Ever since the Boston Celtics formed a Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, the term has gained popularity in the league - which was taken to the next level once the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh united in Miami. And while there aren't many trios worthy of such comparisons, the term Big 3 has managed to stick around. With the NBA season starting in two months, there is already plenty of excitement among all fanbases for what is set to be an intriguing season.
And while most have already picked the Golden State Warriors to repeat, it doesn't take away from the drama that the league produces from regular season until the playoffs. It is quite a tough task to rank the Big 3 of all 30 NBA teams, especially when you have a great player who is only surrounded by solid pieces rather than stars. This list is based on how good all three players happen to be rather than solely focusing on the very best player on each team.
There were many close calls that could be ranked differently, but we gave advantage to teams with three great players over squads that have a superstar and two role players. By the time we get to the All-Star break, it is likely that the ranking on this list will change based on how players develop and decline this upcoming year. But for now, here are every NBA team's current "Big 3" officially ranked:
30 Atlanta Hawks: Taurean Prince, John Collins, Kent Bazemore
After having been a treadmill team for so many years, the Atlanta Hawks continue their rebuild with a young core. This past Draft, they picked Trae Young who may become one of their top 3 players in his rookie season.
Despite having many young players on the team, none have exactly shown any indication that they could become superstars in the near future.
And based on their current roster, it appears that the Hawks will be in the lottery for years to come. Fans will be hoping that Taurean Prince and John Collins will greatly improve in the near future.
29 Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie, D'Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
The trade sending Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets has set back the franchise for so many years, although they are finally beginning to slightly recover. Last season, their big 3 of Spencer Dinwiddie, D'Angelo Russell, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had impressive showings as the Nets continue to rebuild. But they are still far away from being a Playoff team, and like so many other NBA franchises, they will be banking on their young core to make major strides. Otherwise, Nets fans will be looking forward to the lottery for quite some time.
28 Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley III, Buddy Hield, De'Aaron Fox
The Sacramento Kings currently have the longest playoff drought with their last appearance being in 2006. Based on their current core, as well as the stiff competition in the Western Conference, it doesn't seem like they will be getting back into the mix anytime soon. Depending on how next season plays out, their big 3 may change but it is expected to be their newest addition Marvin Bagley III, as well as Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox. The Kings continue to build for the future with the hopes of eventually catching a break as the franchise had been poorly run in previous years.
27 Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Jabari Parker
Following the era of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, the Chicago Bulls are now attempting to return to relevancy with their young talents. Having recently re-signed Zach LaVine, he will be joined by their newest signing Jabari Parker who is hoping to get his career back on track.
They are joined by Lauri Markkanen who had an impressive rookie season - and it will be interesting to see how all three players develop in the future.
Depending on who you ask, some fans aren't quite so fond of the trio - believing that the Bulls' ceiling is currently very limited with the current roster.
26 Cleveland Cavaliers: Kevin Love, George Hill, Collin Sexton
Now that LeBron James has left the Cleveland Cavaliers once again to join the Los Angeles Lakers, they are likely to return to the lottery. And while it is clear that Kevin Love is currently their best player, the other two are debatable especially since the team isn't quite filled with talents. And while George Hill has been a decent point guard throughout his career, he certainly isn't good enough to be the second best player on an NBA team. Collin Sexton is already the Cavaliers' third best player based on what he has shown during his college career - as Cavs fans will be hoping that he replicates the same performances.
25 Charlotte Hornets: Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb, Nicolas Batum
The Charlotte Hornets have been on the treadmill for so long that it is difficult to analyze them. They have Kemba Walker who has remain consistent over the years with his player, although his supporting cast has left much to be desired. Last year, Jeremy Lamb finally had a breakout season and looks to be on the right track to reach his potential. It may not be enough to get the Hornets back into the playoffs, especially since their third best player Nicholas Batum has been underwhelming in his stint with the team thus far.
24 Orlando Magic: Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier
In the past few years, the Orlando Magic have made some strange moves from signings to trades and even draft picks. The team was last competitive when Dwight Howard was still in town, and it will be another year of rebuilding for the young Magic.
Having handed Aaron Gordon a huge extension, they will be hoping that he proves to be worth it - otherwise the franchise's future will be set back for many more years.
As for Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier, they have been consistent over the past few years but it is now time for them to show that they have what it takes to be winning players in the NBA.
23 Los Angeles Clippers: Tobias Harris, Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari
It wasn't that long ago when the Clippers were considered a contender with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Now that all three former stars are gone from the team, they have added some nice pieces in hopes of remaining competitive. But comparing their roster to fellow Western teams will show you that Clippers are still far behind.
With free agency coming up next summer, Clippers will be making a run at Kawhi Leonard who could certainly get them back into contention. As for their current big 3, they have all impressed last season but their efforts weren't quite enough to make any real impact.
22 New York Knicks: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr, Enes Kanter
New York Knicks' fans are tired of seeing the team in the lottery, but that trend will not be coming to an end next season. Kristap Porzingis has already shown that he has the potential to be a game changer, although it remains to be seen how he recovers from his injury next year. When it comes to Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter - they are solid complementary pieces but certainly not great enough to be the second and third options on a winning team. With many young players on the roster, fans will be hoping that they continue to develop.
21 Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Josh Jackson
Phoenix Suns have the second longest drought in the NBA - having missed out on the playoffs for the past 8 seasons.
As they continue to rebuild through the draft, Suns may have an exciting future thanks to many prospects on the team.
And while fans shouldn't expect them to sniff the playoffs just yet, the young core will be more than ready in the near future as long as their growth remains in tact. There are high expectations for the first pick of the 2018 Draft Deandre Ayton to bring Phoenix back into relevancy, along with Devin Booker and Josh Jackson.
20 Miami Heat: Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Josh Richardson
Miami Heat have some good talents on the roster but not quite good enough to contender in the Eastern Conference. The next season will be crucial for the future of the team as there may be pieces moved around to allow for a retool or even a full rebuild. With Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and Josh Richardson, the Heat will be aiming to get back into the playoffs once again. Having missed out on a number of free agents in recent years, we can't imagine them remaining on the treadmill for much longer before Pat Riley makes significant changes.
19 Dallas Mavericks: Harrison Barnes, Luka Doncic, DeAndre Jordan
For the first time in nearly 20 years, Dirk Nowitzki may not be apart of the Dallas Mavericks' big 3. While he remains a useful player, he has been overtaken by the latest additions of DeAndre Jordan and Luka Doncic.
Whether they mesh well with Harrison Barnes is another story, but the Mavericks have their best core on paper in years.
But it might not be enough to make the playoffs this year unless Doncic can replicate the incredible form he displayed in EuroBasket. Now that they finally have a player who could be a star in the making, Dallas will once again be relevant in the NBA.
18 Detroit Pistons: Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson
The Detroit Pistons have a team that is good enough on paper to make the playoffs, but they haven't been able to maximise their potential thus far. With Dwane Casey joining the team as head coach, it will be intriguing to see whether he can install a winning culture in Detroit that has been gone for a decade now. And when it comes to their three best players - Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson - they will have to significantly step up their play or else the core may be broken up after this year.
17 Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Jaren Jackson Jr.
The Memphis Grizzlies had a disappointing season but will be looking to bounce back as they compete for a playoff spot. With the competition being stronger than ever, they may miss out once again despite having a solid big 3. It wasn't that long ago when they were one of the best teams in the Western Conference, but a mix of injuries and players' departures have affected the team's overall play. With Mike Conley and Marc Gasol at full health, as well as their latest addition of Jaren Jackson Jr, the Grizzlies will likely return to their best form.
16 Indiana Pacers: Victor Oladipo, Tyreke Evans, Myles Turner
Last year, Victor Oladipo finally had a breakout season that everyone had been waiting for, as he led the Indiana Pacers to the playoffs. His partner Myles Turner continues to improve with every passing season, and he may be well on his way to become an All-Star in the future.
As for Tyreke Evans, he may be the most underrated signing of the summer as he is coming off his best season since his rookie year.
Now that he has finally added a consistent three point shot to his game, Evans could push the Pacers to challenge the top teams in the East.
15 Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Paul Millsap
The Nuggets were a game away from sneaking into the playoffs last year, and the future could be bright for the team. They have a good supporting cast with their two younger stars in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, as well as former All-Star Paul Millsap. We wouldn't be surprised to see them get into the playoffs this year, although it will be tough considering the competition in the West. The battle for the lower seeds will be one to watch throughout the year with many potential contenders to dethrone the current top 8 teams in the conference.
14 Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton
Giannis Antetokounmpo's presence alone earns the Milwaukee Bucks a decent spot considering that Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton aren't exactly world beaters.
It's no wonder the Bucks have been underwhelming in the playoffs, as neither Bledsoe or Middleton is good enough to be the 2nd best player on a contender.
Giannis is already considered to be one of the best players in the league and will likely continue to improve in the upcoming years, but there is no doubt that he will need more help if the Bucks intend to compete with the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
13 Washington Wizards: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Dwight Howard
You never know what you are getting with the Washington Wizards. They haven't been good enough to be deemed as a contender in the Eastern Conference, although John Wall has indicated that they are now the team to beat with LeBron James out of the way. That seems hard to believe despite the recent addition of Dwight Howard, who will be joining Wall and Bradley Beal on their quest to conquer the East. Some fans might make the case for Otto Porter as the Wizards' third best player, and we wouldn't be surprised to establish himself as such next year.
12 San Antonio Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Pau Gasol
As long as Greg Popovich is around, the San Antonio Spurs will always be a team to watch out for. Considering that they reached the playoffs last season with their former star Kawhi Leonard missing most games, it will be interesting to see how they fare this year with the addition of DeMar DeRozan.
LaMarcus Aldridge and DeRozan are both coming off impressive seasons - but the Spurs need someone else to overtake Pau Gasol as the third best player at this point. While he is certainly a future Hall of Famer, he is clearly no longer the same player.
11 Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic
The Portland Trail Blazers had an impressive showing in the regular season but failed to duplicate it in the Playoffs, as they were swept by the New Orleans Pelicans. Going into next season, it will be decisive for the future of the team as some fans are already calling for changes.
The trio of Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic has proven to be good enough to get them in the playoffs, but it's now time for them to take that next step.
Otherwise, they may be headed into a similar direction as the Toronto Raptors who split up their main core by trading DeMar DeRozan.
10 Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma
Having LeBron James on your team instantly makes your team a potential contender, but the Lakers' offseason didn't exactly go as planned. Although the team was hoping to add at least one of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins - they ended up missing on all three players. Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma are bright young talents who have to take the next step this upcoming season in order to climb up the ladder as far as the best big 3 in the league. Unfortunately for LeBron and the Lakers, they will be going into this season with a lot of question marks.
9 Utah Jazz: Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Ricky Rubio
It's safe to say that the Utah Jazz have a bright future with their core. Expectations are already high for this upcoming season, especially after their last playoff run when they defeated the OKC Thunder in the first round.
This trio could move up a few spots in the near future as they have already exceeded previous expectations.
The pressure is now on them to continue improving and not remain stagnant for the upcoming years. And while Rubio has had some good years for the Jazz, he may be soon dethroned as the team's third best player.
8 Minnesota Timberwolves: Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins
Last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves ended a 14 year drought by finally making the playoffs thanks to the trio of Jimmy Butler, Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. But they didn't quite reach the expectations set out by the media and fans, as the team failed to put up much of a fight against the Houston Rockets.
With rumors linking Butler to an exit from the team, they may quickly slip through the ranks again unless Towns significantly improves his defense while Wiggins makes major strides this upcoming season. Needless to say, this year will be crucial for the future of the current core.
7 New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Julius Randle
Coming off his best season, Jrue Holiday has established himself as one of the best point guards in the league after having been overlooked for so many years. And of course you have Anthony Davis who is a top five player in the league - making them one of the better duos today.
The latest addition of the Pelicans, Julius Randle, is now their third best player on paper. As he continues improving with every passing year, Randle could assist the Pelicans in reaching the next level. But before we put the Pelicans' big 3 any higher, we will have to see how they mesh this season.
6 Toronto Raptors: Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas
The Toronto Raptors have had some successful years in recent memory, but they always fell short of their goal in the playoffs.
This summer, they had to part ways with DeMar DeRozan to finally land a superstar in Kawhi Leonard, who is on a mission to prove that he is healthy and still one of the best players in the league.
Assuming that Kawhi returns to the same level prior to injury, he will form a dangerous trio along with Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas - both of whom are somewhat underrated by most NBA fans.
5 Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric
The big 3 of Philadelphia 76ers could move up a few spots this upcoming season if they continue improving as expected. As arguably the best young trio in the league, there are high expectations for the 76ers to make a deep run in the East. With LeBron James out of the picture, it is expected to come down to a close call between the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and 76ers. As long as Embiid, Simmons and Saric continue to develop on the right track, Philadelphia will be one of the most feared teams in the league for many years to come.
4 Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Steven Adams
In the past few years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have had various big 3's with only Russell Westbrook remaining at the helm. Now that Paul George has re-signed with the team, it is very likely that the duo will be teaming up for many years to come.
Last year, OKC expected Carmelo Anthony to complete their big 3 although it became evident that wasn't the case.
And unless one of the younger player steps up this upcoming season, it will be Steven Adams serving as the Thunder's third best player just as he has the past two years.
3 Boston Celtics: Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford
It was a tough decision to exclude Gordon Hayward from the Boston Celtics' big 3, but considering that he missed the entire 2017-18 season - it would be unfair to rank him over Kyrie Irving, Jason Tatum an Al Horford. The latter may be overtaken as soon as next season in the Celtics' big 3 by either Hayward or Jaylen Brown, while Tatum might overthrow Irving as the star of the team.
With rumors suggesting that Irving has interest in joining the New York Knicks, we might see an entirely different big 3 for the Celtics as of 2019-20.
2 Houston Rockets: James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capela
A few years ago, Carmelo Anthony would have certainly been included among the Houston Rockets' big 3. Having recently joined the team after agreeing to a buyout with the Atlanta Hawks, there are plenty of question marks regarding his fit with the team. The two main stars remain James Harden and Chris Paul while the third is interchangeable between Clint Capela and Eric Gordon. Based on age and defensive impact, the slight edge goes to Capela who finally agreed to extend his contract with the Rockets. But if Chris Paul can work his magic on Anthony, then he might have a case as the third best player of the team.
1 Golden State Warriors: Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson
Some fans may argue that Draymond Green deserves a spot over Klay Thompson, but you cannot go wrong with either player. The Warriors are once again the early favorites to win it all thanks to their stacked roster, including a big 3 that is tough to match. With three of the best scorers in the game, as well as a great supporting cast, it is no surprise that the Warriors have become a dynasty.
If you happen to be fed up with the Warriors' dominance, you might be pleased to know that their core might split up within the next two years unless their stars agree to take on major paycuts.