This is a list of the five best small forwards in the NBA, entering the 2009-2010 season, along with some honorable mentions.
I hope you enjoy it, and I would like you to comment on who's too high or too low on the list in your opinion. I will also be writing a list of the best five players in the NBA at each position in the next week.
Butler is an excellent all around player at both ends of the floor. Last season, he averaged 21 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 45.3% from the field, 31% from the 3 point line, and 86% from the free throw line.
He is an excellent scorer who can also initiate an offense as a point forward player. Finally, he is a good teammate and an above average defensive player who can guard multiple positions well as he uses his length and strength to be effective.
Carmelo is one of the best pure scorers in the league. Last season, he averaged 23 points, 7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 44.3% from the field, 37% from the 3 point line, and 79% from the free throw line.
However, while he is great offensively, he is an average passer and he doesn't really make his teammates better. He is also inconsistent defensively as he usually doesn't put in the effort each game to be really good, even though he has shown the ability to do so at times.
Durant is a future superstar in the league with his great offense. Last season in his sophomore year, Durant averaged 25.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.7 blocks while shooting an excellent 47.6% from the field, 42.2% from the 3 point line, and 86.3% from the free throw line.
He is also an excellent person/teammate as he doesn't get in trouble, works hard, and is very coachable. He is average defensively now, but will become much better after he gets stronger and some more experience. Finally, he is extremely clutch as he hit a few game winning shots in his career already.
Pierce is still one of the best players in the league. Last season, he averaged 20.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1 steal per game while shooting 45.7% from the field, 39.1% from the 3 point line, and 83% from the free throw line.
He is also an above average defensive player who can guard both shooting guards and small forwards. Finally, Pierce is one of the 3-4 most clutch players in the league as he always performs well in huge games and has hit several game winning/tying shots in the last couple of seasons.
Lebron is the most physically gifted player in the league by far along with one of the hardest working. Last season, he won the MVP award as he averaged 28.4 points, 7.6 assists, 7.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 49% from the field, 34.4% from the 3 point line, and 78% from the free throw line.
He is also one of the best defensive players in the league as he can guard four positions effectively, is a great team defender/leader, and is above average in one-on-one defense. Finally, he is very clutch as he always performs amazing in big games and raises his game to another level during the post-season. He is going to end up as one of the 10 greatest players of all time at the minimum.