Create-Your-Own NBA Big Three: Which Players Would You Build Around?
It's a word NBA executives as well as fans worship on a constant basis. Even if a player doesn't start so hot, if he's in his young 20s—don't worry, he should be fine. When it comes to teams that don't have a bona fide superstar in their arsenal, most teams try to find that special someone either through free agency or the draft.
Unless you're the Miami Heat and you clear out all but two of your players, risk it all in the market, and score what has become one of the greatest hauls in sports history by acquiring three mega-stars in LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh.
After the Heat proved that three star players can come together, make individual sacrifices (in LeBron's case, maybe his reputation—for now), and show that a championship is still coveted more than big bucks in some instances, everyone is dreaming up the possibility of another Big 3 emerging in the future to challenge the current Heat trio.
Now, more than ever, teams are trying to create a three-headed beast that can at least give the Heat somewhat of a fight (good luck), and due to this, the idea of putting three superstars on the same team in hopes of creating a dynasty is indeed an intriguing prospect that is, frankly, impossible to ignore.
Let me just go ahead and say that I don't think these are necessarily the three best players in the league, but from a future and managerial perspective, these are the three individuals who I would definitely want on my team in the hopes of building a promising franchise one day.
No. 1: Kevin Durant
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
If this guy had any critics after the Thunder fell to the Lakers in six this past year in the playoffs, here's hoping a majority of them are permanently extinct as Durant continues to show his leadership and tenacity during the ongoing 2010 FIBA World Championship.
Now, after pledging his loyalty to Oklahoma City this past summer by signing a 5-year eight-five million dollar extension with the Thunder, all signs indicate that this guy is going to be the next big thing.
You throw in a break-out year this past season, the positive attitude he brings to his club, the fact that he's only going to be 22 years old when he suits up this coming season: This guy is the obvious choice to start building a dynasty around (you could make the case that the Thunder are one chip away from having their own Big 3—don't forget about Russell Westbrook).
If he can increase his handles as well as his 3-point accuracy, he is without a doubt the clear front-runner for MVP for the coming 2010-2011 NBA regular season. Especially considering that Wade, Bosh, and LeBron's stats will all take a hit being together, Durant is poised to really take over the league at this point.
While there are definitely some out there that say his year this past year was a "fluke" and that he needs to bulk up some before banging with the league's best, his stats, confidence, and unwavering concentration on a title is what makes him the most interesting and magnetic young player in the NBA.
No. 2: Chris Paul
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
While you could make the case that Deron Williams might be a better player overall, Paul is a masterful ball-handler, takes smart shots, and is a thief on the defensive end.
At only the age of 25, Paul has already propelled himself into the category of the NBA’s elite, and is by far the most important player on his team (just look what happened to the Hornets when he got injured). While some might question his loyalty now (juggling around the potential of getting traded out of New Orleans), it’s no debate when it comes to the issue of whether this guy is one of the best at his position.
Just imagine him setting up Durant for alley-oops and wide open shots when he penetrates into the lane with his blazing speed before kicking it back-out to a quality shooter. It’ll probably never happen, but it’s still fun to imagine.
The best part about Paul is that he’s pretty much accomplished in every statistical category (he could up his 3-point shooting a bit), and he still has three or four years before he hits what is called his “prime years,” period. Can this guy get any better than he already is? It’s scary to imagine. If he can sustain a long, prosperous career like that of future Hall of Famer Steve Nash, we could be talking about him as the best ever at his position when it’s all said and done.
No. 3: Chris Bosh
Doug Benc/Getty Images
Arguably the most overlooked of the new Miami Big 3, Bosh has length, low-post scoring ability, big hands to grab plenty of rebounds with, and the versatility to play either the 4 or 5 spot. Critics say he’s too skinny and he needs to bulk up in order to really compete with some of the best bigs of the league, but the same could be said for Pau Gasol, and he’s doing pretty well in L.A.
Bosh consistently shoots well from the field and definitely has the wingspan to threaten shots in the paint (although granted, with his height and length, he should probably be averaging around two blocks a game or so), and as said, he can play center or power forward interchangeably.
At only 26, he still has a lot of years left in the league (barring any career-threatening injury—knock on wood), and with some aging great forwards flirting with the possibility of retirement in the next couple years, Bosh is primed to become one of the best big men in the league.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Again, this is my dream Big 3. I think the ball-handling skills of Paul combined with the length and shooting of both Durant and Bosh makes this a killer trio.
While obviously I love the Miami Big 3, the question that will continue to pop up will be, “Is everyone going to get their shots?” With the Big 3 of Paul-Durant-Bosh, Paul is used to be unselfish, and if Durant isn’t having a hot-shooting night, you can pound it inside and let Bosh do some damage. And if both Durant and Bosh are off, Paul is no stranger to stepping up his game.
Defensively, this trio is definitely menacing. Paul’s quick hands are always going to get two or three steals a game, while the length of both Durant and Bosh will undoubtedly bother shots and clog up passing lanes.
So what about you guys, who is your Big 3?