There have been great trios in NBA history: Jordan, Pippen, Rodman. Hardaway, Richmond, Mullin. Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, Worthy. Bird, McHale, Parish.
The "Big 3" title is tossed around so much during this era of NBA basketball. It has become a blue print of what is needed to achieve the pinnacle and become NBA Champions. As stated it didn't start with the Celtics landing Garnett and Allen to pair with Paul Pierce. However, the instant success of that Celtics team has shown to become the model of a copy cat league. LeBron joined Wade and Bosh in South Beach to become NBA Champions. It's not always through free agency. The Thunder managed to draft one of the greatest big 3 in recent history, when they scored Durant, Westbrook, and Harden through the NBA Draft Lottery. The Warriors won a final with their big 3 of Curry, Thompson, and Green, before adding Durant on to form a big 4.
Some teams haven't managed to sport much of a big 3 out since 2000 at all. By finding each NBA franchise's best season or playoff run since 2000, we will come up with a formidable 3 to cater to the thought that a big 3 forms on every team. In alphabetical order, here we are!
30 Atlanta Hawks
Big 3: Al Horford, Josh Smith, Joe Johnson
Beginning in Al Horford's rookie season of 2007/2008 season the trio made 6 straight playoff appearances, including three straight Eastern Conference Semi Finals appearances. Combining Joe Johnson's relentless scoring, with Josh Smith's athletic ability at the forward, and Al Horford's down low presence, the Hawks had a nice compliment of stars. They never could get over the hump though, facing off with the Celtics championship big 3, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade throughout this Big 3's tenure. Joe Johnson made six straight All-Star Games with the Hawks, and Al Horford had for himself. Since the prime of the trio, Joe Johnson has bounced around the league, and Josh Smith has played himself out of the NBA completely. Al Horford continues to play All-Star caliber basketball with the Boston Celtics in hope of getting that first NBA Championship which eluded him in Atlanta.
29 Boston Celtics
Big 3: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen
After a dismal 2006-2007, Danny Ainge and the Celtics would suddenly find themselves executing one of the best turnarounds in NBA history. To start things off, Ainge was able to acquire Ray Allen for the 5th pick (Jeff Green) and other assets. Still not done, later that summer the Celtics and Ainge pulled off a trade that sent five players, two draft picks and cash to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for former NBA MVP Kevin Garnett. The Celtics big 3 would go on to power through the Atlanta Hawks, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and perennial Eastern Conference finalist Detroit Pistons to win the Eastern Conference Finals. In the NBA Finals, they would go on to meet Kobe Bryant. The Celtics would finish off the Lakers in 6 games, with a dominant performance. The trio would go on to makea few more deep runs into the players including another NBA Final appearance in 2010, where they were ousted by the Lakers. Allen would move on after the 2012 NBA Playoffs to rival "Superteam" Miami Heat, whom we will get to later.
28 Brooklyn Nets
Big 3: Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson
The Nets actually have few trios of worthy candidates to make this list. Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson put together some good years. More recently the Nets gave it a shot to form another start studded lineup having a Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Deron Williams starting lineup. None of these groups accomplished as much as the Big 3 we are showcasing. The trio made their first trip to the NBA Finals in 2002 where they were swept in the midst of the Los Angeles Lakers three-peat. The following year the Nets would return to the NBA Finals, again being ousted by their Western Conference counterpart, this time the dynasty San Antonio Spurs 4-2. Although they never brought a title home, this Jason Kidd era offered the best basketball New Jersey, now Brooklyn, has seen since 2000.
27 Charlotte Hornets
Big 3: Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Cody Zeller
For the sake of this post 2000 article, we included the new Charlotte Hornets with the past Charlotte Bobcats. And later on we will tackle the New Orleans Pelicans while including the New Orleans Hornets.
Since the Bobcats came into the league as expansion team in 2004, they have mostly been fighting to get out of the league's basement. A Gerald Wallace led team made the playoffs in 2009-2010 to be swept in the first round. More recently the team has become a credible Eastern Conference team. Led by Kemba Walker's engergy and ability to get to the basket, the Hornets have made the playoffs twice in the past three years and have the chance to make it back to back years for the first time since the Bobcats became an expansion team. The veteran leadership and athletic ability of Nicolas Batum gives the team a chance to win each time out. Former Indiana standout Cody Zeller gives the team a young low post athletic presence, that will continue to improve with experience. Expect this trio to make their mark on Hornets history.
26 Chicago Bulls
Big 3: Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah
Could probably swap Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng. But during the 2011 NBA Season in which the Bulls made the Eastern Conference Finals, Boozer was a second leading scorer and still a very good power forward averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds during the season. Joakim Noah averaged a double double as the team's defensive minded center. Derrick Rose would win NBA MVP during the 2010-2011 campaign, leading the Bulls to a 62-20 record and a first place finish in the Eastern Conference for the regular season. Rose and the Bulls would beat the Pacers and the Hawks in the first two rounds of the playoffs, then fall to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat 4-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bulls never did return to the NBA Finals with this group, but produced the best teams since the Jordan era.
25 Cleveland Cavaliers
Big 3: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love
LeBron's first go around with Cleveland, his best big 3 may have been: himself, Mo Williams, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. The second time around the franchise was able to form a big 3 that can rival the running mates he had in Miami. When LeBron left for South Beach, Kyrie Irving was the only benefit, as the Cleveland Cavaliers made him the overall number one pick. With Chris Bosh's health in question, and a Miami Heat team that was aging, LeBron decided to come home and team with the for Duke Blue Devil. It helped that the Cavaliers once again held the first overall pick in the NBA Draft, in which they selected Kansas standout Andrew Wiggins, whom they quickly traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The tandem made it to the NBA Finals in their first year together before being ousted by the Golden State Warriors (We'll get to them later), and in their second season since LeBron's return they were able to finally bring a NBA Championship home to Cleveland. In 2016-2017 the trio looks poised to return to the NBA Finals and leave an even bigger imprint on NBA history.
24 Dallas Mavericks
Big 3: Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Michael Finley
Could've went with the three best players from the 2011 championship team and been well off. But these three were heading towards their prime together and before Steve Nash left for Phoenix seemed like they would be competing for championships for years to come. A combo of All-Star point guard, All-Star swing man and All-Star 7 foot shooter was a combo that should've accomplished more together. During the 2002-2003 season the trio would lead the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals where they would fall to the Spurs in 6 games. Nowitzki has stayed with the Mavs throughout his career winning NBA MVP and bringing a title to Dallas in 2011. Finley would go on to win an NBA Championship with San Antonio upon leaving Dallas, and Steve Nash became a two time league MVP.
23 Denver Nuggets
Big 3: Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony, Nene
The Nuggets have had some good players come through since 2000. Marcus Camby was a solid contributor for years. We could've went with Iverson in for Billups here, but it wasn't until Billups came to Denver that the Nuggets made their furthest playoff run since the 2000's began. In the 2008-09 season the Nuggets would finish the regular season with a 54-28 record and Northwest Division Championship. The Nuggets would start the run with a trade of Allen Iverson during the 2008-09 in exchange for NBA Champion Chauncey Billups. Billups would go on to lead the team while averaging just under 18 points and 7 assists per game. Carmelo Anthony led the scoring charge with 22.8 points per game while Nene had a team leading 7.8 rebounds per game. This may be the best team basketball Carmelo Anthony was able to play during his NBA career, and that was due to the teammates around him. Billups actually only spent one full season in Denver, but it included their best playoff run since 2000.
22 Detroit Pistons
Big 3: Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Ben Wallace
Well this one wasn't easy. Many say the championship the Pistons won wouldn't have been possible without the acquisition of Rasheed Wallace. And Tayshaun Prince had some historic playoff runs, and added an Olympic Gold Medal in the process. But its also tough to not go with: Chauncey Billups the leader, Rip Hamilton the scorer, and Ben Wallace the defensive anchor and Defensive Player of the Year. From 2002 to 2006 the Pistons consisting of this big 3, would go to 4 straight Eastern Conference Finals, winning two Eastern Conference titles. In 2003-04, Detroit would go on to win the NBA Championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers. Again they would make the NBA finals in 2004-2005, falling short. Ben Wallace would leave after that year. The Pistons success did continue but this window marked the best basketball in Detroit since the days of the Bad Boys.
21 Golden State Warriors
Big 3: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green
Yes, for the time being I left off Kevin Durant. This trio has already accomplished what Durant hopes to by joining the Warriors. 2014-2015 NBA Champions and in 2015-2016 the group tallied an NBA record 73 wins during the regular season. The final piece was Draymond Green who was drafted in the second roud of the 2012 NBA Draft. Since then Curry has become a two-time NBA MVP. All three stars were selected to the All-Star game in 2015-2016, and each also received All-NBA honors. Green has added two NBA All-Defensive teams in the past two years. Klay Thompson has set his mark on NBA history with a 37 point quarter, and made a run at another historic feet when he dropped 60 points in three quarters early in the 2016-17 campaign. The accolades and records are going to keep piling in for this trio of stars.
20 Houston Rockets
Big 3: Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Shane Battier
Tough one. Being McGrady never made it out of the first round of the playoffs (besides a stint in San Antonio with limited minutes), I was trying to avoid having him on here. It was also tough leaving off James Harden, but once his big 3 is carved out in recent years this big 3 could be replaced.
McGrady is an all time scorer, and Yao was as dominant a center in Houston since the days of Hakeem Olajuwon. Battier offered the defensive presence and defensive stability while adding 9.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per night. In 2007-08 the trio set a mark of 55-27 during the regular season, resulting with a playoff berth vs the Utah Jazz. The team would go on to lose in 6 games, despite McGrady's average of 27 points, 8.2 rebs, and 6.8 assists throughout the series.
19 Indiana Pacers
Big 3: Jermaine O'Neal, Metta World Peace, Reggie Miller
Part of this group may be remembered more for the "Malice at the Palace" more than their brilliant play, but in 2003-2004 the Indiana Pacers would go 61-21 during the regular season with O'Neal, World Peace, and Miller in the forefront. The run was during the twilight of Miller's career, but still averaging a steady 10 ppg, and adding the veteran leadership the team was able to advance to a Eastern Conference Final vs the Detroit Pistons. This series can probably be remembered by the block Tayshaun Prince had on Reggie Miller.
The group never made it back to the conference finals with Miller retiring, and Metta World Peace's continual issues on and off the court. O'Neal would go on to have a few more good years in Indiana, before the injury bug slowed down his production. The Pacers would be back to a conference final in 2012-13 and 2013-14 with another nice trio of Paul George, David West, and Roy Hibbert.
18 Los Angeles Clippers
Big 3: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan
This collection of players has all the makings of a championship Big 3. Unfortunately that has not been the case. A trade brought Chris Paul to town in 2011. Paul would add the floor general and leader needed for budding young stars Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan to succeed. All-Star nods, All-NBA teams, and All Defensive teams have come in abundance for the three, but the playoff success has seemed to elude them.
The Clippers have eclipsed 50 wins in four straight seasons, and have been to the playoffs in five straight. Five straight playoff appearances but none resulting in more than a Western Conference Semi Final round, and being upsetted during a couple first round exits. There is still time for success in Los Angeles for the Clippers and their big 3 but it seems as if their window is closing and the makeup of the team just wont result in anything more than has already been experienced.
17 Los Angeles Lakers
Big 3: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom
Almost just went with best duo for the Lakers and presented Shaq and Kobe, but their next best player was never top tier, and the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers in later years also provided multiple championships.
Odom would be added to the Lakers in the deal that sent Shaq to the Miami Heat, and after a few years of mediocrity, the Lakers front office was able to get Kobe a new sidekick when they acquired Pau Gasol in 2008. Gasol would bring a skilled post presence to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, and would prove to be the piece to bring the NBA Championship back home to L.A. The height of their success would come in 2008-09, a season in which the trio would help the Lakers to a 65-17 regular season record. After defeating the Jazz, Rockets, Nuggets and Magic, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers would win their first NBA Championship since Shaq's departure. The team would add a second title together in 2009-10 after ousting the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. Kobe and Pau would go on to All-Star bids and All-NBA honors and Lamar Odom collected a Sixth Man of the Year award in 2010-11.
16 Memphis Grizzlies
Big 3: Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley
Consistent, tough, gritty. This has become the Grizzlies identity since the formation of this big 3. The team would draft Conley with the 4th overall pick in 2007 and Gasol would join the Grizzlies in exchange for his brother Pau in 2008. Randolph would be added in 2009 to complete the threesome. This combo has led the Grizzlies to the playoffs in each of the last six years including a Western Conference Final in 2012-13. During the campaign, Memphis would post a franchise best 56 wins and would go onto defeat the Clippers and Thunder in the playoffs with a combined 8-3 record before falling to the Spurs. This trio is still together today, with Gasol as one of the game's best big men, Conley entering the conversation of elite point guards, and Randolph taking on more of a Sixth man role at the age of 35. Should be a couple more runs left before it is all said and done.
15 Miami Heat
Big 3: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh
Once LeBron James made "The Decision" to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach, NBA history was ready to be made. Wade had already led a Miami Heat team, alongside Shaq, to one NBA Championship. After a few years of early playoff exits, the Heat were poised to return to the top of the NBA. During their four years together the Heat were the Eastern Conference representative in the NBA Finals all four years. They would go 2-2 in these finals, beating the Thunder and Spurs to give the Heat franchise their second and third NBA Titles. LeBron would win two league MVP's in Miami before heading back home to Cleveland in 2014. Wade has since moved on to the Chicago Bulls in hopes of bringing his hometown their first title since Michael Jordan led the team. Bosh is still under contract in Miami, but has seen limited playing time due to various illnesses. The combination resulted in a historic run, and brought the NBA and it's players view on forming a "Super Team" to a new level.
14 Milwaukee Bucks
Big 3: Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson, Sam Cassell
Success has come at a minimum in Milwaukee since 2000. Nine non-playoff years and eight first round exits from the playoffs. But in 2000-01, Cassell, Allen, and Robinson would lead the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals where they dulled Allen Iverson and the 76ers to the brink, eventually losing the series 4-3. Glenn Robinson would go on to average over 20 points per game in his career. Ray Allen would get his championship rings as a member of the Celtics and the Miami Heat. Cassell won championships prior as a member of the Houston Rockets, and after his stint in Milwaukee as a member of the 2008 Celtics.
The Bucks may be on the brink of forming a new big 3, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker approaching stardom for the Jason Kidd coached Bucks.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves
Big 3: Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell, Latrell Sprewell
Kevin Garnett entered the league in 1995 straight out of high school, and in the 1996-97 season he would lead the team to the first of eight straight playoff berths. Unfortunately for Garnett and company the first seven trips would result in first round exits. However in 2003, the franchise would add veteran point guard, Sam Cassell, and forward, Latrell Sprewell in attempt to get Kevin Garnett the help he needed. It worked. Garnett gathered NBA MVP that year and the Timberwolves would go 57-25 that year, resulting in a Midwest Division Championship. The trio would combine to average 60.5 points per game during the 2003-2004 campaign and seemed primed for a playoff run. After handling the Nuggets then the Sacramento Kings, the Timberwolves would go on to lose to the Lakers in 6 games. Garnett moved on from the Timberwolves and eventually won the NBA Title that eluded him in Minnesota.
12 New Orleans Pelicans (New Orleans Hornets)
Big 3: Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler, David West
Before being traded to the Clippers, Paul and the Hornets had some playoff runs of their own. West and Paul would team up in 2005, and Tyson Chandler would join one year later. CP3 became a elite floor general right out of Wake Forest, and with two talented big men, the Hornets put together their best season to date with a 56 win season in 2007-08. The three would put up stellar numbers: Chris Paul 21.1 PPG 11.6 APG. David West 20.6 PPG 8.9 RPG. Tyson Chandler 11.8 PPG 11.7 RPG. During the post season the team would meet up with the Dallas Mavericks whom they handled in the first round 4-1. A meeting with the San Antonio Spurs in the semi finals ended in a 4-3 defeat. It wasn't the run they had hoped for, but still the best season to date in New Orleans.
11 New York Knicks
Big 3: Allan Houston, Latrell Sprewell, Marcus Camby
Cheating a little bit here. The best season from this group was in 1999-2000 but still put together a decent campaign during our cut off of 2000-01. The Knicks roster of this year featured a bunch of well known players, such as Glen Rice, Mark Jackson and Larry Johnson, all of which were past their prime in the NBA. Houston would be the leading scorer at 18.7 PPG, Sprewell added 17.7, and Camby averaged a double-double at 12 PPG and 11.5 RPG. The team would not regain their success from the previous year dropping the first round playoff series 3-2 to the Toronto Raptors.
Since the early 2000s, the Knicks have gone through numerous players and combinations that should've resulted in better years and a top big 3. Just hasn't been the case. Isiah Thomas paid average players star money, and Camerlo Anthony hasn't been able to coincide with any one who approaches his stature, ala Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder
Big 3: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden
One of the biggest 'What ifs?' in NBA history will be what could've happened if these players stuck together through their primes. James Harden was just 22! when he was traded from OKC to Houston. The team felt the franchise would be better off spending the money that could've been used to keep Harden around on big man Serge Ibaka. The best year from the big 3 came in 2011-2012 when the team posted 47 wins in a shortened season and the three combined for 68.4 PPG. They would being the playoffs with a sweep of the Mavericks, followed by outlasting the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. In the NBA Finals they would meet up with LeBron James and the Miami Heat who would take the series 4-1. It may have been disappointing to get that far and lose, but the thought surround the Thunder and their big 3 was that they'd be back. Was never the case, and now the only remaining member of the trio that remains with the team is Russell Westbrook.
9 Orlando Magic
Big 3: Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis
The Magic selected Dwight Howard (1st overall) and Jameer Nelson (20th overall) in the 2004 NBA Draft. The two would go to their first playoff in the 2006-07 season. Although ousted first round, it was the beginning of one of the best runs in Magic history since Shaquille O'Neal was in town. Following the playoff exit the Magic would go on to trade for Supersonics All-Star Rashard Lewis. For the next 4 years, the Magic would eclipse the 50 win mark, and in 2008-09 made a playoff run all the way to the NBA Finals. After ousting the 76ers, Boston Celtics, and LeBron James' Cavaliers the Magic would run into the Los Angeles Lakers where they would be ousted 4-1.
The Magic teams during this era featured some other players worth mentioning like Hedo Turkoglu And JJ Redick. But during their best season and best run, Nelson (16.7 PPG), Lewis (17.7 PPG), and Howard (20.6 PPG 13.8 RPG) would all get an All-Star nod. The group did make it back to a Conference Final but nothing further. Howard would add multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards, and Rashard Lewis would go on to get his NBA Championship as a member of the Miami Heat.
8 Philadelphia 76ers
Big 3: Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo, Aaron McKie
This one will date all the way back to our cutoff of 2000-01. A team full of underdogs who were able to go to the NBA Finals. But there was no shortage of chemistry and willingness to win. During the regular season Iverson would win the scoring title and NBA MVP , while Mckie added Sixth Man of the Year, and Mutombo Defensive Player of the Year. After posting a 56-26 record during the regular season including a 10-0 start, the Sixers would grab the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference Finals fueled by their three NBA award winners. In the first round Philly would get passed Indiana 3-1 whom they were bested by in the semi finals a year prior. In the semi final, Iverson would duel with the Toronto Raptors' star Vince Carter in a 4-3 series win, in which he would average 33.7 PPG. In the Eastern Conference Finals would come the Milwaukee Bucks powered by their own big 3 already mentioned of Allen, Cassell, and Robinson. The Sixers would again go on to win in seven games, and move on to the NBA Finals where they ran into a power house Lakers team, and ultimately dropped the finals 4-1.
7 Phoenix Suns
Big 3: Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion
Winning 177 games between 2004-2007, this group set the mark as the best teams since the Charles Barkley led Suns. In 2004-05 the three led Phoenix to a franchise high 62 wins. During that season Stoudemire would average 26 PPG and 8.9 RPG, Marion 19.4 PPG and 11.3 RPG and Steve Nash would bring home league MVP with an average of 15.5 PPG and 11.5 RPG. Propelled by Mike D'Antoni's high energy offense all three members of the Sun's big 3 also added All-NBA honors.
The Suns would go to back to back Western Conference Finals led by the three, but that's as far as it would go. In 2004-05 the team would power through the Grizzlies and Mavericks by a combined 8-2 record, only to fall to the San Antonio Spurs 4-1. The three experienced a great deal of success in the NBA, Nash adding another league MVP, Marion getting his NBA Championship in 2011 as a member of the Mavericks, and Amar'e making 5 All-NBA teams.
6 Portland Trail Blazers
Big 3: Lamarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum
The Blazers have had some talent since 2000. Rasheed Wallace, Zach Randolph, Damon Stoudamire, Brandon Roy, Lamarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard. None of which has resulted in anything more than a Western Conference Semi Final appearance. In 2013-14 the team did offer a stellar regular season followed by an exciting first round playoff win vs the Houston Rockets. During that season, Aldridge would post just over 23 points and 11 rebounds, with Lillard adding 20.7 PPG, and Batum with 13 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists.
In the Rockets series, holding a 3-2 series lead the Blazers found themselves down 2 points with .9 seconds left. Batum would inbound to Lillard for one of the most iconic shots in Blazers history. Unfortunately the team would go on to lose to the Spurs in round 2, but the trio forever left their mark on Portland basketball history.
5 Sacramento Kings
Big 3: Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby
After trading Jason Williams for Mike Bibby in 2001, this trio became complete. Regarded by some as the best team to never win a championship, the Kings of the early 2000's offered some exciting and top tier basketball. The team peeked in 2001-02 when Sacramento finished with a 61-21 record and a Pacific Division Championship. The three would combine to average 59.4 PPG that year. Webber brought a veteran big man who could pass and maneuver around the basket. Stojakovic was and is still regarded as one of the best shooters to play in the NBA. While Bibby offered clutch performances and leadership at the point guard position.
Upon entering the playoffs the Kings blew past the Jazz (3-1) and the Mavericks (4-1) in route to a showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers. This series was so close the Kings actually outscored the Lakers in total by 2 points. Best remembered moment of this series was game 4, with the Kings up 2-1 in the series, Robert Horry hit a 3 as time expired to give the Lakers the game and lock the series up at 2-2.
4 San Antonio Spurs
Big 3: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili
Alright, let's see: four NBA Championships, 14 straight playoff appearances, and 14 straight 50 win seasons INCLUDING a 66 game shortened season in 2011-12. Duncan won one ring before the other 2/3's of this trio arrived in San Antonio. Ginobili would be the last to join in 2002-03. With head coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs have been a model of consistency and dominance not associated with the modern day NBA. Tim Duncan's resume included 15 All-Star Games, 15 All-Defensive teams, 15 All-NBA Teams, 2 League MVP's, and 3 Finals MVP's. Maybe not as impressive, Ton Parker has added 6 All-Star appearances, 4 times All-NBA, and one Finals MVP. Ginobili has also managed 2 All-Star games and 2 All-NBA honors despite being a sixth man for most of his career, which he also added a Sixth Man of the Year for his efforts. Not all big 3's since 2000 have been this cut and dry.
3 Toronto Raptors
Big 3: Demar Derozan, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas
The Raptors have eight playoff appearances in their history. The longest run doesn't feature Raptors greats Vince Carter nor Chris Bosh. The Eastern Conference Final run came in 2015-2016 with the All-Star and Olympic backcourt of Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan leading the way. Sprinkle in Jonas Valanciunas averaging 12.8 PPG and 8.1 RPG down low and the Raptors were able to set a franchise record for wins with 56. The team would win each of their first two playoff rounds with 4-3 victories vs the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat. There they would go on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers and ultimately drop the Eastern Conference Final 4-2. The trio is still young and gaining experience and chemistry alongside each other. The Raptors could find themselves back in the conference finals again this year with hopes of getting past the Cavaliers the second time around.
2 Utah Jazz
Big 3: Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur
After the perennial success of John Stockton and Karl Malone, Jerry Sloan was able to find a new version of the pick and roll in Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer. Williams was drafted in 2005, a year after Boozer came to Utah from Cleveland and Mehmet Okur came from the NBA Champion Detroit Pistons. The three would gel instantly, resulting in a Western Conference Final trip in 2006-07. That year the trio were top 3 in scoring for the Jazz at: Boozer (20.9 PPG), Okur (17.6 PPG) and Williams (16.2 PPG). Williams would play the floor general role and average 9.3 assists that year. Okur and Boozer would both get nods into the 2007 All-Star game, and Williams would add 3 apperances later in his career.
During the playoff the Jazz would get past the Houston Rockets, and Golden State Warriors before falling to the dynasty San Antonio Spurs in 5 games. Since the run, each member of the big 3 is elsewhere in the league or retired completely. The Jazz have only managed one playoff appearance since the departure of Jerry Sloan.
1 Washington Wizards
Big 3: Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, Larry Hughes
Maybe not the best big 3 on paper, which could replace Larry Hughes with Caron Butler, but this trio accomplished the most with their time together. The Wizards have been to six NBA Playoffs since 2000, none of which have produced more than a conference semi final berth. In 2004-2005 this trio managed a 45-37 record and a number 5 seed in the playoffs. During the regular season Antawn Jamison was just .4 points shy of making it three players averaging 20 points or better. Arenas put up 25.5 PPG while Larry Hughes added 22.0. The team would manage a first round win vs the Chicago Bulls, winning 4-2. It was short lived as they were swept by the Miami Heat.
The Wizards do have a nice duo in John Wall and Bradley Beal on their current lineup. It remains to be seen if they can take the next step and get the franchise to their first conference final since the 1970s.
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