SB Nation NBA will continue its weekly theme posts this week with a mock 3 on 3 tournament, inspired by the announcement that FIBA and the IOC are considering including 3 on 3 basketball as an Olympic sport in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
But rather than pick a USA 3 on 3 team, we thought it would be fun to pick one per NBA team -- and we're going to ignore questions of nationality and country of birth, and just let every franchise pick their best 3 on 3 team from the current roster. Then, when those are all picked, we'll hold a single elimination tournament (tossing in a couple of extra teams of college players and internationals to get up to 32 teams) and run an imaginary, single elimination tournament to crown the NBA 3 on 3 champs!
We'll post more about details later, but our task at GSoM for now is to select a 3 on 3 team for the Warriors.
After that, we didn't really come to any consensus but came up with four additional names (as follows in alphabetical order):
- Harrison Barnes: We still haven't seen Barnes in a game against a full NBA team, but it does seem that he could be very effective as a spot up shooter playing off of others. With Bogut and Curry in a two-man game, Barnes could be solid as the third option in this three on three. Additionally, in comparison to the other three guys mentioned, Barnes' combination of athleticism and length could theoretically make him a bigger asset on defense than the other options, though there is little evidence that he could defend the top-tier NBA talent.
- David Lee: Although it might seem odd to run two posts in a 3x3 setting, having Lee as a pick & roll/pick & pop option along with Curry is appealing. With range on his jumper, he'd help keep spacing on the court and would give the Warriors a strong rebounding presence with the combination of him and Bogut. The downside is that the Warriors would have trouble defending teams with wings that could create baskets for themselves, though we might say that defending top-flight perimeter players in a 3 on 3 with this roster is a lost cause any way.
- Brandon Rush: Not only does Brandon Rush offer this team a 3-point threat (45.2% last season), but he's the most proven wing defender of this bunch and that would probably be valuable on this team. Although there might be reason to believe that Barnes could offer much of what Rush does, we know what Rush can do against NBA competition, which might give him the edge. And as Evanz has previously noted, Rush was the team's best scorer in isolation situations last season, which could be even more valuable in 3 on 3.
- Klay Thompson: Thompson is probably the assumptive favorite for the third spot because of his outstanding rookie season as a scorer and he does an exceptional job of navigating space to find open shots. Based on what we know right now, Thompson is a more efficient scorer than Barnes and though he wasn't quite as proficient from 3-point range (41.1%) as Rush, but we might expect him to become an even better spot up shooter in his second season after finishing his rookie year with strong numbers despite a slow start.
We can only have three players, all of these players have something to offer, and perhaps you even have reason to believe that Bogut and Curry shouldn't be locks. But assuming that we all agree on Bogut and Curry, who would be your third choice?
Vote in the poll and leave your reasoning or other suggestions in the comments.