During the 2019 offseason, the dynamic of the NBA shifted as several teams put together superstar pairings. Russell Westbrook reunited with James Harden in Houston, while the Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a blockbuster trade to pair Anthony Davis with LeBron James.
Meanwhile, the LA Clippers beat the odds to pull off their own killer duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, while the Dallas Mavericks can call upon the emerging Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
However, despite the recent rise of superstar duos - the success of a team usually relies on a combination of its best three players, and both the Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors have been able to dominate the NBA over the past decade with famous Big Three lineups.
While the league is currently lacking a headline Big Three - plenty of trios around the league have been able to strike up a great partnership while on the court. So, as we head towards the final months of the campaign, here we will take a look at the best 3-man lineups of the season so far.
#5 Gordon Hayward, Brad Wanamaker, Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Gordon Hayward, Brad Wanamaker, and Jayson Tatum have shared the floor for just 118 minutes this season, although advanced metrics put them among the best three-man lineups in the NBA. The Boston Celtics trio hold an offensive rating of 114.0 while on the court, while also carrying a 54.9 percent assist ratio.
While Tatum is known for taking on difficult shots, the three-men combine for a true shooting percentage of 58.5 - and their offensive rebound percentage of 34.4 is the largest figure among the top five trios in the league.
The Celtics have also been solid defensively while Hayward, Wanamaker, and Tatum have shared the floor (91.9 defensive rating), and Brad Stevens may want to consider using this three-man lineup more often during the postseason.
#4 LeBron James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso (Los Angeles Lakers)
The Los Angeles Lakers signed Anthony Davis to pair with LeBron James last summer, although the power forward is absent from LA's best three-man lineup. Instead. James is joined by former Pistons star Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and fan-favorite Alex Caruso.
The trio possesses a player impact estimate of 66.2, and with James leading the league in assists, it is no surprise that they have a high assist ratio (17.6). James, Caldwell-Pope, and Caruso have spent more than 200 minutes together on the court, and an offensive rating of 111.5 compared to a 91.8 defensive rating highlights the impact of this particular 3-man lineup.
#3 Ersan Ilyasova, Khris Middleton, Donte DiVincenzo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the NBA's outstanding player of the season so far, although the reigning MVP is surprisingly absent from Milwaukee's best three-man lineup. During their shared 149 minutes on the court this season, Ersan Ilyasova, Khris Middleton, and Donte DiVincenzo have had a player impact estimate of 66.7 - and the trios net rating of 29.4 is also the third-highest tally in the league.
Ilyasova, Middleton, and DiVincenzo's defensive net rating of 86.2 is the second-best figure among three-man lineups, and they have also posted a true shooting percentage of 62.6 while recording a 115.8 offensive rating. The trio is unlikely to get a boost in minutes together, although their impact highlights that the Bucks' success goes far beyond the excellence of the Greek Freak.
#2 Patrick Beverley, Kawhi Leonard, Montrezl Harrell (LA Clippers)
The LA Clippers' season has yet to live up to the high expectations set last summer - although Doc Rivers will be pleased to know that he possesses one of the NBA's best 3-man lineups. However, Paul George does not feature, as Patrick Beverley, Kawhi Leonard, Montrezl Harrell combine for a 67.8 player impact estimation score.
Beverley, Leonard, and Harrell combine for the best net rating in the NBA (31.2) and a 122.4 offensive rating also puts them among the elite offensive options. While Harrell's defense has been called into question, the trio combine for an impressive (91.1) defensive rating, and all three men will be critical to LA's chances in the postseason.
#1 Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Heading into the season, Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan raised eyebrows by stating his intent to build around his point guard trio of Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Nevertheless, Donovan's experiment has yielded an unlikely 36-22 record, and Paul, Schroder, and Gilgeous-Alexander currently possess the best player impact estimation in the NBA (67.8).
Offensively, the trio combines for the second-best offensive rating in the NBA (128.2) and their true shooting percentage of 67.7 percent is the best among three-man lineups in the league. A defensive rating of (98.5) is also excellent considering the size of the three guards - and this unique lineup will be intriguing to watch in the playoffs.