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Euroleague Power Rankings: Small Forwards

As the Euroleague 2012-13 regular season hits the midway point, RealGM presents the ultimate positional rankings of the league's best players. In this edition, RealGM ranked the elite small forwards from one to ten.

1. Sonny Weems (CSKA Moscow, Russia)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 15.5 points, 5 rebounds.

Sonny Weems is probably one of the very few players who has benefited from the 2011 NBA lockout. After going overseas last summer, Weems quickly became a dominant power in European basketball and one of the best wings in Euroleague. However, the 26-year-old forward wasn't able to carry Zalgiris on his back last season, but now everything is different as Weems is on winning team and he has the opportunity to fully reach his potential in Europe.

2. Pete Mickeal (FC Barcelona Regal, Spain)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 9.2 points (55.2% 3FG), 4.1 rebounds.

The 34-year-old Pete Mickeal has seen it all throughout his long career. He had ups and downs with both Caja Laboral (former Tau Ceramica) and Barcelona teams, took part in many Euroleague final fours and knows what is like to be a Euroleague champion. Surprisingly, Mickeal was disappointing in last season's Final Four, as he scored only four points in both semifinal and final games (2-for-13 FG) and was one of the reasons why FC Barcelona Regal didn't make to the finals.

3. Andres Nocioni (Caja Laboral, Spain)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Spanish league): 11.1 points, 4.4 rebounds.

It's been nine years since we saw Andres Nocioni stepping onto the court in Euroleague. Now he's 33 and returning with eight years of NBA experience and ready to help Caja Laboral to get over the hump. Vitoria's team failed to make it out of the group last season and Nocioni could be the guy Caja Laboral has been missing. 

4. Bostjan Nachbar (Brose Baskets, Germany)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 4 points (50% 3FG), 2.4 rebounds.

Injuries have slowed down Bostjan Nachbar's career, but the 32-year-old Slovenian has been proving he still has fuel left in the tank this season. After being a role player for a few teams over the past couple of years, Nachbar has finally been afforded a huge role on his new Brose Baskets team. That is exactly what the forward needed as he's been averaging MVP worthy numbers - 18.5 points (40% 3FG), 4.5 rebounds. Clearly, Brose Baskets' potential is limited, but it's a perfect place for Nachbar to raise his value and get his confidence back.

5. Emir Preldzic (Fenerbahce Ulker, Turkey)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 6.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists.

Emir Preldzic has been known as one of the most promising young players in Europe, but not many believed he could start the 12-13 season with such a high note as he did against Khimki. The 25-year-old forward ended the season opener with career-high 20 points, four rebounds, three assists and career-high 31 index ranking points. After performance like that, Fenerbahce Ulker fans expect nothing but a breakout season from Preldzic.

6. Malik Hairston (EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, Italy)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 13.9 points (48% 3FG), 3.1 rebounds.

In his second season in Euroleague, the 25-year-old Malik Hairston proved himself as a terrific scorer and an offensive threat for any European powerhouse. A bit underrated, Hairston is currently the second best three-pointer shooter in the league (64% 3FG) and averages 14 points per game so far. Inconsistency has been a problem for Hairston, but his high-caliber teammates like Keith Langford and Ioannis Bourousis should help him to get over those bad nights.

7. Bojan Bogdanovic (Fenerbahce Ulker, Turkey)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 13 points, 2.2 rebounds.

After a sensational 10-11 Euroleague season with Cibona Zagreb, there was a question how quick Bojan Bogdanovic would adapt to his new situation with Fenerbahce Ulker. Eventually, Bogdanovic didn't have any problems in Istanbul and became one of the key players in the early stage of the season. At the age of 22, Bogdanovic is playing his fourth Euroleague season and has an important role in Fenerbahce Ulker. No doubt, the sky is the limit for this talent, who might soon join the New Jersey Nets.

8. Mickael Gelabale (Cedevita Zagreb, Croatia)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Eurocup): 4.2 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists.

Over the last few years, Mickael Gelabale's career was going downhill as he saw only 15 minutes of action on average last season with Khimki. It's a different situation for him in Croatia, where Gelabale demonstrates he can be as productive as he was in his early days. The former member of the Seattle Sonics averages 14 points and 4.3 rebounds in this Euroleague season and reminds that he still belongs to the elite small forwards club.

9. Krunoslav Simon (Unicaja Malaga, Spain)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists.

It wasn't unexpected to see Krunoslav Simon leading small-budget Zagreb, where he spent his whole career since he was a junior, in the Euroleague tournament last season, but his easy transition to Unicaja is worth being mentioned. The 27-year-old Croatian is the second best scorer on the team, averaging 12.5 points and 5.3 rebounds, and establishes himself as a Euroleague level player.

10. Jonas Maciulis (Panathinaikos Athens, Greece)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Italian league): 7.3 points.

The 27-year-old Jonas Maciulis has been out of Euroleague for a while, as he had to deal with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, which kept him away from basketball for nine months. After a short stint with Montepaschi, Maciulis is back on the big scene and demonstrates the injury didn't impact his game at all. Lately, Maciulis became one of the leaders of rebuilt Panathinaikos and over the time his role might keep growing.

 

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