This is the hardest position in the entire NBA to judge, as there are so many elite level small forwards. One of them is an all-world player, who when it comes time to retire may be the greatest to ever play, another is a rising star on both offense and defense. These are the types of players the average every day fan loves to watch play as they can do it all, from a statistical standpoint, and in the most important way, giving the fans a great game to watch.
Top 5 Small Forwards in the NBA
1. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James has been in the middle of the MVP discussion in practically almost every year of his career, and this season should be no different. He is currently averaging career highs in both rebounding and assists. In a normal year, he would be the runaway MVP and the talk of the NBA with the way he dominates every game, never taking a game (kidding) or play off.
2. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
People will hate on the Durantula all because he joined a team that came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat his Oklahoma City Thunder in last seasons playoffs. In his defense, the Thunder just don’t have that third superstar to get them over the hump, and in today’s NBA, you need a third star. He’ll have missed almost a month of the season by the time he comes back, but he will step right back into being the driving force of the Warriors when he does.
3. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard could easily be number one on this list in any other era. Everybody knew about him on the defensive end of the court, winning the previous two DPOY awards, with possibly a third consecutive on the way. An offensive explosion this year, along with the departure of Tim Duncan, has let Leonard flourish on the Spurs. The league is his to take over.
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the hardest player to judge on this list, simply due to the fact that he plays pretty much every single position for the Bucks. Depending on the matchups, Giannis can play point guard or center. Early in the season he was a lock for the most improved player, but with the play of Isaiah Thomas, even that looks to be in danger. He could be one of the handful of players to lead his team in every statistical category. Giannis is still only 22 years of age, with plenty of room to grow.
5. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
Jimmy Butler always seems to be the talk of the trade deadline, but he has yet to be traded. With the Bulls failed experiment of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, Butler may finally be on his way out of the Windy City as they may decide to rebuild. This does not mean that he is a bad player, it just means that he is in the wrong situation. Butler is having his best season to date, with career highs in every category. Now imagine if he was the main focal point of a team.