Best Trios in the NBA 2024: Tatum-Brown-Porzingis Lead the Way

For a long-time, he NBA has been a league that requires three stars — or star-caliber players — to win a championship. There have been a few exceptions in recent history, including the 2019 Toronto Raptors, the 2014 San Antonio Spurs, and the 2011 Dallas Mavericks; however, for the most part, there is a trio (and sometimes more) behind a championship run in today’s NBA.

Best Trios in the NBA 2023-24

This is the only criterion for our list: the best three players on any team make up a trio, and that is what will be judged. A few teams might be at the top of their respective conferences this season but do not have a trio listed below because they are better as a collective unit. But this list isn’t about teams; it is about trios. Without further ado, we present the five best trios in the NBA this season.

1. Tatum-Brown-Porzingis (+ Holiday + White)

The Boston Celtics’ starting lineup is so loaded that we can’t even decide who the third player in their “trio” should be. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are shoo-ins, but the third player could be Jrue Holiday, a proven third option on a championship team, or pesky All-Star-caliber guard Derrick White… or two-way menace Kristaps Porzingis.

That lineup ranks first in net rating out of every lineup that has spent 250 or more minutes together (through the end of January 2024.) It shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, that every single player on the floor has multi-positional defensive versatility and can score at all three levels. Boston ranks first in 3PAs per game because it knows that no team can out-shoot it, especially given its switchability on the other end of the floor.

2. Harden-George-Leonard

It is amazing to think that this trio began their time together with a 0-5 record; however, after Russell Westbrook’s selfless decision to move into a sixth-man type of role, the Clippers have since soared, winning 27 of their next 35 games with Harden on the floor (again, through the end of January 2024.)

While many people had concerns about the viability of sticking a ball-dominant lead guard like Harden onto a team with three players who have been All-NBA, that has all seemed to be put to rest. The Clippers are a legitimate championship contender due to their hyper-efficient offensive attack that has been shooting at a ridiculous clip.

3. Jokic-Murray-Porter Jr.

Of course, it only makes sense to include the three players who led the Denver Nuggets to one of the most dominant postseason runs in the NBA’s long history last season. Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. were three of the five key players from the Nuggets’ team during the 2022-23 season, and they have continued their dominant ways into the 2023-24 campaign.

Last season, this trio was a part of what was the most efficient lineup in the NBA. As a matter of fact, Denver’s 53-29 record would have been much more impressive if its bench wasn’t among the worst in the league (29th in net rating). Nonetheless, this trio can absolutely be a repeat champion. Historically, Jamal Murray’s output has improved exponentially in the postseason, and Jokic averaged close to 30 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists in the 2023 playoffs.

4. Giannis-Lillard-Middleton

Any trio that features Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard is already off to a blistering start, but Khris Middleton has played some much-improved basketball around the halfway point of the 2023-24 regular season, giving this unit an even bigger boost.

The Bucks recently made a coaching change in the middle of the season despite holding the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. While the exact reasons for firing Adrian Griffin are unknown, the Bucks seem to think they can be even better without him, which is a scary thought, considering they are already one of the best teams in the NBA.

Giannis and Lillard have not quite fully clicked offensively yet, which is why they are hanging in fourth place on our list, but don’t be surprised if they figure it out just in time to make a deep run in the 2024 playoffs.

5. Durant-Booker-Beal

Although the team’s record has not necessarily been there so far this season, there is no denying this trio’s electricity when they are on the floor together. And that has largely been the problem through the first half of the 2023-24 campaign: they have not been on the floor together much.

Through January 27th, Phoenix has played 45 games, but its stars have missed a lot of time. Kevin Durant has played in 38 games, Devin Booker in 36 games, and Bradley Beal in only 21 games. This group has taken the floor just 13 times as of January 25th, but they boast a 9-4 record in those games with an offensive rating of 127.1.

Health will be of the utmost importance for this trio heading into the 2024 playoffs, and the more games that they can play with each other leading up to them, the better.

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Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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