With the NBA season rapidly approaching here is a breakdown of the Top 5 small forwards in the NBA:
5. Luol Deng
2012-2013 per-game statistics: 16.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 0.4 blocks, 15.1 PER
The Chicago Bulls small forward has led the NBA in minutes per game for the last two seasons. He is the longest tenured player currently on Chicago’s roster, and he has earned this title. His stopping abilities defensively are impressive, and he has done so with a torn ligament in his wrist for the majority of the last couple of seasons. Though leading in minutes per game is impressive, doing so has not benefited Deng’s health. He will especially have to carry his team this season as Derrick Rose recovers from injuring his ACL.
Deng, a native of Sudan, shows great consistency in the paint. What he lacks in ball handling, Deng makes up for in his sheer knowledge of the game. The 6 foot 9 inch Bull also needs to work on accuracy from behind the three-point arc, as he shot 32.2 percent last season. Once he is completely healthy, Deng will be a force to be reckoned with, especially with a standing reach of 9 feet 0.5 inches.