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For the baseball term, see Glossary of baseball (S)#swingman.

A Swingman (also known as a Wing) is a basketball term denoting a player who can play both the small forward (the so-called "3") and shooting guard (the so-called "2") positions, and, in essence, swing between the shooting guard and small forward positions.[1] Swingmen males are often between 6'5" (1.96 m) and 6'8" (2.03 m).

John Havlicek, who played for the Boston Celtics in the 1960s and 70s, is an example of a swingman. However, he played before the term came widely into use.

The "swingman" concept first came into vogue in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when star players such as George "The Iceman" Gervin defied traditional pigeonholing into the 2 or 3 position.[citation needed] The best swingmen use their "in-between" height and athleticism to exploit defensive mismatches: they will use speed and quickness to run past bigger players, and they can post up using power and length against smaller players, or they can shoot over the top of smaller players with their jump shots.

Some swingmen have been known to play both the small forward and shooting guard positions equally effectively, having the size and strength to play the small forward position, as well as the outside jump shot and quickness to play the shooting guard position. These swingmen cause match-up problems and can be very difficult to guard due to their versatility.

Today, several prominent players in the NBA switch between small forward and shooting guard. By way of example, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Tracy McGrady, Kyle Korver, Jason Richardson, Vince Carter, John Salmons, Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Josh Howard, Caron Butler, and Michael Jordan have spent considerable time at both positions. Good examples of players from the Euroleague include Rudy Fernández, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Matt Lojeski, Romain Sato, Emir Preldžić and Fernando San Emeterio.

Ice hockey[edit]

In ice hockey, a swingman is a player that can play both as a defenseman and as a forward. Examples of NHL swingmen include Dustin Byfuglien, Sami Kapanen, Brent Burns, Sergei Fedorov, Mathieu Dandenault, and Mark Streit.


A pitcher who can work either as a reliever or starter is sometimes referred to as a swingman.

Capuano would appear best suited for the swingman role that Brandon Workman also could fill. - Boston Globe

See also[edit]


  1. ^ S. Trnini and D. Dizdar, System of the Performance Evaluation Criteria Weighted per Positions in the Basketball Game, 2000

External links[edit]

Guards Basketball half-court 1. Point guard Combo guard
2. Shooting guard Guard-forward / Swingman
Forwards 3. Small forward Stretch forward / Cornerman
4. Power forward Point forward
Center 5. Center Forward-center / Bigman
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