Ranking the Top 10 Small Forwards In the NBA

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January 15, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Portland Trailblazers forward Nicolas Batum (88) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 115-111 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

10. Nicolas Batum

2012-13 Season Averages: 14.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4.8 apg

Nicolas Batum has made progress every single year since coming into the league in 2008. He has seen a huge boost in playing time this year, playing 38.7 minutes per game.

The 24-year-old Frenchman is athletic and does a lot of things well. He can still improve defensively, but is not exactly a liability on that end of the floor either. Batum is still very young and could very well continue to make progress with the group the Portland Trail Blazers have put together.

In order for Batum to continue climbing this ladder, he needs to put on a little more weight and improve his scoring. He is currently finishing 61.4% of his field goal attempts in the restricted area, which is above league average. If he was to get stronger, Portland would benefit greatly from his drives to the basket.

He is shooting an acceptable 36.6% from beyond the arc, and mostly spots up when shooting the three-point shot, as he is assisted on over 90% of his makes from long range.

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