Predicting the Next Wave of Basketball Hall of Fame Nominees

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 12, 2022

Predicting the Next Wave of Basketball Hall of Fame Nominees

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    Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inducted 13 new members this past weekend, a list headlined by Manu Ginóbili and Tim Hardaway that also included Bob Huggins, George Karl, Hugh Evans, Lindsay Whalen, Swin Cash, Marianne Stanley, Lou Hudson, Larry Costello, Del Harris, Theresa Shank-Grentz and Radivoj Korać.

    So, who's up next in 2023?

    To qualify, players would have needed to retire following the 2018-19 season, making four full years before being eligible for enshrinement. If a player has un-retired for a short period of time or spent time playing professionally overseas, their case "shall be reviewed on an individual basis," which will likely come into play this year. The full list of eligibility for players, coaches, referees and contributors can be found here.

    The 2023 Hall of Fame class could be a legendary one, featuring one of the top scorers of all time, the third-greatest shooting guard in history and some terrific All-Stars on historic franchises.

Possibilities

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    Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

    Chauncey Billups (1997-2014)

    Résumé:

    • All-Star (x5)
    • All-NBA (x3)
    • All-Defense (x2)
    • 2003-04 Finals MVP

    Billups was one of the league's greatest point guards of the 2000s, the leader of some dominant Detroit Pistons teams and one of the most cerebral players to ever take the floor.

    In a seven-year stretch from 2003 to 2010, Billups averaged 17.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.2 rebounds and shot 40.0 percent from three while being selected to five All-Star teams with the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets.

    He was the best player on one of the most unusual championship teams of all time, helping the superstar-less 2003-04 Pistons take down a Los Angeles Lakers team featuring Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone and Gary Payton in the Finals in only five games.


    Shawn Marion (1999-2015)

    Résumé:

    • All-Star (x4)
    • All-NBA (x2)
    • All-Rookie
    • Steals Leader (x2)

    The Matrix was one of the most unique players the league has ever seen, a 6'7" athletic forward who could play anywhere and guard anyone.

    A key starter for a supercharged Suns team that revolutionized the pace-and-space concept, Marion averaged 19.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.4 blocks for Phoenix from 2001 to 2007.

    He'd play a big role for the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks later into his career, winning a championship with the Mavs in 2011.


    Amar'e Stoudemire (2002-2016)

    Résumé:

    • All-Star (x6)
    • All-NBA (x5)
    • Rookie of the Year
    • All-Rookie

    One of the most athletic big men of the past few decades, Stoudemire came roaring into the league straight out of high school en route to winning Rookie of the Year in 2003.

    Steve Nash's pick-and-roll partner for six seasons in Phoenix, Stoudemire was unstoppable on his way to the basket, often dunking over anyone who dared get in his way. He thrived as both a power forward and center, leading the NBA in offensive win shares during the 2004-05 season (11.3).

    Before injuries began taking their toll, Stoudemire looked like an MVP candidate even after signing with the New York Knicks in 2010, and he averaged 23.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and shot 54.3 percent overall from 2003 to 2011. Because of his post-NBA career in China and Israel, however, Stoudemire would need to get special permission to join the 2023 Hall of Fame class.

Lock: Pau Gasol (2001-2019*)

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Résumé:

    • All-Star (x6)
    • All-NBA (x4)
    • Rookie of the Year
    • All-Rookie

    With an NBA career that spanned nearly two decades, Pau Gasol was a highly skilled big man who helped the Los Angeles Lakers win back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

    A 7-footer who possessed excellent footwork, post moves and passing ability, teams could run their offense through Gasol, no matter what position he was playing. From serving as the franchise centerpiece with the Grizzlies following their move from Vancouver to Memphis, to being Kobe Bryant's right-hand man in L.A. and even making a pair of All-Star teams with the Chicago Bulls in his mid-30s, Gasol truly had a long and illustrious career.

    Few players demonstrated his passion and energy, as Gasol was a success both in the NBA and while helping Spain take home two silver medals (2008, 2012) and a bronze (2016) in five total Olympic runs. He was also the MVP of Spain's gold-medal team in the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

    Gasol broke plenty of barriers, becoming the first non-U.S.-born player to win Rookie of the Year and the first Spanish player to play in an All-Star game. He's going to be in the Hall, although playing professionally with FC Barcelona following his NBA career could delay his enshrinement. If the committee allows it, however, Gasol will be in the Hall of Fame as early as 2023.

Lock: Tony Parker (2001-2019)

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    Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

    Résumé:

    • All-Star (x6)
    • All-NBA (x4)
    • All-Rookie
    • 2006-07 Finals MVP

    Parker was in the business of winning, and business was good.

    The third member of a Spurs Big Three that won four championships together, Parker should now join Tim Duncan and Manu Ginóbili in the Hall of Fame.

    Parker was the point guard and engine that fueled the Spurs offense for 17 seasons, and he averaged 17.8 points, 6.1 assists, 3.0 rebounds and just 2.6 turnovers a game from 2002 to 2014.

    While his regular seasons were good, the playoffs were often even better for Parker.

    In addition to his four championship rings and 2006-07 Finals MVP trophy, Parker sits 10th on the all-time playoff NBA scoring list, above players like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain and Stephen Curry. Only five players (Johnson, LeBron James, John Stockton, Jason Kidd and Chris Paul) have recorded more than Parker's 1,143 playoff assists as well.

    A skilled finisher around the basket and from mid-range, Parker was one of the driving forces behind a Spurs dynasty that stretched for nearly two decades.

Lock: Dirk Nowitzki (1999-2019)

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    Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

    Résumé:

    • All-Star (x14)
    • All-NBA ((x12)
    • 2006-07 MVP
    • 2010-11 Finals MVP
    • NBA's 75th Anniversary Team

    Few players have influenced the game as much as Nowitzki, a 7-footer who spaced the floor and knocked down threes at a high volume when most of his counterparts were still limited to the paint.

    No player in NBA history has spent more time with one franchise than Nowitzki's legendary 21-year run with the Dallas Mavericks, a streak that included 15 trips to the playoffs and a title in 2011.

    An offensive force with a one-legged fadeaway that became one of the most unguardable moves in league history, Nowitzki finished his career as the sixth-highest scorer of all time behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. He also ranks eighth on the all-time win shares list (206.3), twice leading the league.

    One of the greatest power forwards ever, Nowitzki's loyalty to the Mavericks (which included pay cuts during his final seasons) only added to his legacy.

Lock: Dwyane Wade (2003-2019)

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    Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

    Résumé:

    • All-Star (x13)
    • All-NBA (x8)
    • All-Defense (x3)
    • All-Rookie
    • 2005-06 Finals MVP
    • 2008-09 Points Leader
    • NBA's 75th Anniversary Team

    Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are the only two players in the NBA's 75 years who should be considered better at their position than Wade, a two-way force at shooting guard and the best player in Miami Heat history.

    A dynamic scorer and incredible athletic, Wade used his 6'4" frame and 6'11" wingspan to wreak havoc on both ends. His 30.2 points per game in 2008-09 led the NBA, and Wade averaged a whopping 26.6 points, 6.6 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks from 2004 to 2011.

    Wade put up 28.4 points per game in the playoffs in just his third season to lead Miami to the 2006 title, and he reached the Finals four more times from 2011 to 2014 while pushing his championship ring collection up to three.

    An all-world defender, Wade finished in the top 16 in both steals (2.2, second) and blocks (1.3, 16th) during the 2008-09 season, almost unheard of from a shooting guard.

    The 11th-highest scorer in NBA postseason history, Flash remains one of the greatest guards the league has ever seen.

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