What should an NBA small forward be judged by - his scoring, shooting range, defense, or value to his team and the game of basketball? The following list of my best five small forwards in the league right now will dissipate some of these doubts. Take a look and see if you agree with who I have named as the best small forward in the NBA today.

5. Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler is Mr. Reliable. He is the kind of star every NBA team wants. He plays hard on both ends of the floor and his aggressive mindset is infectious. The Minnesota Timberwolves have looked like a totally different without Butler.

With him on the floor, the Timberwolves were on their way to secure a comfortable third seed in the Western Conference. They were playing solid basketball, especially on defense. At one point, Butler was in the MVP conversations. But after suffering his knee injury, the Wolves have looked innocent and without an identity yet again. Butler's three-point shot might not be there yet, but he continues to be a beast driving to the basket and in the mid-range area.

4. Paul George

Paul George might not be in the best situation for him right now with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but every chance he gets to play freely and dominate the ball, which is a difficult task alongside Russell Westbrook, he proves that he is a unique talent.

At 6 ft 8 in, George can pretty much do everything on the offensive end. His athletic ability and dribbling skills make him no match for most adversaries. If that is not enough, this season he has officially become a deadly three-point sniper after averaging over 40 percent from that distance. And yes, he will also defend the opposing team's best perimeter player.

His two steals per game speak of his aggressive play on that end of the floor this season. Paul George has made more sacrifices than any other member of the so-called Big 3 in OKC, so that also speaks of his commitment to winning.

3. Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard's mysterious injury has possibly deprived us of watching his best version yet.

Before the start of the season, he was on some people's lists as a favorite to become the 2017-18 NBA MVP. Leonard has only improved in every NBA season. The San Antonio Spurs have surely missed Kawhi this season. While he has only been able to play nine games, his value remains unquestionable. What he brings to the floor is unique in the league. No one defends in the perimeter better than Kawhi Leonard. He has also has developed into a lethal shooter and finisher around the rim. His gigantic "Klaws" certainly help him. His mere presence intimidates opponents and dismantles their game plans because they know that Leonard is everywhere on the floor. Kawhi could soon be leading this list ... if healthy.

2. LeBron James

LeBron James is second on this list? Yes, the king has been dethroned. But that should no longer come as a surprise to James and his followers. The last NBA Finals marked the end of his tyranny at the hands of one Kevin Durant. LeBron is no longer totally engaged on defense and one still cannot totally count him to take over in crucial moments of crucial games. He is now realizing how important Kyrie Irving was to his success. With all that being said, LeBron James, at age 33, unbelievably still looks as strong and athletic as ever and continues to play on a different field to the rest. He is competing against history as he continues to dominate most games and pile up extraordinary numbers and records.

James continues to be an obvious difference-maker for his Cleveland Cavaliers and in the whole league... but for how long?

1. Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant has become the best small forward in the NBA ... and therefore the best player in the NBA? The near seven-footer has demonstrated that, when it counts most, he is ready to deliver and take his team to victory. Durant is simply unstoppable; LeBron James can attest to that after last year's NBA Finals. Durant's offensive repertoire exceeds anyone else in the league, and his ability to handle the ball like a guard further gives him a unique advantage over the rest. Durant has now also become a playmaker for his team as well as an elite shot blocker in the league.

Durant certainly jumped on the solid ship that is the Golden State Warriors, but he quickly took the reins of the ship and become the most important member. Durant's commitment to winning has become apparent through his willingness to play a lot of defense, protect the rim, and also play off the ball when necessary. How many more rings can he get?