Ranking the best small forwards in the NBA today

While injuries hit some of the best small forwards in the game, It was still a very impressive year for the position. A lot of that had to do with the play of the best player in the game, but he also had plenty of help.

Here is my ranking of the best starting small forwards in the NBA today. This list is based on what each player did during the 2014-15 season.

All statistical and award information from Basketball-reference.com.

30. Caron Butler, Detroit Pistons

Butler landed the starting job with the Pistons after Detroit let go of Josh Smith and then traded away Kyle Singler. One of his best games of the season came in a nine-point win over the Chicago Bulls when he totaled 20 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the floor and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added four rebounds, four steals and three assists in 32:19.

For the season, he appeared in 70 games and averaged 5.9 points on 40.7 percent shooting with 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 20.8 minutes.

29. Wesley Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers

Johnson had a decent season even though the shorthanded Lakers really struggled. One of his best outings came in a seven-point win over the Boston Celtics when he finished with 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the floor, including 2-for-3 from 3-point range. He added five rebounds, two assists and two steals in 32:36.

For the season, he appeared in 76 games and averaged 9.9 points on 41.4 percent shooting with 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 29.5 minutes.

28. Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors

After showing flashes of his enormous potential during his second season in the league, Ross took a step backwards in 2014-15. One of his best showings of the season came in a Four-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder when he registered 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the floor, including 6-for-9 from 3-point range. He added four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block in 25:44.

For the season, he appeared in 82 games and averaged 9.8 points on 41 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 2.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 25.5 minutes.

27. Bojan Bogdanovic, Brooklyn Nets

Bogdanovic made a solid impact for the Nets as the part-time starter thanks to his ability to stretch the floor with his great outside touch. One of his best games of the year came in an eight-point win over the Orlando Magic when he had 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the field, including 2-for-3 from distance. He added six rebounds, two steals and an assist in 31:32.

On the season, he appeared in 78 games and averaged 9.0 points on 45.3 percent shooting with 2.7 rebounds in 23.8 minutes.

26. Solomon Hill, Indiana Pacers

Without the services of Paul George for all but six games after a gruesome leg injury, Hill was thrust into the starting lineup where he did an admirable job. One of his best games of the year came in a seven-point loss to the Washington Wizards when he managed 28 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the floor and 7-for-11 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds, three steals and an assist in 42:45.

For the season, he appeared in 82 games and averaged 8.9 points on 39.6 percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 29 minutes.

25. Mike Dunleavy, Chicago Bulls

While Dunleavy wasn’t looked at to provided too much in the way of scoring for the Bulls, he did a lot of other things to help the team be succesful. One of his best games of the year came in a five-point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers when he finished with 24 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-6 from distance. He added five rebounds, four assists and a steal in 33:26.

For the season, he appeared in 63 games and averaged 9.4 points on 43.5 percent shooting with 3.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 29.2 minutes.

24. Evan Turner, Boston Celtics

Turner proved to be a really nice fit during his first season for the up-and-coming Celtics as he finished with career highs in assists and steals. One of his best showings came in a 19-point win over the Brooklyn Nets when he had  19 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the floor. He added 12 assists, 10 rebounds and a block for his second triple-double of the year.

For the season, he appeared in 82 games and averaged 9.5 points on 42.9 percent shooting with 5.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 27.6 minutes.

23. Matt Barnes, Los Angeles Clippers

Barnes is a high-energy guy that provides wing scoring and hard-nosed defense for the Clippers. One of his best games of the year came in a nine-point win over the Sacramento Kings when he totaled 26 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-9 from beyond the arc. He added 10 rebounds, three steals, an assist and a block in 39:52.

For the season, he appeared in 76 games and averaged 10.1 points on 44.4 percent shooting with 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 29.9 minutes.

22. P.J. Tucker, Phoenix Suns

Tucker is the glue guy for the Phoenix Suns on both ends of the floor. He is a good offensive rebounder, can hit the corner three and is a really good defender. One of his best games of the year came in a five-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs when he had 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the floor. He added six rebounds, two steals, an assist and a block in 26:17.

For the season, he appeared in 78 games and averaged 9.1 points on 43.8 percent shooting with 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 30.6 minutes.

21. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Hornets

What makes Kidd-Gilchrist effective is that he understands what he is good at and plays within himself. One of his best games of the year came in a seven-point loss to the Sacramento Kings when he managed 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the floor. He added nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal in 31:53.

For the season, he appeared in 55 games and averaged 10.9 points on 46.5 percent shooting with 7.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 28.9 minutes.

20. Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers

Even though the 76ers had another very difficult season, Covington had some very nice moments. One of his best games of the year came in a two-point win over the Brooklyn Nets when he had 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the floor, including 3-for-6 from 3-point range. He added seven rebounds, six steals and an assist in 39:39.

For the season, he appeared in 70 games and averaged 13.5 points on 39.6 percent shooting with 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 27.9 minutes.

19. Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets

Chandler was one of the most consistent players for the Nuggets all season long. One of his best showings of the year came in a 14-point loss to the Houston Rockets when he recorded 26 points on 11-for-15 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. He added five rebounds, four steals and two assists in 37:37.

For the season, he appeared in 78 games and averaged 13.9 points on 42.9 percent shooting with 6.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 31.7 minutes.

18. Jeff Green, Memphis Grizzlies

Green got traded to the Grizzlies from the Boston Celtics midway through the season and provided Memphis with some much-needed scoring punch. One of his best games of the year came in an 11-point win over the Portland Trail Blazers when he registered 23 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range to go along with nine rebounds in 39:55.

During his time in Memphis, he appeared in 45 games and averaged 13.1 points on 42.7 percent shooting with 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.2 minutes.

17. Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves

Wiggins had the biggest impact of any rookie during the 2014-15 season and dazzled us with his amazing athleticism. One of his most productive outings came in an eight-point win over the Denver Nuggets when he recorded 31 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. He added nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal in 39:49.

For the season, he started all 82 games and averaged 16.9 points on 43.7 percent shooting with 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 36.2 minutes.

16. Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic

His first season as a full-time starter was a good one for Harris. He shot a career-best 36.4 percent from 3-point range while adding career highs in assists and steals. One of his most productive games came in a six-point win over the Loa Angeles Lakers when he totaled 34 points on 14-for-18 shooting from the floor. He added seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in 45:24.

For the season, he appeared in 68 games and averaged 17.1 points on 46.6 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 34.8 minutes.

15. Luol Deng, Miami Heat

Even though he was with his third team in less than two seasons, Deng fit right in. In fact, he had his best shooting season in a long time. One of his best games of the season came in a nine-point win over the Dallas Mavericks when he registered 30 points on 13-for-19 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-9 from beyond the arc. He added five rebounds, four assists and a steal in 36:41.

For the season, he appeared in 72 games and averaged 14 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 33.6 minutes.

14. Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors

Barnes had the best season of his NBA career. He is a big reason why the Golden State Warriors had the best record in the league during the regular season. One of his best games of the year came in a 19-point win over the Atlanta Hawks when he scored 25 points on 11-for-13 shooting form the floor, including 2-for-3 from distance. He added four rebounds, an assist and a steal in 28:25.

For the season, he appeared in 82 games and averaged 10.1 points on 48.2 percent shooting with 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 28.3 minutes.

13. Paul Pierce, Washington Wizards

Even though Pierce had his lowest scoring output of his career, he still had a huge impact on the success of the Washington Wizards. One of his best games of the year came in a one-point win over the Boston Celtics when he scored 28 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. He added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in 38:59.

For the season, he appeared in 73 games and averaged 11.9 points, on 44.7 percent shooting with 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 26.2 minutes.

12. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Antetokounmpo took a huge step forward in his second season with the Milwaukee Bucks and became one of the elite all around players on the wing. One of his best games of the year came in an 11-point loss to the New Orleans Pelicans when his finished with 29 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the floor and 7-for-7 from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks in 37:28.

For the season he appeared in 81 games and averaged 12.7 points on 49.1 percent shooting with 6.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 blocks in 31.4 minutes.

11. Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers

Even though he had the worst shooting season of his career, Batum was still a very valuable piece to the Trail Blazers. One of his best showings of the year came in a five-point loss to the Phoenix Suns when he totaled 27 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the floor, including 6-for-8 from beyond the arc. He added 10 rebounds, five assists and a block in 39:23.

For the season, he appeared in 71 games and averaged 9.4 points on 40 percent shooting with 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 33.5 minutes.

10. Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets

Ariza filled the hole left when Chandler Parsons signed with the Dallas Mavericks and did a really nice job on both ends of the floor. One of his best outings of the year came in an 11-point win  over the Philadelphia 76ers when he had 24 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the floor, including 6-for-9 from distance. He added seven assists, six rebounds and two steals in 35:46.

For the season, he started all 82 games and averaged 12.8 points on 40.2 percent shooting with 5.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.9 steals in 35.7 minutes.

9. Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks

A new team didn’t stop Parsons from having another good year. While his numbers dropped a bit from his last season in Houston, he still played well. One of his best games of the year came in an 11-point win over the Detroit Pistons when he had 32 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. He added seven rebounds, two assists and two steals in 35:29.

For the season, he appeared in 66 games and averaged 15.7 points on 46.2 percent shooting with 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 steals in 33.1 minutes.

8. Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans

Evans took the ball handling duties for much of the season because of injuries to Jrue Holiday and had fantastic season. One of his best games of the year came in a five-point win over the Cleveland Cavaliers when he registered 31 points on 13-for-24 shooting from the floor. He added 10 assists, two rebounds, a steal and a block in 39:35.

For the season, he appeared in 76 games and averaged 16.6 points on 44.7 percent shooting with 6.6 assits, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 34.1 minutes.

7. DeMarre Carroll, Atlanta Hawks

Carroll had the best season of his career as he helped to lead the Atalanta Hawks to the best regular season record in the East and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals. One of his best showings of the year came in a 13-point win over the Milwaukee Bucks when he finished with 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the floor. He added eight rebounds, five assists, and two blocks in 34:20.

For the season, he appeared in 70 games and averaged 12.6 points on 48.7 percent shooting with 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.3 steals in 31.3 minutes.

6. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

Even though Anthony missed more than half the season, he still did enough to make it to the all-star game. One of his best outings of the year came in a two-point loss to the Utah Jazz when he recorded 46 points on 16-for-26 shooting from the floor and 13-for-16 from the free-throw line. He added seven rebounds, an assist and a steal in 39:13.

For the season, he appeared in 40 games and averaged 24.2 points on 44.4 percent shooting with 6.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 35.7 minutes.

5. Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings

Even though the Sacramento Kings missed the playoffs again, Gay had one the best statistical seasons of his career. One of his best games of the year came in a nine-point win over the Portland Trail Blazers when he registered 40 points on 13-for-19 shooting from the floor, including 3-for-4 from distance. He added eight rebounds, an assist and a steal in 36:25.

For the season, he appeared in 68 games and averaged a career-high 21.1 points, 45.5 percent shooting with 5.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.0 steals in 35.4 minutes.

4. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

Even though he missed two-thirds of the season, Durant still put up incredible numbers when he was on the floor. One of his best games of the year came in a three-point win over the Phoenix Suns, when he finished with 44 points, on 13-for-23 shooting from the floor, including 6-for-11 from 3-point land and 12-for-12 from the free-throw line. He added 10 rebounds, seven assists and a block in 39;41.

For the season, he appeared in 27 games and averaged 25.5 points on 51 percent shooting with 6.6 rebounds, and 4.1 assits in 33.8 minutes to make his sixth straight all-star game.

3. Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz

Hayward earned the monster contract he signed in the offseason by having the best year so far in his career. One of his best games came in a two-point win over the New York Knicks when he finished with 33 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the floor and 9-for-10 from the free-throw line. He added six assists, four steals, and three rebounds in 37:52.

For the season, he appeared in 76 games and averaged a career 19.3 points on 44.5 percent shooting with 4.6 rebounds, 4.1 assits, and 1.4 steals in 34.4 minutes.

2. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

Leonard followed up his NBA finals MVP with the most productive season of his career. He won the defensive player of the year and led the league in steals per game. One of his best games of the year came in a 15-point win over the Golden state Warriors when he totaled 26 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the floor. He added seven steals, 5 rebounds, and three assists in 24:23.

For the season, he appeared in 64 games and averaged 16.5 points on 47.9 percent shooting with 7.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.3 steals in 31.8 minutes.

1. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

The move back to Cleveland got James exactly to where he wanted to go, another trip to the finals. Along the way, he made another trip to the all-star game and earned all-NBA first-team. One of his best showings of the year came in an 11-point win over the Golden State Warriors when he finished with 42 points on 15-for-25 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-9 from 3-point range. He added 11 rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block in 36:12.

For the season, he appeared in 69 games and averaged 25.3 points on 48.8 percent shooting with 7.4 assists, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 36.1 minutes.

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