Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Steve Nash Headline 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame Nominees

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2017

PHOENIX - APRIL 6: Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns has a laugh with Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks before their NBA game played at U.S. Airways Center on April 6, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame formally announced the eligible candidates for enshrinement in 2018 on Thursday.

Legendary point guards Jason Kidd and Steve Nash are the notable first-time additions. Joining them is veteran sharpshooter Ray Allen.

Becky Hammon and Katie Smith, both of whom were included in the list of the WNBA's 20 best players to celebrate the league's 20th anniversary in 2016, will be on the ballot for the first time as well.

USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt shared the full list of nominees:

Jeff Zillgitt @JeffZillgitt

Eligible candidates for class of 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame. Finalists announced All-Star weekend and inductees announced Final Four weekend: https://t.co/P243isQ6Uv

Allen and Nash benefited from a new rule regarding eligibility for the Hall of Fame that was announced Tuesday. Players need to be retired for only three full seasons before they become eligible for enshrinement, down from the previous standard of four seasons.

Kidd, Allen and Nash should be shoo-ins.

Kidd was on six All-NBA teams and sits second in career assists (12,091) behind John Stockton. Nash is a two-time MVP who helped revolutionize the game during his time with the Phoenix Suns under head coach Mike D'Antoni. And Allen is one of the greatest shooters in league history, having knocked down more three-pointers (2,973) than any other player.

No player from the 2018 list will be more intriguing than Grant Hill.

In his first six seasons with the Detroit Pistons, Hill was a five-time All-Star and made five All-NBA teams. Then, a series of injuries derailed his career, and he made just two more All-Star teams before retiring after the 2012-13 season.

Tracy McGrady, who had a similar career arc, earned induction in his first year on the ballot in 2017, but McGrady was up against Chris Webber as his stiffest competition. Hill, on the other hand, may have to wait at least a year since Kidd, Allen and Nash boast such strong resumes. Beating out Webber, who missed out in 2017, won't be easy, either.