5. Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon
It’s arguably whether Aaron Gordon or Michael Porter Jr. complete this Big 3. What’s less arguable is how elite a trio of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and anyone else can be on the Denver Nuggets
Jokic may be the top player in the NBA, winner of two of the last three MVP awards. The league has never seen a big man like Jokic, as great of a passer and shooter as a rebounder. There’s no reason to think he can’t grab his third MVP award this season, further establishing him as one of the greatest big men of all-time.
His greatness somewhat diminishes the talent that is guard Jamal Murray. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to count out the guard’s contributions to this dynasty-in-the-making, though.
Murray’s last campaign began 18 months after his last game following a devastating ACL tear. But Murray was healthy for much of 2022-23, averaging 20 points and a career-high 6.2 assists per game while becoming the Nuggets’ all-time leader in three-pointers made.
The choice between Gordon and Porter is one of personal preference. Gordon was a borderline All-Star last year, averaging 16.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and hitting a career-best 56.3 percent of his field goals.
Gordon’s physicality and toughness provide another element to Denver, one that isn’t easily repeated in the rest of the league. This trio deserves respect, if for no other reason than the championship banner being raised in the Mile High City this fall.