Having a lot of talent is one of the most certain ways a team can guarantee success, even though it takes a lot of different factors – including luck – to finally become a true contending team.
Over the past 10 years or so, creating a ‘Big 3’ has been the way to go for General Managers, as having three All-Stars on your squad should be good for at least making the Conference Finals, or so they say.
Problem is, that philosophy has led most teams to try and develop their squad their way, so naturally, some Big 3s wind up being better to others. Today, we’ll rank the best Big 3s in the league heading into next season.
John Wall, Bradley Beal, Dwight Howard and Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns
10. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe
This is one of the most intriguing big 3s in the league for sure, as we don’t know how long is Eric Bledsoe going to be around. He’s never been able to take his game to the next level but he’s got the upside, strength, speed and athleticism to be a major factor in the Eastern Conference.
Middleton is one of the most underrated players in the league. He’s long, athletic, a good defender and a reliable shooter, but doesn’t get enough credit. And obviously, Giannis is a future MVP and arguably the most talented young man in the league, so he’s always a guy to watch in the East.
9. Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio has always been an outstanding defender an passer, although health and shooting have always been huge question marks over his head. Even so, he was quite solid throughout his first season as the Jazz’ playmaker.
Next to him, we find the best defensive player in the league in Rudy Gobert, a standout rim protector that’s a major factor down low. If you add a surging star with the potential to be a scoring champion as Donovan Mitchell to the mix, you’ve got an outstanding core for many, many years to come.
8. LeBron James, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball
The Los Angeles Lakers have just built an outstanding big 3 upon LeBron James’ arrival, as he’s got the basketball IQ to mentor Lonzo Ball and will finally be able to play off the ball while the UCLA product handles the playmaking duties.
Ball has shown glimpses of greatness and we all know what James is capable of playing off the ball. Also, Brandon Ingram should take a step forward now that he has LeBron’s mentorship and guidance.
7. DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol
The San Antonio Spurs have always found a way to be legit Championship contenders thanks to Gregg Popovich’s flawless system, but they’re facing quite and odd season now that they won’t have Tony Parker, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard on board.
Still, LaMarcus Aldridge proved that he’s more than capable of handling the offensive duties, Pau Gasol is a hard-nosed veteran that knows his way around the league and they now have an angry DeMar DeRozan desperate to prove that he’s an elite scorer.
6. Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas
The Raptors are one of the teams to watch in the Eastern Conference once again as they’ve landed the best two-way player in the league, so let’s see if Kawhi Leonard still has what it takes to lead a franchise to Championship contention.
Kyle Lowry has always disappeared in the playoffs and Jonas Valanciunas isn’t as dominant as a guy with his physical gifts should be, but with that second unit and Danny Green’s 3 and D expertise, the Raptors could make a huge splash in the playoffs for sure.
5. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and JJ Redick
The Philadelphia 76ers were one of the most surprising teams in the NBA all season long, making it all the way to the 2nd round of the playoffs just a couple of years after they won 10 games or so.
Simmons and Embiid are poised to build a dynasty to dominate the East for years to come, especially now that James is not around, so anything less than making the Conference Finals is going to be a failure for them.
4. Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Steven Adams
Now that Carmelo Anthony has left the team, the Oklahoma City Thunder are once again in position to compete in the Western Conference, especially considering the great rapport Westbrook, George and Adams built.
They’re an underrated but well round-up defensive trio and Westbrook and George have already proven what they’re capable of in the offensive end of the floor, and with Melo’s deal out of their books, they’re going to be able to find some productive role players for sure.
3. Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford
We never got to see this Big 3 work together but now that they’re going to be back at full health, this squad is going to be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference for sure, even ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Kyrie Irving has the best handles in the world, Hayward has quietly improved on a yearly basis and Al Horford is perhaps the most underrated star in the world. Add Brown, Tatum, Rozier and Smart to this team and you’ve got yourself a Championship bound squad.
2. Chris Paul, James Harden and Clint Capela
If you thought the Rockets’ big 3 will feature Carmelo, you’ve missed a lot of basketball lately. Even so, Capela has surged as one of the league’s most dominating rim protectors and pick and roll scorers over the last couple of years.
When healthy, Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league in both ends of the hardwood, and Harden just keeps getting better and better. So, if any team has a shot at beating the Dubs, it’s the Rockets.
1. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson
The only reason why I didn’t include DeMarcus Cousins is that he will miss the regular season and play only in the NBA Playoffs.
Golden State has an amazing squad, and they’re set to feature 5 All-Stars in their starting 5, with a former Finals MVP waiting in line to be their 6th man. All signs point towards they winning the three-peat and at this moment no one can stop the Golden State Warriors.