The National Basketball Association is getting closer, and closer to kick-off. Anticipation is greater than ever for most NBA fans, and here is the list of the leagues elite small forwards. The list of power forwards and centers can be found by clicking the links over the names. Just missing out on the list are Paul George (Injured), Gordon Hayward, Andre Iguodala, Andrew Wiggins & Danillo Gallinari.
7] Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks): A rookie cracking the top seven list is a good sign for Buck fans, for ages to come. Jabari is ready to start from day one, and the Bucks will give him the green light from the start. While Parker won't help the Bucks make the playoffs, though it may not fully be out of the question, his stats should be out of this world. It'll take two years, or so, to figure out if Parker is giving us fools gold, or if he is the real thing.
6] Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks): A summer of uncertainty, Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks finally got a major free agent acquisition when the Houston Rockets chose not to match the offer sheet given to Parsons early on during the free agency period. Standing at 6 foot 9, Parsons is the ideal size for a small forward during today's NBA, and has shown the ability to do a little bit of everything on the court, and do it well. Recent articles state that Parsons is focused in on dialing on his defense, though, looking over his offensive input would be a mistake for the ages. Putting up 16.6 points a game may not be eye popping, but hitting 47.2% from the field, 37% from three can't be overlooked.
5] DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors): DeRozan is looked upon as a shooting guard by many, but the reality is, him and Terrence Ross are essentially interchangeable, with either one having the ability to guard all the twos and threes in the present day association. The 25-year old from from Compton, California is coming off a career year, scoring 22.7 points a night, though his field goal percentage is lacking the beauty that one might be expecting from a top five player, at his position. He has continually improved his defensive game, one that should continue to be on an incline, and there is little question that his effort is fully given, every night. The Raptors have the possibility of ending up being a surprise team in the East, taking care of the favorite Bulls or Cavaliers.
4] Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs): Coming off a NBA Finals MVP winning season, Leonard has had his stock skyrocket to no avail. Leonard 's value to the Spurs comes on the defensive end, and he is the perfect player for the system ran by Gregg Popovich, arguably the greatest coach to step on a NBA hardwood. Leonard may not have eye popping statistics, putting up 12.8 points, 6.6 rebounds in just over 29 minutes a night, Leonard hit a spectacular 52.2% from the field, and a real solid 37.9% from behind the arc. Let's not forget the 1.7 steals and 0.8 blocks that Leonard was able to chip in, while committing a meager 1.9 fouls and giving the ball away 1.2 times to the opposing side. The great utility guy who can improve his game to being elite, is vastly probable under the great Pop.
3] Carmelo Anthony (New York Knickerbockers): There is very little question on the offensive talent that Melo brings to the table. Ones thought to be the most efficient wing scorer, and one of the league's clutchest players, Anthony hasn't done much of anything to secure his legacy as one of the greatest ever, lacking a ring, let alone, a finals appearance, and, odds are, the Knicks aren't going anywhere near that route despite adding the Zen Master to be the teams President of Basketball Operations. Making moves of swapping Tyson Chandler for Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert won't help the win column anytime soon, leaving any hopes of Knicks victories to lay on the shoulders of Mr. Lala Anthony.
2] Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder): While he's shattering scoring records at a pace that has never been seen, by this generation, at least, Durant is still second in command to LeBron James when it comes to the small forward position, along with the NBA in general. Despite winning the MVP, I can't fathom putting Durant ahead of James. Yes, he has improved his defense, to go with the ridiculous scoring being put up, swapping Durant with James is something I can't personally fathom doing, and watching these two continue to duel up will a beautiful sight to see for ages to come.
1] LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers): Call him a chicken, call him needing stacked teams. It doesn't quite matter what your opinions are of James as a person or competitor, as there is absolutely no denying the talent level at which he competes. A great defender that can guard both wing positions, along with a good amount of starting power forwards and point guards, and score in anyway you can possibly imagine, with his ever improving jumper, I expect another year of improvement from the "King", despite his getting up there in age.