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Ranking the top 5 small forwards in the Eastern Conference ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets won a gold medal with Team USA in Tokyo
Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets won a gold medal with Team USA in Tokyo
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As we continue to countdown to the start of the 2021-22 NBA season, we now take a look at the top five players at the small forward position in the East and the West. We have already ranked the five best point guards in the Eastern and Western Conferences and the five best shooting guards in both conferences.

The small forward position is bursting with talent, with at least two players figuring among the top 15 all-time great NBA players. There are also several young players who could blossom into future hall-of-famers, but for now, we take a look at the five names who make this list in the Eastern Conference.

Top five small forwards in the NBA Eastern Conference

#5 DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)

DeMar DeRozan could forge a fomridable combination with Zach LaVine in Chicago Khris Middleton silenced his doubters with a strong postseason showing in 2021
DeMar DeRozan could forge a fomridable combination with Zach LaVine in Chicago Khris Middleton silenced his doubters with a strong postseason showing in 2021

DeMar DeRozan gets the nod ahead of Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons in this ranking. DeRozan is a four-time NBA All-Star and has been a very consistent player over the course of his 12-year NBA career.

He averaged 21.6 ppg last season with San Antonio while shooting nearly 50.0% from the field and 88.0% from the free-throw line.

DeMar Derozan & his career with the San Antonio Spurs⚡️Stats: 18-19: 21.2 PPG 6.0 REB & 6.2 AST19-20: 22.1 PPG 53.1 FG% & 5.6 AST20-21: 21.6 PPG 49.5 FG% & 6.9 ASTPlayoff Birth in 2018-19 & took Denver to 7 Games (7 Seed)Play in Tournament Berth in his Final Season. https://t.co/hDoi4mAhfa

DeRozan has a solid mid-range game, but his lack of three-point shooting success over the course of his NBA career has hurt him.

While his three years in San Antonio saw his playmaking production increase (DeRozan averaged 6.2 assists in three seasons with the Spurs to 3.1 assists in his nine seasons with Toronto), it will be interesting to see how his new team, the Chicago Bulls, make use of him.

He and Zach LaVine could become one of the most formidable wing combinations in the league, a la Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with the Los Angeles Clippers.

#4 Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks)

Men's Basketball Medal Ceremony: Day 15

Khris Middleton with his Olympic gold medal

After a couple of dismal postseason showings with the Milwaukee Bucks, Khris Middleton finally silenced his doubters in the NBA’s 2021 postseason. Middleton averaged 20.4 ppg in the 2021 regular season, but that number jumped to 23.6 ppg (Also 7.6 rpg and 5.1 apg) in the 2021 Playoffs.

More importantly, Middleton was clutch for Milwaukee in several games against Miami, Brooklyn and Phoenix throughout the postseason.

That he followed up the Finals effort with a gold medal for Team USA at Tokyo 2021, shows just how far the 2012 second round draft pick has come. Middleton has forged one of the best duos in the NBA with Giannis Antetokounmpo.

26. Khris Middleton2020-21 Stats:20.4 PPG6.0 RPG5.4 APG1.0 SPG0.1 BPG48/41/89 splits- Excellent Perimeter Shooting - Very good Mid Range Shooting- Good facilitating - Solid overall defender - Solid finisher at the rim https://t.co/obRaCWi90T

If they can bring Milwaukee a couple more NBA championships, Middleton would solidify his status as one of the best players in Milwaukee’s franchise history.

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Edited by Rohit Mishra

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