There's no greater honor for a basketball player than being enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and now we know which individuals could be a part of the 2018 class.

Of the five new male nominees, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash and Ray Allen seem to be obvious shoe-ins, while Grant Hill, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton might be closer calls. Notably absent from the list of nominees was former NBA player Rasheed Wallace, who did not receive the necessary votes for candidacy.

As in years past, finalists for Class of 2018 will be announced during NBA All-Star Weekend in February in Los Angeles, California. The final Class of 2018 will be unveiled during the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. 

The Hall of Fame announced its new batch of 2018 candidates on Thursday:

2018 first-time nominees:

Male players

  • Jason Kidd
  • Steve Nash
  • Ray Allen
  • Grant Hill
  • Chauncey Billups
  • Richard Hamilton

Female players

  • Becky Hammon
  • Katie Smith
  • Valerie Still
  • Tina Thompson

Non-Players

  • Steve Fisher (coach)
  • Ed Hightower (official)
  • Bob Huggins (coach)
  • Willie West (coach)

Notable holdover candidates

  • Muggsy Bogues
  • Maurice Cheeks
  • Tim Hardaway
  • Sidney Moncrief
  • Jack Sikma
  • Rudy Tomjanovich (coach)
  • Ben Wallace  
  • Chris Webber

How it works

Players, referees and coaches are eligible for the Hall of Fame when they have been fully retired for three full seasons, a recent change which started with the 2018 class from the previous minimum of four fully retired seasons.

Here's how the Hall of Fame describes the election process:

There are two Screening Committees: North American and Women's. These Committees review and select individual nominees (finalists) to be reviewed and voted upon for Enshrinement by the Honors Committee. The North American Committee consists of nine voting members; the Women's Committee consists of seven voting members. In order to advance to the Honors Committee, a nominee must receive a minimum number of affirmative votes from the respective Screening Committee (North American: 7 of 9; Women's: 5 of 7).

If a nominee receives zero affirmative votes for three consecutive years (0-27 or 0-21), that nominee's candidacy is suspended for five years after which time he/she may again be reviewed by the appropriate Screening Committee. There is no limitation on the number of years a nominee may be considered for Enshrinement by a Screening Committee provided that the nominee receives at least one affirmative vote in any given three-year period.

The Screening Committees may put forth a maximum number of Finalists to the Honors Committee (North American: 10; Women's: 4)."