Ranking every NBA team’s Big Three

Eduardo Monk Jr

The wretched 2017 NBA Finals finally came to a pathetic end and now our beloved professional basketball will disappear until October rings in the new season. So let’s take a moment to reflect on this sorry excuse for competitive sports known as the NBA. And to do so, let’s evaluate every Big Three in the league and rank them.

And yeah, I know, not every team has an official Big Three so I just took collectively who is believed to be the three best players on every team. I took rosters from the end of the regular season, so Paul Millsap is still a Hawk and DeMarcus Cousins is a Pelican

So let’s hop to it.

How Do Teams Get Away With This

(30)Sacramento: Rudy Gay, Darren Collison, Buddy Hield

Must I explain this one? Ever since Sacremento decided to basically exist, they have had a knack to be completely clueless when it comes to  recognizing and acquiring talent and that leads them to having this terrible team highlighted by the “next Steph Curry” and a 13 point scoring guard that the Kings believed was more valuable than Isaiah Thomas. Yeah, that Isaiah Thomas. Sigh. Vlade Divac for president everyone.

(29)Brooklyn: Jeremy Lin, Brook Lopez, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

The only thing keeping an equally pathetic Brooklyn team from dead last is the near All-Star level center Brook Lopez. But realistically not even LeBron James could make this Big Three look good. When a player whose greatest achievement in his career is finding a five dollar bill in the ocean is one of your top three players, there is no hope of anything anymore in that team.

(28)Orlando: Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Payton

Resident Frenchman Evan Fournier can score (sometimes) but with borderline bust Elfrid Payton and the awfully forgettable Nikola Vucevic attempt to complete this sad squad, there’s little question they’re near the bottom. Orlando doesn’t have much hope as it is but their Big Three is even more woeful

(27)Dallas: Harrison Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews

I can hear the Dallas fans already. “WE HAVE DIRK, YOU MORONS, THAT’S ALL WE NEED TO BE ELITE.” It’s even more adorable when you see Wesley Matthews is apart of their Big Three. Mark Cuban is still one of the best actors on the planet, he has tricked millions into thinking he’s a good NBA owner. Dirk is pushing 40 and he’s no longer a star and he has done nothing to acquire more talent to make up for that. Time to  move on Dallas fans.

(26)Los Angeles Lakers: D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram

So the Lakers have a bright future with the young talent that is slowly being developed into something pretty respectable. But that’s it. This Big Three is heavily raw and still finding an identity. And until then, there’s not much doubt that the Lakers are still bottom feeders for the time being.

 

Pretty Bad

(25)Detroit: Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tobias Harris

Casual fans of the NBA are probably Googling who Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tobias Harris are right now. Don’t worry, I’ll save you trouble. Harris is a player most fans think is still in Orlando and even after Googling it, Caldwell-Pope still barely exists. Oh wait, he was an eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft? HA HA HA well that’s a surprise. And for Andre Drummond? He’s overrated. Case closed.

(24)Miami: Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow

I think most people still forget that Goran Dragic is a former All-NBA point guard. That doesn’t mean this Big Three is good but they’re not as bad as they look. Hassan Whiteside eats paint for brunch and is a much better center than people give him credit for. Justise Winslow is a rising star but he’s still rising. That’s pretty much this Big Three. Better than people give credit for but it doesn’t matter because they still suck.

(23)Indiana: Paul George, Myles Turner, Jeff Teague

I know, I know, this team should probably be a little higher. But whatever this is my article, go write your own if you disagree with me. I believe that Paul George is a top tier two way superstar, but with Myles Turner falling off the face of the planet after a strong rookie year and Jeff Teague somehow being underrated and overrated at the same time, I just can not put this team any higher. Have a nice day.

(22)Denver: Danilo Gallinari, Emmanuel Mudiay, Nikola Jokic

Danilo Gallinari used to be good right? No? Screw it Nikola Jokic is blossoming into an elite big man and Mudiay has the tools to be the Swedish Army Knife of point guards and they make up for that. This Big Three is versatile and that’s what makes them dangerous. Yeah, they lack top talent but hey, they can do pretty much anything on the court. Except win.

(21)Oklahoma City: Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams

What do you say about this team? This Big Three is basically the definition of the actual Thunder. The most average role players in the league thrusted into large roles relying on Russell Westbrook to look like a professional basketball team. Switch Russ out for an average guard and this team crumbles against even the Kings. Westbrook is a demon on the court but even that can’t make this Big Three good.

 

Acceptable

(20)Philadelphia: Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers are still extremely young and ripening team but unlike the Lakers, the talent they have is good right now too. Joel Embiid is a top center already and if he can stay healthy, he could be great. Jahlil Okafor is strong. Yeah, that’s all it is with him. Ben Simmons has yet to play in an NBA game but former first overall is going to be a solid player even if he’s the biggest bust in 76ers history. Overall, this is a great Big Three to rebuild off of and to rely on even now.

(19)Charlotte: Kemba Walker, Marvin Williams, Nicolas Batum

Kemba Walker is one of the most underrated point guards in the league and is very well good enough to keep this Big Three relevant. You know what, this whole Big Three is heavily under rated and each of these players are much better than given credit for. Batum is a near 20 point scorer, Walker should be an All-Star and Williams is…ok he’s rated well but he’s still not bad. Whatever, Charlotte’s Big Three is good enough to make the top twenty.

(18)Phoenix: Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight

Yeah, so Phoenix is terrible but that doesn’t mean their Big Three is terrible. Devin Booker is evolving into (I know I’m pushing it but can you really disagree) the next Kobe Bryant and Eric Bledsoe, when healthy, is a would-be All-Star if he didn’t play in the Western Conference where even Chris Paul struggles to get the honor. Phoenix has a lot of firepower and their Big Three shows it.

(17)New York: Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Kristaps Porzingis

Guys, guys, guys, look, it’s the Knicks super team that barely won thirty games. It’s like they wanted to throw together the 2011 All-Star team and throw in a Latvian that was booed terribly on draft day just to see what would happen. But there’s enough solidness to this that keeps this Big Three afloat. DRose still has his moments and Melo can still sorta shoot. They’re better than people give them credit for ok.

(16)Atlanta: Paul Millsap Dennis Schroder Dwight Howard

This Big Three would be much better in 2010. But nope, it’s 2017 folks but this squad still barely misses the top fifteen. Dwight Howard is still named Dwight Howard so he can still somewhat defend the paint. He avoided customary Dwight Howard drama as well as he dodged the All-Star game, so we have that. Paul Millsap is an All-Star regular for the past four years, making this Big Three halfway relevant. They’re just a little too past their prime. Dennis Schroder tries as he might, but this group just isn’t enough anymore.

 

Decent

(15)Houston: James Harden, Patrick Beverly, Eric Gordon

This Big Three represents everything the Rockets are. Just throw up enough threes to score 115 points a game. And I guess it works. This Big Three is literally the big three. Houston rocks an MVP candidate that keeps them relevant. But unlike Russell Westbrook, his role players are a little more than average.

(14)Milwaukee: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greg Monroe, Jabari Parker

With Giannis “I’m not even going to attempt to spell his last name you get the point” has turned into a superstar and there being nearly nobody that can fully shut him, the Bucks Big Three without a doubt make the top half of league. Since we turned injuries off in our world, Jabari Parker is a viable basketball player now. So they have that. Greg Monroe is somewhat underprized in his talent and he can rebound like a big man is expected to. This team is unexciting but Giannis “I’m not even going to attempt to spell his last name you get the point” keeps them from bottoming out.

(13)Minnesota: Andrew Wiggins, Karl Anthony-Towns, Ricky Rubio

If only Andrew Wiggins could turn his talent into actually helping his team win. The feline KAT is slowly maturing into a top notch center and Ricky Rubio is still one of the better passing guards in the NBA. Wiggins is still highly talented but this entire Big Three could use a couple more years to develop into elite levels of basketball.

(12)Washington: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat

John Wall is consistently one of the most electrifying guards in the league and he keeps this team from absolutely imploding. Bradley Beal and John Wall kinda have no ability to basketball when they play on the same court at the same time, but they’re talented enough to make this Big Three respectable. Marcin Gortat is a classic center who really balances this team out. Overall, Washington is respectable but lacks anything juicy past John Wall.

(11)Portland: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic

Portland has a low key nearly elite Big Three. Jusuf Nurkic didn’t play a lot, but the Denver Nuggets reject is one of the best passing big men in the entire league. Damian Lillard should have three more All-Star appearances under his belt and CJ McCollum is still taking the world by storm simply by being a competent basketball player. They could probably be higher if it wasn’t for the fact that this Big Three just isn’t good enough-just like the Trail Blazers.

 

Pretty Hecking Good

(10)Chicago:  Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Jimmy Butler

When Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade look like 2008 Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade, this Chicago Big Three could easily crack the top five. However they rarely do that because they’re old. Jimmy Butler is growing into an elite two-way player and when Wade and Rondo use half of their capabilities, Chicago is in good shape. Oh yeah, and if everyone can stay healthy. This IS the Bulls so they’ll probably find a way to have everyone hurt even with injuries turned off.

(9)Memphis: Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons

This is probably the most boring but effective Big Three in the league. Marc Gasol is a classic center, Mike Conley is a defense first point guard and the only player somewhat adept to hitting threes is Chandler Parsons. This team is like an aspirin. Boring, does nothing except what is needed and when even in large doses, all it does it makes you sick. Don’t do drugs kids. Or watch the Grizzlies.

(8)San Antonio: Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker

If Memphis is Aspirin then San Antonio is Ibuprofen. Basically the same thing but a little stronger and more fun to say. Kawhi Leonard is an MVP candidate and is elite in any sense but LaMarcus is aging and no longer the All-Star he was in Portland while Tony Parker is just old. But they’re sound as a speaker defensively and LA can still partially offense. Tony Parker is old though so there isn’t much there getting outside of their Big Two.

(7)Boston: Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Al Horford

Isaiah Thomas is up there as one of the most exciting players in the league. Being so small but having so much skill is invigorating to watch. Avery Bradley is becoming a solid two way player but the Hawks reject Al Horford never lived up to his 26 million earned this season alone. He’s still a good player but he’s not the All-Star Boston needs to jump past other All-Star Big Threes.

(6)New Orleans: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Jrue Holiday
New Orleans has literally the top two best big men in the entire league on this team. There is no way this Big Three can suck. And while the Pelicans get absolutely nowhere, their Big Three is actually pretty legit. Only Jrue Holiday pulls them down, as the one time All-Star is only that. A one time All-Star.  But he was a one time All-Star. Did I mention he was a one time All-Star? Whatever the Pelicans have both Davis and Cousins, there is no way this team can go any lower.

 

Elitest of the Elite

(5)Toronto: DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas

The Lowry-DeRozan-Valanciunas era Raptors are basically the little brothers to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference. But they can hold their own pretty well. DeRozan and Lowry are a tip-top duo and compliment each other nicely. Valanciunas is an underrated gem of a center but he’s a little bit on the boring side of the sport. But the guard duo is more than enough to propel Toronto into the top five of our Big Three rankings.

(4)Utah: Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Gordon Hayward

If Memphis is Aspirin and San Antonio is Ibuprofen then Utah is naproxen. It’s pretty hecking strong and gets the job done well even though all it does is kill pain. Favors and Gobert are probably the best big man duo in the league aside from the Pelicans’ Cousins and Davis.  Gordon Hayward is arguably the best white guy in the NBA. Which isn’t saying much but considering he is an All-Star, he’s still pretty good. Utah is crawling their way to relevancy but this Big Three is more than relevant-it’s pretty good.

(3)Los Angeles Clippers:  Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan

So Lob City is pretty much dead at this point, but they have their moments of being a top notch Big Three. Overall, they’re easily the most complete. Paul runs it it all while Griffin handles offense and Jordan handles defense. It’s an electrifying trio that, on good days, can wreak havoc on any team. Too bad they couldn’t get past the second round in their entire existence.

(2)Cleveland: LeBron James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving

The only reason Cleveland is second is because they lost the Finals to the Big Three who is in first. Glad we got that taken care of.

(1)Golden State:  Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green

Do I have to explain this one? I think I did in the Cleveland one. Ok that is all.

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