The NBA season is rapidly approaching, and with the most talent that the league has ever seen, it’s going to be a fun season; but how does every team's Big 3 stack up against each other? Some people love it, and some people hate it, but for decades in the NBA now, we have seen superstars come together to create Big 3s, and in 2018, we have seen more than any in history, so we’ve decided to rank them all.
Keep in mind that this is purely a rank on the three men that form the core, rather than a reflection on the team overall, because depth and overall talent can happen on teams without having jaw-dropping Big 3s at the top. So with all that in mind, sit back and real along as we preview the 2018 NBA season, by ranking every NBA Big 3, from worst to first.
30 Atlanta Hawks – Trae Young/Kent Bazemore/John Collins
Just a few years ago, the Atlanta Hawks were the elite of the Eastern Conference, but these days, they’re struggling to rebuild, and that will continue into 2018. They got Trae Young in the latest NBA Draft, and he has flashed the potential of a star PG for the future, but unfortunately, that just isn’t enough for them. As of now, they’ll struggle to get out of the basement of the East, and until they can put together some really great drafts, they’ll struggle to rise.
29 Brooklyn Nets – D’Angelo Russell/Rondae Hollis-Jefferson/DeMarre Carroll
The Brooklyn Nets have been one of the worst teams in the NBA for a number of years now, as they’re still recovering from the Celtics trade, and unfortunately, they just don’t have the elite talent to compete right now. D’Angelo Russell is a very talented young guard, and they can build around him, but outside of that, they just don’t have the team around him to compete. Everyone in the NBA is a talented player in one way or another, and with Russell, this team has potential, but in 2018, there’s just no chance that these 3 lead them anywhere.
28 Sacramento Kings – De'Aaron Fox/Marvin Bagley/Buddy Hield
The Sacramento Kings have been below average for quite some time, but these last two drafts, they’ve managed to get two building blocks for the future, and we should continue to see them rise up this list. Bagley and Fox aren’t polished, but they both have immense talent, and together, they can be the future of this Kings organization. If they live up to the hype, this team could be in the playoffs in just a few years, but for now, we’ll wait to see how it pans out.
27 Phoenix Suns – Devin Booker/Trevor Ariza/DeAndre Ayton
The Phoenix Suns have had little to hang their hat on in recent years, but they just re-signed Devin Booker to a big deal, and with DeAndre Ayton having mountains of potential, the future is looking bright. Trevor Ariza also brings a veteran presence to this team, and although they won’t climb any higher than the #11 seed in the West this year, the fans should be excited. Ayton has a lot of growing to do, but with the depth the team is beginning to build, they could be a contender in the coming years.
26 Los Angeles Clippers – Avery Bradley/Tobias Harris/Danilo Gallinari
Just a few years ago, the Clippers looked like a Finals favorite each and every season, but they’ve blown that up, and while they wait to rebuild, they will struggle for a while. With this Big 3, they have a chance to be a fringe playoff contender, but compared to a lot of other teams out there, they just don’t have the elite talent to completely contend right now. With another good draft, the team could bounce back into the playoffs anytime soon, but for now, we can’t see this trio doing anything.
25 Orlando Magic – Jonathan Simmons/Aaron Gordon/Nikola Vucevic
The Orlando Magic haven’t been a threat out East since the days of Dwight Howard, and while we have them sitting quite low on our list, they certainly have the potential to turn it around soon. With the promising Mo Bamba sitting behind these guys, they are building quite a promising core, but we haven’t seen enough from these guys yet. All 3 have flashed potential, but until they put it together, we can’t justify putting them higher, especially when there are so many amazing Big 3s in the NBA right now.
24 New York Knicks – Kristaps Porzingis/Tim Hardaway/Kevin Knox
The New York Knicks have a very bright future ahead of them, especially with Kevin Knox and KP leading the way, but this year isn’t going to be too productive for them. The Unicorn is out for the beginning of the year, and that will allow their young stars to get game time. If they can pull off a Kyrie or Jimmy Butler signing next year, they’ll potentially be top 10 on this list. For now though, the team is going to struggle as their young players grow together, but in the end, it will be worth the wait.
23 Memphis Grizzlies – Mike Conley/Jaren Jackson/Marc Gasol
The Memphis Grizzlies were once a mainstay of the playoffs, but through injury and age, they’ve struggled to stay competitive, and that won’t change in 2018. With Conley and Gasol, they have plenty of veteran stars, but the depth and talent just isn’t there, and they’ll likely move on from them this year. The West keeps getting tougher, and these guys just aren’t the players they once were, but through trade, they’ll get a good head start on the rebuild.
22 Charlotte Hornets – Kemba Walker/Michael Kidd-Gilchrist/Nicholas Batum
The Charlotte Hornets continue to acquire talent, but behind Kemba Walker, they’ve yet to put it altogether, and it just seems that outside of Walker, none of their players are ever going to live up to the potential. He’s been involved in plenty of trade rumors in the past few years, and it’s more likely than not that he will be on the move soon, which will see Charlotte slide even more. With Walker leading the way, there has been expectations, but with MKG and others not working out the way we expected, this is about as high as we can put them.
21 Miami Heat – Goran Dragic/Dion Waiters/Hassan Whiteside
The Miami Heat have yet to go beyond mediocre since LeBron James left all those years ago, despite showing flashes of a playoff caliber team throughout every season. Whiteside is an elite talent in the paint, and if he can stay healthy, he could carry this team to the playoffs, but they just don’t have elite talent and depth. If they ever want to make a playoff run, it has to happen in 2018, because Whiteside could be on the move if they don’t succeed, so 2018 is a year to watch Miami.
20 Washington Wizards – John Wall/Bradley Beal/Dwight Howard
The Washington Wizards should have had much more success than they have over the past few years, and despite the individual talent of these three men, they just haven’t put it together yet. Howard is a great addition, and he’ll make them a playoff team in 2018, but they just haven’t proven they deserve to be any higher at this point. If Wall and Beal can put their full arsenal on display in 2018, they could be an elite team in the East, but until they can prove it, we aren’t putting them any higher.
19 Detroit Pistons – Blake Griffin/Reggie Jackson/Andre Drummond
The Detroit Pistons have been disappointing year after year, and if they don’t make the playoffs this year, it’s never going to happen with this core group of players. With Griffin and Drummond, they have one of the best frontcourts in the East, and if they play to their potential, they should be a playoff team. Their depth isn’t as good as most teams in the Eastern Conference, but with these 3 guys leading the way, this team could be one of the NBA’s biggest surprises.
18 Chicago Bulls – Zach LaVine/Lauri Markkanen/Wendell Carter
A lot of people are sleeping on the Chicago Bulls, but with a young core led by Zach Lavine and last years surprise rookie sensation Markkanen, they have all the potential in the world. Wendell Carter flashed potential in Summer League, and if these young guys can mesh together the way Chicago fans expect, their rebuild will be over. Sure, the East does have some fairly good teams, and it will be tough to make the playoffs, but as these guys learn and develop together, they’ll continue to climb this list.
17 Dallas Mavericks – Luka Doncic/Dennis Smith/DeAndre Jordan
A year ago, you wouldn’t have seen the Mavericks this high on the list, but through Free Agency and two great drafts, the team could be a future powerhouse in the Western Conference. With the young backcourt of Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith leading the way, this team can go toe-to-toe with the top teams out West, and Jordan gives them the paint presence to do so. Sure, they’ll need to learn to work together, but if they can all play the way we expect, this team is a dark horse in the Western Conference.
16 Cleveland Cavaliers – Colin Sexton/Kevin Love/Tristan Thompson
The Cavs have obviously lost LeBron James this offseason, and that means a large drop-off on this list, but it’s not going to be as a bad as most fans expect. Kevin Love is with the team long-term, and that gives them a sense of security, and if top pick Colin Sexton can improve on a very strong Summer League, they could potentially be a playoff team. Sure, they won’t be as good as they were with LeBron leading the way, but with Thompson, Love and young stud Sexton, they could surprise a lot of people.
15 New Orleans Pelicans – Jrue Holiday/Julius Randle/Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the NBA right now, and he’s going to contend for the MVP in 2018, because without him, this Big 3 down in NOLA would struggle to be in the top 20. Last year, they were much higher with Rondo and Cousins, but this year, he’s got a young, hungry core around him, and although the West is now tougher, they’re built to succeed long term. They aren’t dethroning the Warriors in 2018, but the team looks a lot deeper now, and if Davis gets hot like he did in 2017 after Cousins went down, they’ll be fun to watch.
14 Milwaukee Bucks – Eric Bledsoe/Khris Middleton/Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetekounmpo has been one of the leagues most promising players for a number of years now, but in 2017, he turned in an MVP caliber campaign, and that alone lifts this team to where they are. Sure, they aren’t going to contend with just the Greek Freak alone, but with him leading the way, anything is possible. Bledsoe and Middleton have the talent to be key pieces on a championship winning team, and if they can use this offseason to gel, the Bucks could surprise a lot of teams at the top of the East this year.
13 Denver Nuggets – Jamal Murray/Paul Millsap/Nikola Jokic
The Denver Nuggets have amassed a lot of very young talent, and they’re built to succeed now and into the future, and with Jokic, Murray and the veteran Millsap leading the way, they’ll shock a lot of people in 2018. Michael Porter could be the steal of the draft if he can get healthy, and with IT coming off the bench, this team is deep and versatile, and with these three at the forefront of that, this team will be very hard to stop this season.
12 Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry/Kawhi Leonard/Jonas Valanciunas
The Toronto Raptors made the biggest move of this past offseason by acquiring Kawhi Leonard, and although they’ve been criticized for it, it may just work out in the 2018 season. DeMar Derozan just didn’t work out in the playoffs, and they’ve acquired a former Finals MVP, so the time for them to make the Finals is right now. Sure, Leonard may leave in a year, but that’s a risk they were willing to take, and in 2018, it may just pay off in a very big way, as this Big 3 could lead them deep into the playoffs.
11 Indiana Pacers – Victor Oladipo/Tyreke Evans/Myles Turner
The Indiana Pacers were criticized for the deal that got rid of Paul George, but last year, Victor Oladipo showed MVP type form, and this year, he will take it another step. Myles Turner is also coming on strong, and with Tyreke Evans coming off a career year in Memphis, this team is set up to succeed in the weak Eastern Conference. Sure, there’s still 2-3 teams ahead of them, but with Victor leading the way, the sky is the limit for the Pacers.
10 Portland Trail Blazers – Damian Lillard/CJ McCollum/Jusuf Nurkic
In the history of the NBA, there have never been so many good backcourts at one time, and this is one of the best in the game, and they will again lead Portland back to the playoffs in 2018. Sure, Nurkic isn’t the most complete player around, but he has plenty of talent, and with two phenomenal guards, he contributes well to this team, and they’ve got a lot of potential together. As we’ve said, the West is just way too strong for this team to win, but this is a great Big 3 to build upon.
9 Minnesota Timberwolves – Jimmy Butler/Andrew Wiggins/Karl-Anthony Towns
The Minnesota Timberwolves should be one of the best teams in the NBA, but due to rumored laziness and complacency, they aren’t; but on pure talent, these three are potentially one of the top trios in the NBA. Butler is on his way out, and both Wiggins and Towns aren’t exactly fan favorites at the moment, but on the court, they lead a great team with unreal talent. In a tough West, this team probably isn’t even making the playoffs, but for the purposes of this list, they’re a top 10 unit.
8 San Antonio Spurs – Pau Gasol/DeMar Derozan/LaMarcus Aldridge
The San Antonio Spurs have been a phenomenal team over the past 2 decades, and with the Kawhi saga, many people thought it would come to an end, but with DeMar Derozan now learning under Popp, they have hope. Sure, in the West, they don’t have much of a shot, and their window with the two veteran big men is closing fast, but in terms of talent, this is quite a group. Time will tell how well they work together, but as a trio, this group looks quite promising for 2018.
7 Philadelphia 76ers – Ben Simmons/Joel Embiid/Dario Saric
The Process has been underway for a number of years, and in 2017, they kicked it up a notch, so with two elite level talents in Simmons and Embiid, expect that to continue into this season. Simmons has often been referred to as ‘The Fresh Prince’, and now that the King has gone West, it’s their time to take over, and with this talented trio, they’ll be hard to stop. There is one team in the East left on this list ahead of them, and that’s who we are picking to win the East, but with two talented players leading the charge, this team will be good for a long time.
6 Oklahoma City Thunder – Russell Westbrook/Paul George/Steven Adams
He has come under quite a bit of scrutiny as of late, but Russell Westbrook is still a stud, and with PG and the ever underrated Steven Adams alongside him, they present a dangerous challenge. Sure, this team isn’t too deep and will struggle to make much noise out West, but on pure talent alone, there are few trios better than this in the league. Unloading Melo to create this new Big 3 is great for this team, but unfortunately, it appears that no winning will be done under Russ, no matter who they bring in.
5 Utah Jazz – Ricky Rubio/Donovan Mitchell/Rudy Gobert
Many people might be surprised and disagree with this trio being so high on the list, but after his breakout season in 2018, Donovan Mitchell elevates them this high. During the playoffs, Rubio took his game to another level, and Gobert is a defensive stud. Together, these three can take the Jazz to new heights. Like every other team, they’ll fall short of Golden State, but this trio have the potential to become something special in Utah, and that stars in 2018.
4 Boston Celtics – Kyrie Irving/Gordon Hayward/Jayson Tatum
The Boston Celtics fell just one game short of the Finals a year ago, but with a second year Tatum and the returning Irving and Hayward, they are now the favorites in the Eastern Conference. This team is as deep as any in the NBA, and if these three can fire on all cylinders, they could be the only team in the NBA that can possibly dethrone the reigning Golden State Warriors. Whether that happens or not, these three will absolutely dominate together during the regular season, and it will result in the #1 seed.
3 Los Angeles Lakers – LeBron James/Brandon Ingram/Kyle Kuzma
Some could argue that the Celtics trio, assuming they remain healthy, would be above the Lakers, but we saw what LeBron did with little help in Cleveland, so this is a killer trio. Kuzma and Ingram are just coming into their prime, and if they continue to develop around LeBron, they could be playing for the Western Conference Finals come the end of the year. Ultimately, they’ll fall short, but with these 3 guys, the next few years should be incredible exciting.
2 Houston Rockets – Chris Paul/James Harden/Clint Capela
The Houston Rockets dominated a year ago, and despite adding former All-Star Carmelo Anthony, these are still their Big 3, and they’ll improve in 2018. If all 3 of these guys can stay healthy, the Rockets remain the Golden State Warriors biggest competition in the Western Conference, especially coming off Harden’s first ever MVP award. No one truly expects them to unseat the current Kings of the NBA (not the one’s in Sacramento), but with these three, plus a revitalized Melo, anything can happen.
1 Golden State Warriors – Steph Curry/Klay Thompson/Kevin Durant
It’s crazy to think that even without these three, the Warriors Big 3 would be Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala, but they’re just that good, and they won’t slow down anytime soon. Curry is the best Point Guard in the NBA, and KD just might be the best player, and together, these three blend everything it takes to be successful into one, and it’s scary. Even with LeBron in the West, no one is stopping Golden State at this point, and even when this Big 3 split up, the team will still be unstoppable.