NBA small forward rankings: No. 9 Rudy Gay

Now we're talking about the best of the best.

We're ranking the NBA's top 10 players at each position over five weeks.

This week, we're on small forwards.

These are not fantasy basketball rankings. These rankings also don't measure players' potential or their career achievements. Instead, these rankings are meant to capture where players rank at this moment.

We'll unveil two rankings a day, beginning on Monday mornings with the 10th best player at a position and ending on Friday afternoons with the best player at that position.

Think a player's ranking is too high or too low? Voice your opinion by writing in the comments field below.

This week, we're focusing on small forwards.

Rudy Gay

Small forward ranking: 9th

Current team: Memphis Grizzlies

Height/weight: 6-9/220

Age on Nov. 1, 2011: 25

Seasons with Grizzlies/in NBA: 4/4

2010-11 regular-season stats: 54 G, 39.9 mpg, .471 fg%, .396 p%, .805 ft%, 19.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.8 apg

2010-11 advanced regular-season stats*: .548 ts%, .503 efg%, 9.3 trb%, 108 ortg, 105 drtg, 17.8 PER

Contract status: Gay is set to make about $70 million through the 2014-15 season. He has a player option after the 2013-14 season.

Strengths: Gay has made significant strides on offense in his four seasons, blossoming into an efficient shooter from all over the floor. His shooting percentage (47.1 percent) and three-point percentage (39.6) were career highs this year. He possesses prototype size for a small forward, and he's supremely athletic. Gay, only 25, still has potential to become a big-time scorer.

Weaknesses: Even after his fifth NBA season, Gay occasionally struggles with the same problem that's plagued him since high school: His focus. He seems to be a Type B personality; he's someone who doesn't always demand the ball, even when he should. And while Gay has improved, his offensive game isn't as nuanced as some of the NBA's other top scorers.

The future: The Grizzlies improbably reached the Western Conference Finals while Gay was sidelined with a shoulder injury, causing some to wonder if that made Gay expendable. But the Grizzlies insist they're not looking to trade him, meaning Gay should be the face of the Grizzlies for years to come.

*All advanced statistics come from Here's what those advanced statistics mean:

ts%: True shooting percentage, a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals and free throws.

efg%: Effective field-goal percentage, which adjusts for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal.

trb%: Total rebound percentage, an estimate of available rebounds a player grabbed while he was on the floor.

ortg: Offensive rating, an estimate of points produced per 100 possessions.

drtg: Defensive rating, an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions.

PER: Developed by's John Hollinger, PER stands for Player Efficiency Rating and is intended to measure per-minute productivity. It's adjusted for pace. The higher the number, the better. The league average for every season is set to 15.0. Read his blog at Subscribe to our Orlando Magic newsletter at