2013 Fantasy Small Forward Rankings

The first two players selected in a fantasy basketball draft this year will have to be at the small forward position.

Kevin Durant just submitted the most efficient shooting performance in league history and LeBron James still ran away with MVP honors. 

After squaring off for the Larry O’Brien trophy in the 2012 NBA Finals, Durant and James have been alone in the battle for fantasy basketball supremacy.

The two are true cornerstones for both NBA franchises and any fantasy basketball roster.

The remaining players at the position are capable of filling any weakness on a roster and their versatility provides plenty of value for fantasy owners.

*All projections below are from BasketballReference.com and are based upon 36 minutes of playing time. Projections are not available for first year players. 

30. Luc Mbah a Moute– Sacramento Kings

The Kings sent two second round draft picks for Mbah a Moute, a defensive specialist to help improve a squad that surrendered 105.1 points per game, most in the league. In 58 appearances last season, the 6-foot-8 forward posted one double-double, a 10 point, 10 rebound effort against the Pacers and scored a season-high 20 points in a victory over Boston.

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29. Gerald Green– Phoenix Suns

Two years ago, Green was fighting for a place in the NBA. Now everything has gone his way. The Suns traded away Caron Butler and released former second overall pick Michael Beasley to not only give the former slam dunk champion a starting role, but almost guarantee a significant amount of time on the floor.

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28. Tayshaun Prince– Memphis Grizzlies

Although he logged nearly the same amount of playing time after being dealt to the Grizzlies, Prince’s scoring average dropped three points per game, his 3-point shooting decreased by nearly seven percent and his struggles even carried over to the foul line, as he shot 59.5 percent and managed just 41 free throw attempts in 37 appearances with Memphis.

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27. Jared Dudley– Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers will need Dudley to serve as a spot up shooter from 3-point range next season, a task he can handle as he has converted 40.5 percent of his 3-point attempts during his career. In 79 games last season, Dudley totaled just one double-double and scored 20 or more points on six occasions, even as Phoenix searched for a scoring punch.

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26. Otto Porter– Washington Wizards

The only rookie slated to start at small forward next season, Porter is hoping his slow start in the Summer League won’t carry over into his debut. The former Georgetown star averaged just 6.3 points on 30 percent shooting from the field, missing all five of his attempts from 3-point range before a hamstring injury forced him to miss the final two games of the summer.

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25. Shawn Marion– Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks won the championship in 2011, but only Marion and Dirk Nowitzki remain from that team. The 35-year-old logged 14 double-doubles and posted 20 or more points on nine occasions. Marion averaged 2.2 offensive rebounds per game, giving him an average of two or more offensive rebounds in each of his 14 seasons in the league.

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24. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist– Charlotte Bobcats

If the Bobcats successfully reconstruct his jump shot, Kidd-Gilchrist can dramatically increase his fantasy value next season. During his rookie season, the former Kentucky star shot just 27.2 percent from the field and converted 2-of-9 attempts from 3-point range. Kidd-Gilchrist rejected 70 shots last season, tying him with Tyler Zeller with for fifth most among all rookies.

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23. Kyle Korver– Atlanta Hawks

Korver has carved out a career simply by possessing an accurate long range shot. Last season he shot 45.7 percent from 3-point range, the second best in the league and his 189 conversions from beyond the arc were the fourth most in the NBA. From each of the five territories from 3-point range, Korver shot 40 percent or better.

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22. Nick Young– Los Angeles Lakers

Once again back in his hometown, this time with the Lakers, Young is expected to be a major contributor to the offense as Kobe Bryant recovers from his torn Achilles heel. Although his shot selection is still questionable, Young has dramatically cut down on his turnover ratio, reducing his rate to just 0.8 per game, the lowest of his career.

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21. Evan Turner– Philadelphia 76ers

Maybe he will never live up to the expectations placed on a player selected with the second overall pick in the NBA draft, but Turner made dramatic improvements during his fourth season in the league. Turner averaged 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, starting all 82 games and shooting 36.5 percent from 3-point range.

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20. Earl Clark– Cleveland Cavaliers

Four years after being selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Clark began living up to his potential in Los Angeles. Clark posted 11 double-doubles in 59 appearances, including a 22 point, 13 rebound effort against San Antonio. The Cavaliers are hoping to snap a three-year playoff drought and need Clark to provide some stability at the small forward position.

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19. Chase Budinger– Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota desperately needs the outside shooting of Budinger. No team in the league shot worse than the Timberwolves, as they converted just 30.5 percent of their attempts and Budinger signed a three-year $16 million contract after shooting 40.2 percent from 3-point range during his final season in Houston. Budinger played just 23 games after tearing the meniscus in his left knee, part of the 341 man games lost by Minnesota.

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18. Danilo Gallinari– Denver Nuggets

A torn ACL just two weeks before the start of the playoffs ended a season that saw Gallinari average 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. The 6-foot-10 forward anticipates on returning to the lineup before the start of 2014, nine months after undergoing surgery, a real possibility as Ricky Rubio and Iman Shumpert came back in the same time frame.

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17. Danny Granger– Indiana Pacers

Granger made just five appearances last season with knee injuries and his expiring $14 million contract made him the focal point of numerous trade rumors throughout the summer. Paul George emerged as an All-Star filling in at small forward but the Pacers seem willing to give the duo an opportunity to gel before moving Granger, an eight-year veteran that has averaged 18.1 points per game during his career.

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16. Tyreke Evans– New Orleans Pelicans

The specific roles in New Orleans haven’t been defined, so the 6-foot-6 Evans may either start at small forward or serve as the teams sixth man. Although his scoring numbers dropped for the fourth consecutive season, Evans found a way to be more efficient scorer, averaging 15.2 points per game while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from 3-point range.

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15. Ersan Ilyasova– Milwaukee Bucks

A slow start to the season not only put Ilyasova out of Milwaukee’s rotation, it made the five-year $40 million investment the team put in him seem foolish. The coaching change at mid-season allowed Ilyasova another opportunity to prove himself and he responded, averaging 17 points, nine rebounds and 1.7 made 3-pointers per game during the second half of the season.

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14. Gordon Hayward– Utah Jazz

A starter for the Blue Team at the USA Basketball Showcase, Hayward was one of the few players showing effort on both ends of the floor, and finished with seven points, three assists, three steals and one rebound in the contest. Hayward will be the primary offensive option for Utah next season and the Jazz are hoping he can improve on the 14.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists he averaged a night last year.

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13. Paul Pierce– Brooklyn Nets

His 15 seasons in Boston will certainly result in his jersey being retired with the rest of the legends to put on a Celtics uniform, but Pierce is far from done. Dealt to Brooklyn on draft night, Pierce has enough talent, avereaging at least 18 point per game every year since 2000, to accomplish his new goal, outlasting anyone that has been playing since the 1990’s.

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12. Chandler Parsons– Houston Rockets

The more Parsons shoots, his accuracy increases. As one of just 20 players to convert 150 or more 3-pointers last season, Parsons totaled 12 games with four or more conversions from beyond the arc and shot at least 50 percent from 3-point range in each contest. As defenses will focus on the combination of James Harden and Dwight Howard, the perimeter should be open even more for Parsons.

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11. Luol Deng– Chicago Bulls

A medical procedure gone wrong cost Deng the final seven games of his season. A botched spinal tap not only ended his season, but nearly cost him his life as he began leaking spinal fluid. The return of Derrick Rose may limit some of his production, but Deng, an All-Star each of the past two years, will still have plenty of value as he has led the league in minutes per game each of the past two seasons.

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10. Kawhi Leonard– San Antonio Spurs

During his first Finals appearance, Leonard not only proved himself as a capable defender, guarding LeBron James by himself throughout the seven game series, he made an impact on the defensive end and the glass. Leonard ranked second among all players during the 2013 NBA Finals in steals (14) rebounds (78) while shooting 51.4 percent from the field and averaging 14.6 points per game.

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9. Rudy Gay– Toronto Raptors

The initial shock of being dealt to the only Canadian team in the league has wore off and Gay is hoping to prove the advanced statistics community wrong.  The high scoring forward averaged a team-high 19.5 points per game after joining the Raptors, but shot above 50 percent from the field just seven times in 33 appearances for Toronto.

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8. Tobias Harris– Orlando Magic

In his season debut against Boston, Harris finished with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and six rebounds in 32 minutes. The 21-year-old was then buried on the Bucks bench until a mid-season trade sent him to Orlando. Given a new opportunity, Harris thrived, averaging 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in 27 appearances with the Magic.

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7. Andre Iguodala– Golden State Warriors

Few players offer the collection of skills Iguodala provides. He is an elite perimeter defender, viable play-maker, averaging five or more assists in each of the past five seasons and a scorer when necessary. Iguodala has never been a precision shooter, he did convert 39.4 percent of his attempts from 3-point range during his final season in Philadelphia.

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6. Nicolas Batum– Portland Trail Blazers

Prior to Minnesota offering him a four-year $46.1 million contract as a restricted free agent in 2012, Batum was nothing more than a promising prospect. Portland matched the offer and with increased playing time, proved he was capable of filling any void the team needed, posting 19 games with 20 or more points, seven games with 10 or more rebounds, four games with 10 or more assists, three games with five or more steals and two games with five or more blocks.

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5. Jeff Green– Boston Celtics

Two years ago, Green wasn’t sure if he was going to ever play another minute in the NBA, now he is one of the focal points in Boston’s rebuilding effort.  He was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm in late 2011, underwent open heart surgery and thrived during the post season last year, averaging 20.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and converted 45.5 percent of his attempts from 3-point range.

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4. Josh Smith– Detroit Pistons

Smith posted 31 games with at least 10 rebounds or five assists last season. His all around game makes him a complete threat, as he is one of the few legitimate shot blockers available at the small forward position, as he turned away three or more attempts on 18 occasions. In his first season with the Pistons, Smith will be given every opportunity to display his vast array of skills.

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3. Carmelo Anthony– New York Knicks

Anthony won his first career scoring crown while also leaving room for vast improvement. In his 10th season, Anthony has emerged as a deadly shooter from the mid-range, converting 47 percent of his attempts from 10-15 feet away from the rim, a 10 percent increase of his average of the previous four years. While his mid-range game dramatically improved, he shot just 54.9 percent at the rim, nearly a 12 percent drop from his first year with the Knicks.

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2. Kevin Durant– Oklahoma City Thunder

Durant has scored the most total points in each of the past four seasons and was nearly flawless when shooting the ball last season. The 24-year-old forward joined Larry Bird as the only players in league history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 90 percent at the foul line and 40 percent from 3-point range while averaging at least 28 points per game.

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1. LeBron James– Miami Heat

The one weakness in his game, shooting from 3-point range, was eliminated last season. For the sixth time in his career, James converted over 100 attempts from beyond the arc, but did so at 40.6 percent, the highest of his career. Each summer the four-time MVP adds a move to his arsenal, a nearly impossible task for someone that posted 36 double-doubles and four triple-doubles a year ago.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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