25 Greatest Small Forwards In NBA History

10. Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard

Points Per Game Field Goal % PER
18.7 49.1 23.1

Entering the league as a defensive specialist with little hope of being much else, Kawhi quickly developed into a viable scoring threat under the tutelage of Gregg Popovich and their world class coaching staff. Since moving on from the franchise he has solidified his status as one of the best players in the league.


9. Elgin Baylor

Elgin Baylor

Points Per Game Field Goal % PER
27.4 43.1 22.7

As the top pick in the 1958 NBA Draft, Elgin Baylor was a top-flight athlete for his time and could seemingly do anything on the basketball court. Baylor would go on to have eleven All-Star selections and ten All-NBA First Team selections.


8. Rick Barry
Greatest Small Forwards

Points Per Game Field Goal % PER
24.8 45.6 21.0

Not enough is said about Rick Barry’s greatness. An immediate impact player, he helped to double the win record of the San Francisco Warriors in his rookie year. He then led the league in scoring in his second season before leading the league in steals per game in his fifth year.


7. Scottie Pippen
Greatest Small Forwards

Points Per Game Field Goal % PER
16.1 47.3 18.6

Sometimes affectionately referred to as the best sidekick in NBA history, Scottie Pippen was precisely the type of player you would want on your team and despise playing against. A capable scorer in his own right, he was also a gifted with excellent court vision and elite defensive chops.


6. John Havlicek
Greatest Small Forwards

Points Per Game Field Goal % PER
20.8 43.9 17.5

Largely seen as having pioneered the Sixth Man position, Havlicek was a key member of the original Boston Celtics dynasty, providing a potent scoring punch for his entire career with the franchise.

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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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