Inspired by this story about the possibility of 3-on-3 basketball being added as an Olympic event for the 2016 games, we here at SB Nation have decided to host our own 3-on-3 tournament. No, that doesn't man you'll get to see myself, Leiland and 7footer team up and lace up our sneakers (although we'd totally kick butt).
No, it's not a blogger 3-on-3 tournament. Instead, each NBA blog is going to pick three of the players on its teams current roster to field a team. The team will then compete (on paper) against the other 29 NBA blog teams, a team of unsigned and international players put together by Scott Schroeder and a squad of probable 2013 draft picks selected by Andrew Sharp.
I think it's fair to say Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat are the two best players and locks for the team. However, after those two, I struggle to find a clear number three player on the roster.
Should we pick a standard point guard-wing-big line-up? If so, Dudley might be the most versatile wing on the team. He can shoot from the perimeter (you always need a shooter in 3-on-3), post up a little bit, crash the boards and even handle the ball some. Dudley could be a great complementary player to the two-man game between Dragic and Gortat. Would Dudley make the team better?
Is Michael Beasley the guy? He's a former No. 2 draft selection who hasn't quite found his way in the NBA. But there has to be some talent there if he was taken that high, right? Perhaps Beasley's game is better-suited for 3-on-3 play rather than the 5-on-5 action of the NBA. With only 3 defenders on the court,there should be more driving lanes and it should be easier to finish in the paint. There is also more room for isolation play. Should Beasley be the guy?
Or how about Luis Scola? Perhaps we should go with the twin towers look and overwhelm opponents with size and skill. We can post Scola up on the block or run some high-low action with he and Gortat. Scola already has great chemistry with Dragic as well. Would Scola be the best fit?
Do we need someone who can both defend inside and space the floor? Channing Frye could be pretty devastating spotting up in the corner while Dragic and Gortat run the pick-and-roll in the middle. There's no one to rotate over if his man has to leave him to stop Gortat rolling to the hoop. Does Frye have a spot on the team?
Or how about young Markieff Morris? He struggled as a rookie but showed some flashes and was pretty dominant in Summer League play this year. He is a very versatile scorer who can shoot from outside, post-up smaller players and face up on bigger guys and take them off the dribble. He was a pretty bad defender as a rookie, but with a year under his belt I expect to see improvement, and I think he could probably defend wings and stretch-fours better than the other two bigs. Do you like Morris as the third man?
I'm not a fan of the twin-towers look in 3-on-3, especially with the size and athleticism of some of the wings on opposing rosters. I'm looking for a guy with versatility, who can match up with either bigs or wings as every team they face will be different. I also want someone who can shoot from outside, handle a little bit to help out Dragic and can hold their own both on the glass an defensively. There's nobody that perfectly fits that template on the roster, but the three guys I see as the best fit are Dudley, Beasley and Morris.
I've said my piece. Now it's your turn Bright Siders. Who deserves that third spot? Remember to take all factors into consideration. We're looking for the best fit, not necessarily the best player (especially considering there isn't anybody clearly better than the rest of the group.
Don't just vote in the poll, though. It's not a guarantee that I choose the poll winner. I already have an idea of who I'm going to pick. So it's your job to convince me that your guy deserves to be on the team. Make your voice heard in the comments.