Who’s next for the Basketball Hall of Fame?

On Saturday, the Hall welcomed 13 members, including two former NBA players chosen through the typical finalist process: Manu Ginobili and Tim Hardaway. (Lou Hudson, the third NBA player to be part of this year’s class, was chosen by the direct-election veterans committee.)

As we look ahead to next year and beyond, let’s consider which new NBA players will be on the ballot in 2023, 2024 and 2025. Also, since most recent Hall of Famers like Hardaway haven’t been in your first year of eligibility, let’s take a look at holdovers on the ballot who might have a chance to make it in future years. (The class for 2023 will be announced in early April during NCAA Final Four weekend in Houston.)

Casting inductees into the Naismith Hall of Fame isn’t always easy due to a lack of transparency in the process conducted by committees with unknown members behind closed doors, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes recently explained. Still, we’ll do our best to consider which NBA legends might soon get their own Hall call.

Eligible in 2023

1a. Dirk Nowitzky (Dallas Mavericks, 1998-2019)

1 B. Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat, 2003-16, 2018-19; Chicago Bulls, 2016-17; Cleveland Cavaliers, 2017-18)

Nowitzki and Wade’s careers, linked by Finals matchups in 2006 and 2011 in which they each won Finals MVP and their first title, will remain connected as they are sure to be Hall of Famers. on the first ballot next year.

3.Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs, 2001-18; Charlotte Hornets, 2018-19)

Parker finds himself in a similar situation as Ginobili, his former Spurs perimeter teammate. Based on individual achievements, Parker is a ‘borderline’ case. He was just under 20,000 points in his career, and his six All-Star appearances don’t guarantee selection. (Shawn Kemp and Jermaine O’Neal are two recent stars with six All-Star nominations who have not been finalists). A Finals MVP win in 2007 will likely push Parker over the top, perhaps as a freshman candidate. However, he had a great international career.

Eligible in 2024

1. Vince Carter (Toronto Raptors, 1998-2004; New Jersey Nets, 2004-09; Orlando Magic, 2009-10; Phoenix Suns, 2010-11; Dallas Mavericks, 2011-14; Memphis Grizzlies, 2014-17; Sacramento Kings), 2017- 18; Atlanta Hawks, 2018-20)

Hey, remember when we debated if Carter was a Hall of Famer? His impressive longevity answered that question in the affirmative. Carter not only scored 20,000 points in his career, but he surpassed 25,000 to finish 22nd in NBA history. There is no longer any question that Carter is headed to the Hall, likely as a first ballot pick given the lack of other candidates in 2024.

Jamal Crawford is the next best contender after officially announcing his retirement last spring, two years after last playing in the NBA. Crawford has three Sixth Man of the Year Awards under his belt, but he probably needed to get to 20,000 points to have a chance without making the All-Star Game. Crawford fell 581 points short of that milestone.

Eligible in 2025

1. Pau Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies, 2001-08; Los Angeles Lakers, 2008-14; Chicago Bulls, 2014-16; San Antonio Spurs 2016-19; Milwaukee Bucks, 2019)

You may be wondering why Gasol is here, given that he last played in the NBA in 2018-19. However, it is the Basketball Hall of Fame, not the NBA Hall of Fame, so the period Gasol spent playing with FC Barcelona in 2021 should count before what the Hall defines as “full retirement.” The Hall’s website offers an exception for players who “come out of retirement for a short period of time” (which is left to the committee’s discretion, like everything else), but saving Gasol makes sense given the lack of other candidates. freshman in 2025.

As for the NBA players who retired after 2020-21, current ESPN analyst JJ Redick is the next best candidate. With zero All-Star appearances, no titles and just over 12,000 career points himself, Redick probably isn’t a serious Hall of Famer contender. As for Gasol’s brother, Marc, he also apparently delayed his eligibility by playing in Spain for Basquet Girona last season after leaving the NBA. Right now, Marc Gasol wouldn’t be eligible until at least 2026.

Given the way the Hall of Fame works, it makes more sense to look at the finalists who haven’t made it in recent years to see which players who are already eligible have the best chance of completing future classes. Aside from the two finalists who didn’t make it last year, surprisingly only one NBA player who made it to that stage in the last 15 years has yet to make it: Kevin Johnsonwho was last a finalist in 2016.

other possibilities

1. Marquess Johnson (Milwaukee Bucks, 1977-84; Los Angeles Clippers, 1984-87; Golden State Warriors, 1989) Johnson, a three-time finalist from the past four years, seems almost certain to eventually make it to the Hall, though perhaps not until the ballot it will wind down in 2024. Johnson’s career totals were limited by injuries, but he is a five-time All-Star and a legend. at UCLA, where he helped John Wooden to his final championship and earned National Player of the Year honors his senior year.

2.Michael Cooper (Los Angeles Lakers, 1978-1990)

As a role player on the Lakers’ championship teams, Cooper has been a less conventional finisher the past two years. He never made an All-Star appearance, which would seem to change the criteria for Hall of Fame selection. But Cooper was part of the Lakers’ five titles in the 1980s and was selected to five All-Defensive first teams and three second teams, as well as winning Defensive Player of the Year in 1986-87. Cooper can point to KC Jones, a member of eight Boston Celtics championship teams but never an All-Star, as a Hall of Fame precedent.

3.Joe Johnson (Boston Celtics, 2001-02, 2021-22; Phoenix Suns, 2002-05; Atlanta Hawks, 2005-12; Brooklyn Nets, 2012-16; Miami Heat, 2016; Utah Jazz, 2016-18; Houston Rockets, 2018)

Although Johnson wasn’t even a candidate in his first year of eligibility, as I pointed out during Johnson’s playing career, his résumé is more typical of a Hall of Famer than you might think. Every eligible player with at least seven All-Star appearances in the modern era has done so, as has nearly every player with at least 20,000 career points from him (Tom Chambers and Antawn Jamison, the two players who topped the bar by less than Johnson, are the exceptions).

Who else should the Hall consider?

1. Shawn Marion (Phoenix Suns, 1999-2008; Miami Heat, 2008-09; Toronto Raptors, 2009; Dallas Mavericks, 2009-14; Cleveland Cavaliers, 2014-15)

So far, Steve Nash is the only Suns member from “Seven Seconds or Less” to make it to the Hall, and both Marion and Amar’e Stoudemire are strong contenders to join him. I tend to prefer Marion, who had the longest career and earned better grades than Stoudemire for advanced stats when they played together in Phoenix, but a greater emphasis on awards would favor Stoudemire’s five NBA appearances, including a first-team nomination. in 2006.

two. Horace Grant (Chicago Bulls, 1987-94; Orlando Magic, 1994-99, 2001-02; Seattle SuperSonics, 1999-2000; Los Angeles Lakers, 2000-01, 2003-04)

If the Hall wants to reward a defensive-minded role player on championship teams, I think Grant is the better option than Cooper. Grant was an All-Star once (1993-94), and his career might have looked differently had there been more emphasis on efficient scoring during Grant’s heyday.

3.Jimmy Jones (New Orleans/Memphis, 1967-71; Utah, 1971-74; Washington, 1974-77)

The Hall recently did well to expand its ABA representation with the inductions of Indiana Pacers teammates Roger Brown (2013), Mel Daniels (2012), and George McGinnis (2017). That left Jones as the most deserving ABA candidate left. A six-time All-Star and three-time All-ABA first-team selection, Jones produced more than either Brown or McGinnis. However, Jones’ short post-ABA career with the Washington Bullets and lack of an ABA title (his teams lost in the 1968 and 1974 ABA Finals) has been hard to overcome.

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Who’s next for the Basketball Hall of Fame?