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Top 15 Small Forwards in the NBA at the Halfway Point

As the All-Star game comes closer, let’s take a look at who’s playing the best at the 3 in the NBA so far this year. Note: Gordon Hayward, Kawhi Leonard, and Danilo Gallinari will not be included In the list as they have missed significant time due to injury.

 

Honorable Mentions: 

DeMarre Carroll

Trevor Ariza

Josh Richardson

Andre Iguodala

Rudy Gay

 

 

15. Bojan Bogdanovic – Indiana Pacers

Bojan Bogdanovic driving on Shabazz Muhammed..
Photo Credit/hoopshabit.com

 

After stints with Brooklyn and Washington in the past few years Bogdanovic finds himself having a great season as an offensive weapon on the Pacers. The Croatian forward regularly gives Indiana 10 plus points a game and also shoots some healthy percentages to back it up. Though defense is a problem with his lack of quickness and athleticism, Bogdanovic is a deserving starter and above average offensive player.

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

 

 

14. T.J. Warren – Phoenix Suns

T.J. Warren dribbling.
Photo Credit/clutchpoints.com

 

Warren, now in his 4th year with the lowly Suns, has turned into one of the most dangerous scorers on the team. His size and ability to finish and shoot from in close allow him to average nearly 20 points a game and turn in some outstanding offensive games from time to time. Though he is progressing, Warren currently has an abysmal 3 point shot and is very inconsistent, sometimes bringing down the whole team with miss after miss. The NC State product has the ability to become one of the top scorers in the league, but needs to work on his jumper and efficiency to achieve that status.

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

 

 

13. Joe Ingles – Utah Jazz

Joe Ingles dribbling.
Photo Credit/sportingnews.com

 

Despite low scoring numbers and playing time, Ingles consistently showcases his elite playmaking and shooting ability. He currently has one of the best 3pt percentages at around 43 percent and also has a solid percentage from the field. After the recent news of an injury that could have Rudy Gobert sidelined for a while, Ingles could see a few more touches and minutes.

Previous Ranking: Honorable Mention

 

 

12. Andrew Wiggins – Minnesota Timberwolves

Andrew Wiggins running down court.
Photo Credit/bleacherreport.com

Wiggins, now 22, is clearly one of the most athletic forwards in the league and has the ability to transform into an All-Star someday. While he has the potential to be great, Wiggins has yet to develop much on offense, despite an encouraging start to the year this season. He’s shooting a very low percentage from the field and is again failing to make many plays for his teammates, averaging under 2 assists. While his numbers are understandably down due to how loaded the Wolves offense is, it’s still been a disappointing start for Wiggins.

Previous Ranking: 8

 

 

11. Taurean Prince – Atlanta Hawks

Prince taking the ball down the floor.
Photo Credit/soaringdownsouth.com

 

After being slowly brought along by the Hawks in his rookie season, Prince has taken the offseason to drastically improve his jumpshot and is now starting for Atlanta. Along with an improved 3-pointer, Prince is a very solid on-ball defender and has improved his playmaking compared to last season. The Texas native is an important piece in the Hawks rebuild and should be part of their future if he keeps developing.

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

 

 

10. Robert Covington – Philadelphia 76ers

Covington celebrating after a 3.
Photo Credit/sbnation.com

 

Covington is one of the few core pieces of the Sixers that went through “The Process” actually playing instead of on the bench. The 27-year old went undrafted in 2013 before bouncing from the Houston Rockets to Philly. From being a reserve to a placeholder and now an integral part of the 76ers future, he’s earned his spot as a top ten small forward in the league. While his defense was always there, his shot and all-around game just keep getting better. Currently, Covington is hovering around 10th in the NBA in real plus-minus, up there with some of the league’s best. He’ll be a key player for Philadelphia on both ends of the floor as they continue to develop as a whole.

Previous Ranking: Honorable Mention

 

 

9. Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum throwing it down off a fast break.
Photo Credit/masslive.com

 

Though he’s just a rookie, Tatum is much farther along on the offensive end than most expected, despite being possibly the most highly touted offensive prospect leading up to the draft. His length, explosiveness, and shooting touch make him the future star he’s set to be. The 19-year old currently has one of the top 3pt percentages in the NBA and is shooting around 50% from the field. While his playmaking and consistency need polishing, Tatum is already recording highlights and scoring efficiently for Boston.

Previous Ranking:: Not Ranked

 

 

8. Will Barton – Denver Nuggets

Will Barton shooting a free throw.
Photo Credit/si.com

 

Barton, now in his sixth year in the NBA, has solidified himself as the best small forward on the Nuggets roster. After sharing minutes with Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari over the past few seasons, he’s now having what’s likely the best year of his career. Barton has been a solid scorer for Denver in the past, but this year his playmaking has vastly improved as he appears to have hit his prime at 27. His future remains unknown as he’s a free agent this summer, but don’t be surprised if Denver is willing to spend on him seeing the season he’s having.

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

 

 

7. Brandon Ingram – Los Angeles Lakers

Brandon Ingram standing during a dead ball.
Photo Credit/si.com

 

After an underwhelming but promising first year, Brandon Ingram appears to be coming along nicely in his sophomore season. He’s seen bumps in all his major stat categories, shooting much better from outside and making more plays for his teammates. While still fairly inconsistent and inefficient, Ingram has shown he’s not afraid to take shots late in games and demand the ball in clutch moments. He’ll be an All-Star down the road if he continues to improve.

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

 

 

6. Tobias Harris – Detroit Pistons

Harris shooting a jumper.
Photo Credit/nba.com

 

Harris has had a tremendous start to the season in his 3rd year with the Pistons. Putting up around 18 a game at solid shooting percentages all around, you could argue Harris should be considered for the All-Star game with the way Detroit’s been playing. Though defense and playmaking are still below-average parts of his game, Harris is an outstanding scorer and important part of a Pistons team in the mix for a home playoff spot.

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

 

 

5. Khris Middleton – Milwaukee Bucks

Middleton driving to the basket.
Photo Credit/slamonline.com

 

While Jabari Parker remains out for Milwaukee, Middleton has taken advantage of the opportunity and turned himself into a 20pt scorer. His 3pt shooting numbers are a bit down from years past, but he’s become a better all-around scorer and playmaker for the Bucks. Likely one of the most underrated players in the league right now, he’s part of one of the best trios in the East with Bledsoe and Antetokounmpo.

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

 

 

4. Otto Porter Jr. – Washington Wizards

Porter driving to the basket.
Photo Credit/nba.com

 

Despite low statistical averages across the board, Otto Porter is one of the most valuable players in the NBA. Shooting an incredible 45% from 3 and nearly 50% from the field he’s as efficient as it gets for his position. As of now, Porter’s real plus-minus is an amazing 6th in the NBA. The player with the next highest net difference on the Wizards is Bradley Beal at #37. Though usually defaulting on the offensive end to the D.C. backcourt stars, Porter certainly deserves his max contract he received in the offseason.

Previous Ranking: 7

 

 

3. Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder

George facing up on offense.
Photo Credit/bleacherreport.com

 

While the Thunder have struggled mightily to start the season, George has had a solid start individually. He’s shooting a career-best 43% from deep while averaging 2.4 steals a game on defense. His usage and touches have decreased while his minutes have gone up on his new team. Though he generally defaults to Russell Westbrook to handle the ball now that he’s not alone anymore, he’s gotten his fair share of shots which is what some were worried about for OKC before the beginning of the season. It’s possible George is in a Laker jersey by February but as of now the Thunder need to make several offensive improvements to get to the top of the West where they should be.

Previous Ranking: 5

 

 

2. Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors

Durant during a dead ball in an NBA game.
Photo Credit/sfgate.com

 

Durant is again having a spectacular season with the Warriors despite missing some time due to injury. Shooting over 50% from the field and averaging over 5 assists a game, KD’s offense hasn’t gone anywhere. Where he has improved his game this year is on the defensive side of the ball. He’s currently at the very top of the league in blocks per game, with 2.3. While the Warriors have little to worry about as we inch closer to the postseason, it’s clear their weakest position is at center. With Durant playing this kind of D it gives Golden State the inside presence they need to win another NBA title.

Previous Ranking: 2

 

 

1. LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James dunking in a game against the Pistons.
Photo Credit/ftw.usatoday.com

 

LeBron’s prime continues to seem never-ending as he’s putting together another MVP caliber season. Averaging some of the highest points and assists averages in the league, James is dominating on offense, having to carry lots of the ball-carrying and scoring load with Isaiah Thomas out for a few months to start the year. James is also shooting high percentages across the board, going for nearly 40% from 3 and 78% from the line. With the offseason trade with Boston and now the Isaiah Thomas injury, LeBron has had to deal with more disruptions than in most years, which may prompt voters to give him his 5th NBA MVP at season’s end.

Previous Ranking: 1

 

 

 

Top 15 Point Guards Here

Top 15 Shooting Guards Here

 

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