Here are the next 10 small forwards in the league, according to my rankings:
30. Xavier Henry, Los Angeles Lakers
Stats: 10.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.2 APG
Henry played just a little more than half of a season last year, mainly coming off the bench for the injury-riddled Lakers. He had the best season of his career though, just reaching the double digit PPG mark and recording career highs in both RPG and APG. It was his third team in four years in the league, but he found a place where he could compete and help the team. His shooting percentages aren’t great, including his free throw percentage, but it was still his highest FG% and FT% of his career.
29. Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors
Stats: 10.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.0 APG
Other than throwing down ridiculous dunks, Ross can actually help out a team in multiple ways. While scoring and rebounding are his two top areas, he’s a very good 3-point shooter and FT shooter. He averaged two 3’s a game last year and increased his FT% by over 12% from his rookie year. He’s probably best suited as a SG, but with DeMar DeRozan already there, he’ll have to play up in the lineup to get his minutes, especially as a starter.
28. Michael Beasley, Miami Heat
Stats: 7.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.7 APG
It’s a shame that Beasley didn’t play more last year because he was surprisingly very efficient. With a PER of 16.80, he is the most efficient player on the court among the players in this section of the list. He played just 55 games for the Heat and only played 15.1 MPG, a career low. It was probably his worst year statistically, but that will happen when you don’t play a lot. It was his second stint with the Heat, this time coming off the bench as opposed to starting. He has the ability to score a lot of points a rebound the ball a solid amount if he’s given starter minutes. He never had a chance in Miami though with LeBron James above him.
27. Al-Farouq Aminu, New Orleans Pelicans
Stats: 7.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.4 APG
Aminu is a very good rebounding SF, playing almost every game last year and starting in 65 of them. The Pelicans dealt with tons of injuries, so Aminu was asked to step in and take on a bigger role. He’s never going to score a ton of points, but his rebounding total suggests that he may even be a PF. He certainly can be a PF at 6’9″ if he wanted to, but SF is his primary position with Anthony Davis already at the 4 slot. It was a bit of a down year from the year before, and now he finds himself in a crowded SF situation in Dallas, but I think he’ll still get his minutes, even if it means coming off the bench.
26. Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks/Oklahoma City Thunder
Stats: 10.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.5 APG
Butler is one of those guys you can count on to produce as soon as he gets into the game. He played part of the season with the league-worst Bucks before ending up on the Thunder, where his minutes increased, but his production decreased. He wasn’t required to do as much with all the talent they already had around him, but he came a key backup for them in the last part of the regular season. He even started a couple games in the postseason, although his production wasn’t quite as good as the regular season.
25. Matt Barnes, Los Angeles Clippers
Stats: 9.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.0 APG
Barnes missed 19 games last year due to injury, and with a couple other injuries on the team, it caused the Clippers to mix around their lineup a lot. He started most of the games he played for them, having one of his better seasons of his career. It’s easy to forget that this guy actually started his career with the Clippers and has played for 8 different teams in 11 seasons. It was his highest amount of minutes per game of his career. He excelled as a 3-point shooter and should continue to be a key part of the Clippers’ offense.
24. Corey Brewer, Minnesota Timberwolves
Stats: 12.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.7 APG
I always somehow seem to forget that Brewer is the starting SF for the Timberwolves. Minnesota is pretty much stuck in limbo at this point, as has been for the last decade, so I guess that explains it. He had the best year of his career since he started all 82 games for the T-wolves back in the 2009-10 season. In what his now his second stint in Minnesota, he started all 81 games last year and was a very efficient scorer. It was the most minutes he’d ever played in his career, which allowed him to record 1.9 SPG, one of the best averages in the league.
23. Mike Dunleavy, Chicago Bulls
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.3 APG
Dunleavy is a long-time veteran that never seems to falter now matter how many games and how many seasons he plays. He’s definitely a prime example of a guy who’s done it all, whether it’s coming off the bench as both a good rebounder and 3-point scorer, or starting every game and averaging 19.1 PPG, like he did in 2007-08. Dunleavy does so much for a team and yet doesn’t receive enough credit for what he does. He has a rare combination of skills that will fit in well with one of the strongest teams in the East next year.
22. P.J. Tucker, Phoenix Suns
Stats: 9.4 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.7 APG
The Suns gave Tucker a second shot in the NBA after he hadn’t played for 6 years. So this past year was technically just his third year in the league and his second since being brought back into the league. The Suns were smart to do so. They found a starter from day one; Tucker started all 81 games he played for them last year, averaging a nice combination of points and rebounds. He got career highs in all the major statistical categories as he continues to grow as a player. Look for him to do even better next year as his experience is increased.
21. Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets
Stats: 13.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.8 APG
Chandler missed 20 games last year, but started most of the games he played in and was a middle of the pack player. He averaged a solid amount of points and two 3-pointers a game, adding something to the perimeter shooting of the Nuggets. It was his worst rebounding year since his rookie year though, despite still grabbing down close to 5 rebounds per game. He seems to have been switching on and off between having a good FG% and a bad one, and last year was one of his bad years. If the pattern continues, he’ll have a better year next year.