Archive - 2012
Last season, the San Antonio Spurs were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies. With that disappointing loss, people began questioning if the Spurs were too old and if a core of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker was capable of taking the Spurs to a title anymore. While the Spurs were answering questions about their advanced age, the Oklahoma City Thunder were answering questions about their youth.
Prior to the 2007-2008 season, the Boston Celtics constructed a “Big Three” of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. Paired with young point guard Rajon Rondo, they went on to win a championship and five straight division titles. Little did they know they were laying the groundwork for the Miami HEAT and Pat Riley to build a “Big Three” of their own a few years later. Now, the Celtics trio is battling age and injury while taking a back seat to Rondo.
The small forward field is filled with valuable complimentary pieces that can add balance to an uneven unit. Nobody on this list necessarily has superstar potential, but many are capable of earning long-term starting roles or holding significant reserve responsibilities. Small forwards are generally the most versatile athletes in the sport, and that's certainly the case with a number of the following prospects. Here are our top ten small forwards who've declared for 2012.
1. Harrison Barnes 6-8 223 SF UNC