The most talented position in the NBA right now could be the group of small forwards. Two of the top players in the NBA are both small forwards.
The remaining top small forwards in the league are consistent or proven winners and rising stars. These players often lead their respective teams in a majority of statistical categories as well.
These five players will be the top small forwards for the 2012-2013 NBA season.
This year will finally be the one where Rudy Gay shows that he is a force on a scary Memphis Grizzlies team. With O.J. Mayo out of the picture, Gay will have the ball in his hands more than before, handling majority of the scoring load.
Mike Conley will also get another year of experience, which will help Gay develop even further. While his jump shot is not that great, Gay has good post moves for a small forward. He is athletic, which helps him on defense and when he is crashing the boards.
The Grizzlies were able to do surprising things last season. With the team getting older, Gay will only get better himself and showcase himself as the Memphis' leader.
Despite his age, Paul Peirce could have a better season next year than he did last season. Ray Allen signed with the rival Miami Heat, meaning Pierce (like Rudy Gay) will have the ball in his hands more often.
Having a point guard like Rajon Rondo will help too, giving Pierce open opportunities while Rondo drives down the lane and attracts defenses.
This does not seem too convincing just because of how Pierce performed against Miami last season in the playoffs. But not having Ray Allen alongside him might actually benefit him for the 2012-2013 season, which could be his last year at a star level.
You know a position is good when you have Carmelo Anthony ranked third. He is arguably the best scorer in the whole league and can get hot at anytime.
Melo had to go through a lot last season with injuries and locker room drama. He should be back to his old self or even better with all of that aside this season.
Anthony can actually be pretty decent on defense when he wants to be. If he puts in full effort this year, stays healthy and away from drama, do not be surprised to see Anthony as one of the best players in the league for the season.
After losing sweat and tears in the NBA Finals, you have to believe that the young Kevin Durant will be back in 2012-13 with some fuel to his fire.
Durant broke out as one of the better players in the league last season. After leading the Thunder to a series sweep of the defending champion Mavericks and handling Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, people realized that the Durant and OKC are no joke.
He will be even better this season. Despite not many changes to the Thunder's roster, Durant will still improve with age and experience and show that he is not only the second best small forward, but also the second best player in the NBA.
Last season, LeBron James finally got his haters to quit talking as he held the Larry O'Brien trophy in the air. Not only that, but he led team USA to win gold in the Summer Olympics.
The three-time MVP still seems hungry and he wants that second ring.
LeBron's offensive game has improved every single year he has been in the league. His jumper, driving and post game are all almost impossible to defend.
James has also established himself as one of the better perimeter defenders in the league.
When all is said and done, James could go down as one of the best players ever, maybe even the best. One thing is for sure, he is the best small forward in the NBA.