Right Down Euclid Rankings: Small Forward

Feb 14, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) greets Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) during the first half at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA in its yearly offseason lull, it’s as good a time as ever to rank the best players at each position. RDE co-editor Chris Manning and site blogger Trevor Magnotti will be taking a look at the Top 10 players (plus three honorable mentions) at each position for the next five weeks. The third edition of this series looks at the small forward position.

Chris Manning’s Top 10

 1. LeBron James, Miami Heat

2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

3. Paul George, Indiana Pacers

4. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

5. Loul Deng, Chicago Bulls

6. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

7. Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers

8. Rudy Gay, Toronto Raptors.

9. Paul Pierce, Brooklyn Nets

10. Jeff Green, Boston Celtics

Reasoning

LeBron and Durant stay at the top of the heap at it’s not really even close. I put George ahead of Anthony not because of what he’s done per say, but because his overall skillset is better than Melo’s at this point. Deng and Leonard is a toss up at this point, and I expect Leonard to rise above Deng this season. Granger at seven is my shot in the dark; when healthy he’s tremendous and a very, very good player. And when he’s not, like last season? He simply doesn’t exist, leaving the world with no clue of what to expect from him this year. Gay comes in at 8 for being consistently solid, while Pierce still a fighter and skilled at he reaches the end of his career. And as for Uncle Jeff, he can simply put up huge numbers when other players considered (namely Danillo Gallinari) have not proven as much.

Honorable Mentions: Andrei Kirlenko, Danillo Galiinari, Harrison Barnes

Andrei Kirlilenko – AK-47 is still a capable player and, in backing up Pierce, makes Brooklyn deep at the three.

Danillo Gallianri – Has shown flashes of real ability and scoring potency, but I don’t have the body of work to justify a top ten ranking just yet

.Harrison Barnes – I love Barnes as a player and he was superb for Golden State in the playoffs. If he build off that, he could earn a Top-10 ranking by season’s end.

Trevor Magnotti’s Top 10

1. LeBron James, Miami Heat

2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

3. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

4. Paul George, Indiana Pacers

5. Danillo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets

6. Loul Deng, Chicago Bulls

7. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

8. Rudy Gay, Toronto Raptors

9. Nic Batum, Portland TrailBlazers

10. Paul Pierce, Brooklyn Nets

Reasoning

LeBron and Durant are 1/2 until further notice. You can’t really argue otherwise, in my opinion. Melo vs. George is a debate; do you take defense, upside, and athleticism? Or do you prefer versatility and proven scoring ability? I give Melo the edge right now, but I feel that switches this season at some point. I picked Gallinari 5th because he is a very underrated clutch performer; it should be noted that he was Denver’s only real half-court option last season, and his injury was a huge part of why the Nuggets crumbled down the stretch. Deng and his 981347509 minutes he’ll play this season are reliable but boring; He and Kawhi could also switch spots for the same reasons Melo and George might, especially if Kawhi becomes more efficient. Rudy Gay is quite overrated on offense but underrated on defense. Nic Batum is quite overrated on offense but underrated on defense. Pierce is just plain underrated, but is also old and will be splitting time with Kirilenko.

Honorable Mention: Andrei Kirilenko, Harrison Barnes, Jeff Green

Andrei Kirilenko: An amazing defensive forward, but again, Brooklyn’s SF spot is a timeshare.

Harrison Barnes: Outstanding versatility, rebounding, and scoring at the rim. A perfect fit in GS.

Jeff Green: Is going to average 25 points a game

Topics: Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Paul George, Rankings

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