Several months already into the NBA season, we have to take a look at our prior worst big three lists and update it, as even though not much has seemed to change, some teams have improved a bit while others seem to be even worse.
Regrettable injuries, some nice runs and other teams playing even worse have made some guys get off this embarrassing list, while others seem to be a lock to be among the league’s worst trios throughout the entire campaign.
Everybody wants to have a Big Three that reminds people of the Jordan – Pippen – Rodman Bulls or the Garnett – Allen – Pierce Celtics, but we guarantee you nobody wants to have a Big Three like the ones we’re about to mention.
10. Phoenix Suns – Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis, TJ Warren
Even though this team got off to a very lousy start of the season, they’re currently sitting just 5.5 games below the 8th seeded New Orleans Pelicans, so if they manage to put together a little run now that Devin Booker’s back, they’ve got a chance to put an end to their long playoff drought.
Booker is one of the best young scorers in the league while TJ Warren keeps blossoming as a very productive two-way player. Tyler Ulis, on the other hand, has been a major bust and a huge disappointment at the desert following Eric Bledsoe’s departure.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Dwight Howard
The Charlotte Hornets are once again one of the league’s laughing stock this season, sitting 8 games below 500 and 5 matchups behind the last playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference, and Dwight Howard’s arrival to the state of Carolina hasn’t really done much for Buzz city.
Kemba Walker continues to play at a better rate than most of his teammates, while Nic Batum hasn’t been able to contribute as he usually does due to that elbow injury he suffered a couple of months ago. Dwight has been solid on a personal level, but he’s not helping his team get stops at all.
8. Brooklyn Nets – Spencer Dinwiddie, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Demarre Carroll
The Brooklyn Nets can’t seem to catch a break and they’re still waiting for the return of D’Angelo Russell, who’s still without a timetable to go back to the hardwood. At least, they’ve found a very solid starting pg in Spencer Dinwiddie, that seems to be settling down as a consistent NBA scorer and rarely makes a mistake with the rock on his hands.
Besides Dinwiddie’s low turnovers, Hollis-Jefferson has been also stepping up and improving on every single aspect of his game, while Carroll seems to be getting his confidence back from his Atlanta Hawks days. Still, Brooklyn is nowhere near contention, but they lack incentives to tank with their 1st round pick heading to Cleveland anyways.
7. Chicago Bulls – Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen, Nikola Mirotic
The Chicago Bulls have put together a very nice resurge since Nikola Mirotic came back from injury, and even though they’ve lost several games during the last couple of weeks, the team has looked quite competitive and promising for the future, while some losses aren’t going to hurt their tanking chances so it’s a win-win situation.
Kris Dunn has been playing the best ball of his career and he seems more and more locked in as a future NBA superstar, while Markkanen has slowed down a bit but has still shown glances of a terrific upside. Mirotic, on the other hand, has been extremely hot from downtown of late, and Chicago still wants to sell high on the forward prior to the trade deadline.
6. Sacramento Kings – De’Aaron Fox, Zach Randolph, Willie Cauley-Stein
De’Aaron Fox has finally returned after spending a couple of games on the sidelines with an injury, but he seems to have hit that rookie wall and hasn’t been at his best ever since the start of the season, while the Kings have truly missed Zach Randolph who’s missed some games due to oral surgery.
The veteran power forward remains as a prime trade candidate following his great production this season, while defensive-minded center Willie Cauley-Stein finally looks ready to break out on his first full season without DeMarcus Cousins, and has even improved on the offensive end of the hardwood.
5. Dallas Mavericks – Dennis Smith Jr, Dirk Nowitzki, Harrison Barnes
The Dallas Mavericks have been playing great ball as of late but continue to slide in the standings due to their inability to close out games, especially in the defensive end, with Nerlens Noel still watching games from the bleachers and Seth Curry also unable to contribute quite yet.
Dennis Smith Jr has struggled as a playmaker at times and has been kind of inconsistent, but still reminds us of a young Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook with his speed and athleticism. Harrison Barnes is still one of the most boring players to watch in the league and doesn’t seem to have much room for improvement, while Nowitzki hasn’t been doing much (as expected) for the Mavs cause either.
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Tyreke Evans, Marc Gasol, Dillon Brooks
With Mike Conley falling down with an Achilles injury, things have gotten even worse for the already struggling Memphis Grizzlies following the grit and grind era, and apparently, the team’s front office is ready to listen to offers for Tyreke Evans, who’s been playing the best basketball of his career this season.
Apparently, the team is reckless to let Marc Gasol walk despite not having many assets for their future other than Dillon Brooks, who has looked quite solid throughout the season with some very interesting scoring outbursts that make us think he may become a solid offensive wing in the future.
3. Los Angeles Lakers – Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma
The Los Angeles Lakers are once again struggling at the bottom of the standings and even though they lost some games they could’ve won against the best teams in the NBA, they’ve looked like an AAU team that just got together 15 minutes prior to the tip-off at times as well, especially when Lonzo Ball was forced to miss some games.
On the bright side, Ball is starting to gain more confidence and consistency, while Brandon Ingram has been huge during crunch time for LA, and it seems like he’s finally ready to take a step forward after being a huge bust the prior campaign. Besides, Kuzma has outplayed pretty much 90% of his rookie class and looks as one of the biggest steals in the last decade of the Draft.
2. Orlando Magic – Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon
Following a very impressive start of the season, it seems like the good old Orlando Magic’s back at town, mostly because of hundreds of injuries just piling up for them. Now, with Jonathan Isaac, Jonathon Simmons and Nikola Vucevic all banged up, Frank Vogel hasn’t stopped shaking off his rotation.
Elfrid Payton’s development has pretty much stalled and his offensive repertoire is still pretty much nonexistent. Evan Fournier, on the other hand, is looking like a huge trade candidate due to his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter, while Aaron Gordon has been a major stud and the lone bright spot for the Magic throughout the season.
1. Atlanta Hawks – Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, John Collin
The Atlanta Hawks are, as expected, the worst team in the NBA and it’s not even close, considering how little talent they’ve got on their ranks, with Dennis Schroder pretty much left alone on an island and also struggling to become a consistent scorer and take the reins of the offense besides his playmaking.
Bazemore has been inconsistent as usual, while John Collins has been quite impressive on limited minutes off the bench, but he’s still struggled to keep his personal fouls down. Still, he should only get better as the season goes by and he keeps getting more and more playing time at the 5.