The small forward position in the NBA is a little bit tricky to judge at the moment. There are many players with the size to be considered a 3, but play as a point guard or as a power forward. In this list, we will give you the five best small forwards in the current NBA.
LeBron James and Jayson Tatum, for example, were listed last season (by Basketball Reference) as a point guard and a power forward respectively. Still, the position they have played most often during their career is the small forward, so do not be surprised if you see them on this list.
NBA Power Rankings: Top 5 small forwards in the league right now
The small forward position is one of the most important in today's NBA action, because it is full of players who can really control their team's offence and are versatile defenders. In this edition of the NBA Power Rankings, we will discuss the top 5 small forwards in the league right now.
#5 Jayson Tatum
The Boston Celtics truly have a gem in Jayson Tatum. The third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Tatum blossomed into a superstar last season for the Celtics, averaging 23.4 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists per game (all career-highs) on 45 percent shooting.
The 22-year-old also became a first-time NBA All-Star as his usage rate was increased during the 2019-20 season.
In the 2020 NBA Playoffs, Tatum led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals. He averaged 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists per game on a league-leading 40.6 minutes per game.
#4 Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler has usually flown under the radar, although is well-respected around the league and by the media for his mentality. His game has not always been the first thing many would say when judging his position in the NBA, as he is known more for his intensity and tough personality.
The 2020 NBA Playoffs changed how lots of people saw Butler, and he certainly deserves praise for his game.
His numbers will not always be flashy, but he is a great all-round forward. Butler averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists per game for the Miami Heat in the 2019-20 season.
In the Playoffs, he led the team to the NBA Finals, where they lost in six games to LeBron James and the mighty 2020 LA Lakers. In the Finals, he averaged 26 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds per game on 55 percent shooting.
Butler had two incredible games (Games 3 and 5). These included a 40-point triple-double in Game 3 as he became only the third player in history to achieve it in the Finals (after Jerry West and LeBron James).