Ranking the top 30 small forwards in the NBA

Danny Green, Sixers, Jayson Tatum (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Danny Green, Sixers, Jayson Tatum (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
9 of 10
Jayson Tatum, Celtics (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Jayson Tatum, Celtics (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Clippers. Paul George. 6. player. 77. . SF

Top 30 NBA small forwards — 6. Paul George, Clippers

Paul George continues to fly under the radar in a strange sense. He is ruthlessly lampooned for his performance in the Bubble, and people tend to forget the absolute two-way masterclass his entire career outside the Bubble represents. Still, after all these years, George is one of the few true two-way superstars. He has only gotten better offensively — improving his shot diet and growing as a playmaker for others — and the defense remains impeccable whenever he’s locked in.

player. 110. . SF. Miami Heat. Jimmy Butler. 5

Top 30 NBA small forwards — 5. Jimmy Butler, Heat

Jimmy Butler has led Miami to the conference finals in two of the last three seasons. Despite overwhelming flaws on the roster, the Heat’s offense tends to be just good enough in big moments because of Butler. He’s the ultimate big-moment scorer. Calm, collected, and precise. He combines balletic footwork with feather-soft touch inside the arc. He is also a competent point guard when called upon, and yes, one of the most disruptive perimeter defenders in the NBA.

player. 18. . SF. Boston Celtics. Jayson Tatum. 4

Top 30 NBA small forwards — Jayson Tatum, Celtics

Jayson Tatum has made the leap from star to superstar. He is the face of the reigning Eastern Conference champs and, potentially, the face of USA basketball for the next decade to come. Poetry in motion is the appropriate adage to describe Tatum’s style. Long strides, gorgeous spin moves, dynamic footwork, a drop-dead gorgeous high release on his jumper. There aren’t many ways to slow Tatum down. Give him an inch of breathing room and he can exploit it. He has also transformed into one of the best wing defenders in the NBA. He put the clamps on Kevin Durant in four straight games this postseason, which is no small feat.