The small forward position in the NBA has immensely developed in terms of athleticism and style of play.
Some of the stars at this position are also tasked with bringing down the ball and orchestrateing the offense because of their massive skill set and wide range of abilities. Moreover, they also bring a terrific boost in the rebounding and defensive department.
With the multitude of archetypes from the small forward position, gamers are able to select the player that perfectly suits their style. So, check out all of the best small forwards in NBA 2K22 below to see which one suits your preferences to the highest level.
LeBron James (OVR 96)
Overall Rating: 96
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Archetype: Two-Way Slashing Playmaker
Best Stats: 98 Hands, 98 Shot IQ, 97 Layup
In the latest ESPN rankings of the best players in the world, LeBron James slid to the third spot behind Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Due to an injury plagued 2019 and 2021 season, James has suffered a tad bit of a decline in his game, but he remains one of the best in the NBA.
From a 97 overall in 2K21, James is now at 96 with 3,295 attribute points and 65 badges. His secondary position is point guard, which solidifies his case as the individual that possesses one of the best combinations of unstoppable slashing and playmaking. His 97 layup and 90 driving dunk, along with 94 pass IQ and 90 pass accuracy, rests the case for James.
James also brings a phenomenal balance of badges with 17 finishing, 17 shooting, 15 playmaking, and 16 defense and rebounds. His all-around style of play and his incredible IQ are the main reasons why James is a headache to guard for any team.
Kawhi Leonard (OVR 95)
Overall Rating: 95
Team: Los Angeles Clippers
Archetype: Two-Way Scoring Machine
Best Stats: 98 Hands, 98 Close Shot, 98 Offensive Consistency
Kawhi Leonard is continuing to recover from an ACL injury that he suffered in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Utah Jazz. At 30 years of age, this Two-Way Scoring Machine can net from all over the floor, especially via his patented pull-up medium-range shot.
Even with his sensational offensive talent, the aspect that separates Leonard is his defensive prowess. He has a rating of 98 for defensive consistency and 97 for lateral quickness, help Ddefense IQ, and pass perception. Furthermore, his two Hall of Fame badges are Clamps and Menace.
Despite having a lackluster offensive game when he entered the league, Leonard has heavily improved on that facet of his game. In NBA 2K22, a 98 close shot and 93 mid-range shot pose enormous problems for opponents. Additionally, Leonard has eight Gold shooting badges to bolster his offensive showings.
Jimmy Butler (OVR 91)
Overall Rating: 91
Team: Miami Heat
Archetype: Two-Way Slashing Playmaker
Best Stats: 96 Steal, 96 Pass Perception, 95 Shot IQ
Following an abysmal 2020/21 season for the Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler is looking to lead his team back to the NBA Finals. With his build as a Two-Way Slashing Playmaker, Butler is able to not only score buckets for the Heat, but also facilitate the offensive schemes of the team. He could still improve on his 83 playmaking rating, but his ferocity and fearlessness are unquestioned.
Butler is the epitome of Heat culture because of his toughness on both sides of the court. He is equipped with numerous Gold badges, such as Clamps, Fearless Finisher, Intimidator, and Menace. These badges are suitable to portray the playing style of the Heat organization and terrify opponents with their mentality of not backing down from anyone.
The development of Butler’s game has been evident in the consistency of his jump shots. Four of his 14 shooting badges are already at the Gold level. Butler is a proven leader, and he is ready to pull his squad to a deep playoff run this season.
Khris Middleton (OVR 88)
Overall Rating: 88
Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Archetype: Two-Way Sharpshooter
Best Stats: 98 Hands, 96 Shot IQ, 95 Offensive Consistency
Khris Middleton comes into the seaosn on the back of winning his first NBA Championship and an Olympic Gold Medal in a span of two weeks. His improvement as a player has been reflected in the 2K series, as his lowest overall was at 60 in his rookie season. At that time, he was clinging to the last spot of the roster, but now he is a proven All-Star-caliber player.
Middleton lets his game do the talking as he brings a three-level threat to the court every night. A 90 close shot, 92 mid-range shot, and 86 three-point shot offer a superb repertoire for the sweet-shooting forward from Texas A&M. He also boasts 96 shot IQ and 83 help defense IQ.
With a non-flashy style of play, Middleton does not have a ton of high-level badges to support his attributes. He has a total of 37 badges, but only seven are at the Gold standard. His long-range sniping ability is ideal for the Bucks because Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo can cover for some of Middleton’s weaknesses.
Jaylen Brown (OVR 86)
Overall Rating: 86
Team: Boston Celtics
Archetype: Two-Way Three-Level Scorer
Best Stats: 95 Hustle, 95 Offensive Consistency, 93 Mid-Range Shot
Despite not being able to finish the season, Jaylen Brown had a breakout campaign for the Beantown Boys. Brown averaged close to 25 points per game and converted almost 40 percent of his long-range bombs. Being a Two-Way Three-Level Scorer is the right fit for the team construction of the Boston Celtics. Brown is equipped with a total of 2,928 attribute points and 43 badges.
Without any glaring holes in his game, Brown has a reliable outside shot along with being a pest on the defensive end. With a 93 mid-range shot and 89 close shot, Brown is a threat from any area on the floor. Along with that, his lateral quickness is at 89, and his perimeter defense is at 87, which is prolific for Ime Udoka’s style.
At just 24 years of age, Brown’s style of play is already very mature and methodical. From all of his badges, only five are at the Gold level, with all of them coming of the shooting variety. .
DeMar DeRozan (OVR 85)
Overall Rating: 85
Team: Chicago Bulls
Best Stats: 98 Offensive Consistency, 94 Hands, 93 Mid-Range Shot
Many skeptics criticized the contract that DeMar DeRozan signed with the Chicago Bulls, but he has found his new home at the United Center. Playing with several talented individuals, DeRozan’s versatility will prove to be effective in a roster led by Zach LaVine, Nikola Vučević, and Lonzo Ball.
Along with other small forwards, DeRozan’s main strength revolves around his in-between game. His 92 close shot and 93 mid-range shot are consistent threats, but his athleticism remains his greatest asset despite it already being his 12th year in the league. He sports 88 vertical and 85 hustle ratings, which provide a big boost for the Bulls in NBA 2K22.
DeRozan can be a cutter because of his athleticism and finishing, but he could also run the offense because of his excellent jump shooting and vision. The variety of his seven Gold badges proves the plethora of roles that could be given to DeRozan.
Michael Porter Jr. (OVR 84)
Overall Rating: 84
Team: Denver Nuggets
Best Stats: 93 Close Shot, 89 Mid-Range Shot, 88 Vertical
Porter broke out of his shell last season and proved why he should have been a top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Being a sharpshooter and scoring machine on the offensive side of the ball is a vital asset for the Denver Nuggets in 2K22.
With his Gold Catch and Shoot badge, 89 mid-range shot, and 87 three-point shot, Porter will flourish in a system with Nikola Jokić as the focal point. Moreover, his Silver Corner Specialist and Set Shooter will be impeccable will certainly help create offense for the Nuggets in-game.
He is a competent shooter from behind the arc, but he also has an underrated slashing game with 84 layup and 80 driving dunk. His defense and playmaking are still a question mark for the rising young stud, but the Nuggets must be pleased with their 2018 draft selection.
All the best small forwards in NBA 2K22
Below, you’ll find all of NBA 2K22’s best players at the small forward position.
|LeBron James||6’9”||96||SF/PG||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Kawhi Leonard||6’7”||95||SF/PF||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Jimmy Butler||6’7”||91||SF/PF||Miami Heat|
|Khris Middleton||6’7”||88||SF/PF||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Jaylen Brown||6’6”||86||SF/SG||Boston Celtics|
|DeMar DeRozan||6’6”||85||SF/PF||Chicago Bulls|
|Michael Porter Jr.||6’10”||84||SF/SG||Denver Nuggets|
|Brandon Ingram||6’7”||84||SF/PF||New Orleans Pelicans|
|R.J. Barrett||6’6”||83||SF/SG||New York Knicks|
|Gordon Hayward||6’7”||83||SF/PF||Charlotte Hornets|
|Mikal Bridges||6’6”||82||SF/PF||Phoenix Suns|
|T.J. Warren||6’8”||82||SF/PF||Indiana Pacers|
|Keldon Johnson||6’5”||80||SF/PF||San Antonio Spurs|
|De’Andre Hunter||6’7”||80||SF/PF||Atlanta Hawks|
|Norman Powell||6’3”||80||SF/SG||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Joe Ingles||6’7”||80||SF/SG||Utah Jazz|
|Andrew Wiggins||6’7”||80||SF/SG||Golden State Warriors|
With the many play styles of these talented small forwards, don’t hesitate to try all of them out and discover which NBA player suits you and your team the best.
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