For June, I will be ranking the top 10 NBA players at each position. These rankings will be solely based on the portion of the current season that has been played and will not include any injured players.
The positions of players were determined from ESPN.com.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the league’s best small forwards this season.
No. 10 | Kelly Oubre Jr., Phoenix Suns
Kelly Oubre is a fantastic player on both ends of the court. He averages 18.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. Oubre excels at attacking the rim and knocking down contested jump shots. This season he found his role in Phoenix as the second option behind Devin Booker.
No. 9 | Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers
With star player Joel Embiid frequently injured, Tobias Harris has taken over the bulk of the scoring for Philadelphia. He scores 19.4 points and dishes out 3.2 assists per game, while also ranking third at the position in rebounds per game with 6.8. Harris is deadly if he catches fire from the field. In fact, the Sixers are 13-2 when Harris scores at least 25 points this season.
No. 8 | T.J. Warren, Indiana Pacers
T.J. Warren has established himself as one of the best scorers in the Eastern Conference. He is the leading scorer for the Pacers with 18.7 points per game this season. Warren is a capable defender, solid from the three-point line, and excellent at creating his own shot. He has helped Indiana claim the fifth seed in the East.
No. 7 | Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah Jazz
The move from Indiana to Utah has put the ball in Bojan Bogdanovic’s hands more often. With more touches, he’s averaging career highs in points (20.2), rebounds (4.1), and assists (2.2). Although he is a forward, Bogdanovic shoots 41 percent from three and 90 percent from the free-throw line.
No. 6 | Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton has been in the shadow of Giannis Antetekounmpo for years, however, he is the key to the Bucks’ success. Middleton shoots 42 percent from beyond the arc and ranks sixth among shooting guards with 21.1 points. His best performance this season came back in January when he torched the Wizards for 51 points and seven three-pointers.
No. 5 | Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler is the ultimate playmaker. He is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league and just as good, if not better offensively. Butler is averaging 20.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. The combination of his talents on the court and his leadership qualities have helped Miami claim the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
No. 4 | Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans
Brandon Ingram earned his first All-Star appearance this season, and for good reason. His length and athleticism make him one of the top scorers in the league. Ingram ranks third at the small forward position with 24.3 points per game, while also averaging 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists. In 43 of 56 games played this season, Ingram scored upward of 20 points, including a 49 point performance. The point is… he can score the basketball.
No. 3 | DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs
When people talk about the most underrated players in the NBA, DeMar DeRozan is always mentioned because his style of play is outdated. DeRozan rarely shoots three-pointers, but instead attacks the rim or knocks down his signature fadeaway jump shot. He averaged 22.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists each game on 53 percent shooting.
No. 2 | Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
Kawhi Leonard hasn’t lost a step after carrying the Toronto Raptors to a championship last year. He leads the small forward position in points (26.9) and steals (1.8) per game while also adding an average of 7.3 rebounds and five assists. Leonard is one of the top defenders in the league and can score the ball with ease.
No. 1 | LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
After missing the playoffs last season, most fans forgot that LeBron James is still one of the greatest players to ever play the game, even at age 34. He’s averaged 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, and a league-best 10.6 assists per game. James can guard any position on the court, has improved his three-point shooting, and is unstoppable in transition. An easy choice for No. 1 small forward in the league and a favorite to win the MVP award this season.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @kyleoconnell23 to see when my next position ranking is published!