Mackey: How do Wolves' 'Big 3' rank compared to others in West?
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By officially signing center Nikola Pekovic to a five-year, $60 million contract with incentives ths week, the Minnesota Timberwolves have solidified their version of a "Big Three" - Pekovic, Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.
Rubio is next in line for a big contract and will likely receive the five-year max.
The Wolves' Big Three is very formidable. Pekovic is one of the best low-post scorers in the NBA, Love is one of the best shooting big men in the league, and both will probably grab double-digit rebounds per game. Rubio is one of the best passers in the league.
How do the Wolves' Big Three compare to other Big Threes in the Western Conference?
To help answer this question, we added up last year's Win Shares (according to Basketball-Reference.com) for each Western Conference playoff contender's three best players.
The calculation for player Win Shares is somewhat complicated, and I'll spare you the nuts and bolts. But, in essence, a player with five Win Shares contributed approximately five total wins to his team's total, and so on.
It's worth noting we ignored Love's Win Shares from last season and took his 2011-2012 mark instead. Is this fair? Probably not. But whatever.
It's also worth noting Rubio doesn't even technically crack the Wolves' Big Three. Kevin Martin had a higher Win Share total than Rubio last season.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant - 18.9
Russell Westbrook - 11.6
Serge Ibaka - 9.4
Total Big Three Win Shares - 39.9
2. Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul - 13.9
Blake Griffin - 10.6
Matt Barnes - 6.3
Total Big Three Win Shares - 30.8
3. Memphis Grizzlies
Marc Gasol - 11.5
Mike Conley - 9.9
Zach Randolph - 7.9
Total Big Three Win Shares - 29.3
4. Houston Rockets
James Harden - 12.8
Dwight Howard - 7.6
Chandler Parsons - 7.0
Total Big Three Win Shares - 27.4
5. Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry - 11.2
David Lee - 9.1
Andre Iguodala - 5.6
Total Big Three Win Shares - 25.9
6. San Antonio Spurs
Tony Parker - 9.3
Tim Duncan - 8.3
Tiago Splitter - 8.2
Total Big Three Win Shares - 25.8
(Ricky Rubio - 3.0)
8. Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried - 7.8
Ty Lawson - 7.4
Danilo Gallinari - 7.2
Total Big Three Win Shares - 22.4
9. Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant - 10.9
Steve Nash - 4.3
Pau Gasol - 3.7
Total Big Three Win Shares - 18.9