Ranking every NBA team’s Big 3

Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

team. 79. . . . Dallas Mavericks. 9

9. Mavericks — Luka Doncic, Christian Wood, Dorian Finney-Smith

How much weight can Luka Doncic carry? The Mavs haven’t surrounded him with traditional “star power,” but Dallas projects to have one of the best defenses in the NBA and — with Luka — perhaps the best one-man offensive engine in the game. Nobody can single-handedly carry the offense quite like Doncic. He’s an absurd shot-maker, matched only in absurdity by his passing vision. He will lead the NBA in usage and the Mavs’ offense will thrive whenever he’s on the floor. Christian Wood is one of the most diverse and impactful offensive bigs in the game when he’s engaged. Dorian Finney-Smith is an elite wing defender who’s going to be right back in the All-Defense conversation next season. The pieces in Dallas all fit, and while the loss of Jalen Brunson hurts, it’s not hard to imagine Dallas clawing its way back to the conference finals next season.

team. 18. . . . Boston Celtics. 8

8. Celtics — Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart

Boston’s depth and cohesion is virtually unmatched across the league. Jayson Tatum has made the superstar leap (with room to grow), and Jaylen Brown is one of the NBA’s most reliable second stars. Marcus Smart is even underrated as the “third star” of this scenario: he not only won DPOY, but he drastically elevated the Celtics’ offense after taking over point guard duties last season. Boston has high-level defenders at all five positions, two bankable offensive stars, and a true heart-and-soul locker room presence in Smart.

41. . . . Golden State Warriors. 7. team

7. Warriors — Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson

There’s a strong argument for including Andrew Wiggins over Klay Thompson after last season, but with another summer to recuperate and find his rhythm, we are banking on Thompson looking  closer to vintage form in 2022-23. Either way, there’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said about this Golden State team. Stephen Curry is the defining offensive player of a generation, Draymond Green is the defining defensive player of a generation, and Thompson might be the second-best shooter of all time (behind Curry, his teammate). The Golden State “Big Three” is battle-tested and cohesive to the extreme. You can’t really go wrong here.