25 Greatest Small Forwards In NBA History

The greatest small forwards have traditionally been expected to be the most versatile players on the court. An ability to score with relative efficiency from the perimeter and effectiveness in the paint. The ideal small forward can offensively take over the role of either a shooting guard or power forward in stretches.

Ranked are the twenty-five greatest small forwards in NBA history. Small forwards that played in the ABA are considered but their time in the ABA is not given considerable weight.

Lastly, because versatility is tantamount for this position, a slight boost is given to players that have shown the capability to consistently guard multiple positions and play multiple positions, whether within a game or for games at a time.


25. Andre Iguodala
Andre Iguodala

Points Per Game Field Goal % PER
12.0 46.5 15.6

Rangy, athletic and a pesky defender, Iguodala remains a productive player deep into his 30s.


24. Shawn Marion
Shawn Marion

Points Per Game Field Goal % PER
15.2 48.4 18.8

Other than perpetually complaining about being under-appreciated, Marion was a versatile wing that could guard multiple positions on defense, and cause mismatches on offense. Though it remains to be seen if Marion will be inducted to the Hall of Fame, he was clearly an effective player throughout his career.

23. Mark Aguirre
Mark Aguirre

Points Per Game Field Goal % PER
20.0 48.4 19.0

The top pick in the 1981 NBA Draft, Mark Aguirre was an impactful player immediately and would goon to secure three NBA All-Star selections and become an important part of the Detroit Pistons’ back to back championships from 1989-1990.

22. Bernard King
Bernard King

Points Per Game Field Goal % PER
22.5 51.8 19.2

A speedy and explosive wing, Bernard King was capable of scoring in bunches, even winning the scoring title in 1985. Even after a crushing knee injury hampered his scoring ability for a few years, he diligently worked back into shape until he was able to average 28.4 points per game in 1990-91 [at age 34].

21. KiKi Vandeweghe
Kiki VanDeWeghe

Points Per Game Field Goal % PER
19.7 52.5 18.4

An excellent shooter and adaptable scorer, Kiki was a two-time All-Star that notably played for the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, and New York Knicks before ending his career with the Los Angeles Clippers.


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4 thoughts on “25 Greatest Small Forwards In NBA History

  1. Aguirre should be higher. Guy could shoot from anywhere, drive, play with his back to the basket, play strong, and still passed well.

    1. He was a one dimensional SF in the golden age of SFs. Dominique was better, Pippen was better, Dantley was a better scorer, Schrempf was a better all around player, Bird was miles and miles better, Dr J was way better, Worthy was better… he was maybe the 7th best SF of his generation.

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