Growing up, before I made it to high school, when I first started playing ball, the small forward spot was my comfort zone. I grew early, was nearly six foot by the seventh grade, but I never wanted to go hard in the paint Waka Flocka-style. For any big man growing up, that three spot was Disney Land. Oh so close, and yet sometimes so far off. It was attainable if you took just enough head-scratching jumpers, and showcased just enough of a propensity to shrink underneath the boards. Then maybe… just maybe they’d move you outside and you’d be free to divulge your inner Sam Perkins.
The point being, small forward is the ultimately position of versatility. It’s always been that way. Now we have these Drake-tendency power forwards running around shooting threes, but the three man birthed the point forward, the Bernard Kings of the midrange and even some of the greatest three-point gunners of all time. As a small forward, you have traditionally two smaller and quicker players out there with you, and two larger and slower teammates. Because of this you can play basically anywhere you want and not look out of place.
After reading our lists of the top 10 point guards, top 10 centers and the top 10 power forwards in the game today, you realize how hard it is to put something like this together. Everyone’s an expert and has an opinion of their own, so no matter what combination of 10 NBA players you assemble, even if they’re all All-Stars, you’re bound to leave off a former All-Star or up-and-coming talent. And no, I didn’t include Derrick Williams on this. Show me something first.
So with that, here are the top 10 small forwards in the NBA right now: