COMMENTARY | The moniker of "Big Three" has been used before.
Older Boston Celtics fans claim the original should have been Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale. The younger Celtics fans claim it's Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Down on South Beach, the Miami Heat fans call LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh their "Big Three."
Truth be told, every team in the NBA has its own version. Some are better than others, but every team has its three core guys it will depend on for the 2013-14 season.
Who are the Phoenix Suns' "Big Three?"
The 2012-13 team MVP is definitely worthy of being on the list. He'll be lining up in the backcourt each and every night, competing against guys with more hype and more national attention. And he'll stand toe-to-toe with them as he's done since becoming a starter in the NBA.
I'm not going to claim that Dragic deserves All-NBA recognition, but he is definitely one of the most underrated players in the entire league. It's hard to get notoriety when you play for a franchise that's been stuck in the doldrums for a few years. It's also hard to be recognized when you're not flashy and you're not making highlight-worthy plays each night.
Still, Dragic gets the job done. He averaged 14.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.6 steals in 2012-13 and while not a superstar, he's effective and will continue to be.
In a rebuilding situation, the team has to decide who to hitch the wagons to. The Suns are relying on general manager Ryan McDonough's talent evaluation skills as it pertains to Bledsoe. There's been more hype surrounding Bledsoe than actual production, but in large part that's due to a lack of opportunity.
As a full-time starter, Bledsoe will get to show his blazing speed, lock-down defense and impressive athleticism. Is he going to replace Steve Nash in Suns lore? Of course not, but Bledsoe brings an aspect that's been sorely lacking in the desert for a long time -- hope.
We hope Bledsoe continues to develop his offensive game. We hope Bledsoe puts his raw talent to use and meets his sky-high potential. We hope the per-36 minute averages of 14.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks translates well when he actually plays that many minutes. We believe they will.
Yes, he's on everyone's list of players sure to be traded. Still, Gortat is a big piece (figuratively and literally) of the Suns team heading into the 2013-14 season. He's always been an above-average big man with good hands around the basket, solid defensive rebounding skills and an average ability to patrol the paint.
With rookie Alex Len in the fold, Gortat will have the role of mentor this year as well. Not only will Gortat want to play well for the team and for Len, but he has a very personal reason to produce -- money. He's in the last year of his contract, which is why he's trade fodder at this point.
With that said, Gortat has always been a professional in Phoenix and will continue to work hard as if he'll be there all year long. The "Polish Hammer" will do his part until they tell him otherwise.
The Suns' "Big Three" doesn't stand up to the Miami or Brooklyn Nets version. But this is what we have, this is what we're going with and for the first time in three years, we can finally have hope that we're moving toward a bigger and better "Big Three."
Michael Dunlap covers the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He is an NBA credentialed writer who is also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of HoopsHabit.com.
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