridging the gap between guards and power forwards. They possess a unique blend of athleticism, versatility, and scoring prowess that can instantly change the course of a game. In this article, we delve into the realm of basketball’s most dynamic position and rank the top 5 small forwards currently gracing the NBA. From their relentless drives to their lethal outside shooting, these players have earned their spots among the elite, captivating fans worldwide with their awe-inspiring skills and captivating performances. Brace yourself for a captivating journey as we unveil the cream of the crop, the small forwards who reign supreme in today’s NBA.
5. Kawhi Leonard
If you think that a fully healthy Kawhi Leonard is a top 5 player in the league, you are not alone. Clippers fans would surely love the idea of a healthy Kawhi and Paul George.
Kawhi Leonard is a two-time NBA Finals MVP, a five-time NBA All-Star, and a five-time All-NBA member. He’s known for his defensive skills and has been named to the NBA All-Defensive team seven times and got the Defensive Player of the Year award twice. This season, Leonard is averaging 23.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game for the Los Angeles Clippers. If only he were able to play more games, he would have led the Clippers to a successful postseason run with Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
4. LeBron James
Arguably some people’s G.O.A.T (greatest of all-time) is still one of the top players in the league. LeBron James is already 38 years old but is still better than 95% of players in the league today.
LeBron is widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He’s a four-time NBA champion, a four-time NBA MVP, and a 19-time NBA All-Star. James is known for his all-around skills, high basketball IQ, and ability to dominate games. Despite being one of the oldest players today, LBJ still plays like his MVP years. In year 20, LeBron posted 28.9 points, 6.8 assists, and 8.3 rebounds in 55 games played. The Los Angeles Lakers, who were 2-10 at the start of the season, managed to reach the Western Conference Finals thanks to LeBron James and the rest of the Lakers crew.
3. Kevin Durant
Putting all the injuries and drama aside, Kevin Durant really is still one of the best small forwards in the game. A lethal scorer who can do it all without difficulty.
Kevin Durant is a former NBA MVP, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, and a 12-time NBA All-Star. He’s known for his scoring ability and has led the league in scoring four times. Aside from his rookie season, KD never averaged less than 25 points per game. It just goes to show how great of a scorer Durant is. Today, at 34 years old, KD still continues to dominate with his scoring prowess.
2. Jayson Tatum
Sooner or later, Jayson Tatum will become one of the faces of the league. At some point in the future, he could even bring another championship to Boston or become the next MVP.
Jayson Tatum is a rising star in the NBA and has already made a name for himself as one of the best small forwards in the league. Tatum is still 25 years old but has already amassed tons of achievements in his NBA career. This year, he and the Boston Celtics almost made history after almost coming back from a 3-0 deficit. There’s no denying that JT is the Celtics’ true superstar alongside Jaylen Brown.
1. Jimmy Butler
With his overwhelming postseason run, we have to give the number one spot to Jimmy Butler. Playoff Jimmy/Himmy Butler became a thing due to the Heat’s overachievement in the 2023 playoffs. Thanks to Butler’s heroics and leadership, the Heat reached the NBA Finals once more.
This season, Jimmy was selected as an All-Star and got a nod in the All-NBA second team. In addition, the 33-year-old was only averaging 22.9 points in the regular season but became a beast in the playoffs with a 27.3 PPG average. Moreover, according to ESPN, Jimmy Butler has the highest PER among small forwards this season, with 27.82.
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