After a wild offseason for the NBA, the landscape obviously looks much different than it did just a few months ago. It seems like guys are looking to win on the shoulders of a duo rather than a trio or bigger. I am salivating for next season as so many duos have come to fruition. I guess I am jumping on the bandwagon of ranking the top 10 duos for 2019-2020.
Just Missed The Cut
Nikola Jokic & Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets
This isn’t necessarily a knock on them. The duo depth is insane. Personally, I think Joker is an absolute stud and Murray is significantly better than average. It is hard for me to put Jamal Murray in a top 10 duo in today’s NBA climate.
Kemba Walker & Jayson Tatum/Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics
As much as I would love to put them there, I can’t. Part of me wonders if this is actually a duo or trio. I want to see how Tatum and Hayward respond to playing with Kemba. I think both will thrive, but who gets the major benefit? Maybe we won’t be able to decide.
10. Donovan Mitchell & Mike Conley, Utah Jazz
The Jazz have been in serious need of a point guard and they got a damn good one with Conley. He is a great two way guard who can facilitate and play lockdown D. Pairing him with Mitchell could be dangerous for a squad that won 50 games last year. Maybe they can finally get another deep playoff run.
9. Luka Doncic & Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks
I can’t wait to watch these two go to work together. I hope they can get the Mavs back into some deep playoff runs. As a massive Mark Cuban and Luka fan, I would love nothing more than to see it happen. When they traded for Unicorn last season while he was shelved, it left me itching to see those two together.
8. Ben Simmons & Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
One of the best facilitators in the league paired with one of the best bigs. On paper, it’s the blueprint for some of the greatest duos ever like Penny/Shaq or Stockton/Malone. The 76ers should be poised for another deep run in the postseason despite some major changes to their roster.
7. Damian Lillard & CJ McCollum, Portland Trailblazers
DAME OVER! These two stole the show for most of the postseason and rightfully so. They proved their worth this past season after multiple early exits previously. I love how they play off each other so well. Both are willing to let the other shine. I just love the unselfishness of both.
6. Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
Obviously Durant will be sidelined for a while. Once he returns, there is no doubt this will be one of the more explosive duos. Both are elite offensive talents. Someone may knock the fact I don’t have them in the top 5. The reason being one is nonexistent on defense and both are mentally soft. Kyrie is definitely not a batman and I am just not 100% sure if Durant is. Cha-cha-cha Charmin.
5. Giannis Antetekoumpo & Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis is an absolute freak. After winning MVP and showing out big in the postseason, he put the NBA on notice. Middleton has developed into a great 3 and D guy to pair with him. The Bucks look poised to be a great franchise for the next several years on the coattail of those two.
4. Kawhi Leonard & Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers
Kawhi is an absolute stud. There is no doubt about it. The reason I slide the duo slightly is because of the second part of it. I know Paul George is coming off of an MVP type season. But, pump the brakes. George is a great player and you will never hear me say otherwise. But it took 9 years in the league for him to have that kind of a season. He had a career high in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. He will always be a great defender. Offensively, I think it is valid to say this year could have been a complete anomaly.
3. Russell Westbrook & James Harden, Houston Rockets
The fact these two get to play alongside each other is exciting. I already wrote previously it would have been interesting to see how we talk about them if that Thunder team stayed together. These two have ranked in the top 5-7 players in the league for the last several seasons. I am actually real excited to see this reunion unfold.
2. LeBron James & Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
To the opposite of George is LeBron who’s Lakers didn’t win many games and despite the numbers, he didn’t look like himself last season. I am not ready to say he is not still the best player in the league until I have more than a year to see that. Of course these two got their request to play alongside each other making the Lakers instantly dangerous and exciting.
1. Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
This is going to sound like the biggest cop out and I don’t care. These two have won multiple titles with each other. They are the splash brothers. They are the guys who transcended the entire sport into 3-ball pandemonium. You have two of the greatest shooters of all time, maybe the two greatest (one for sure), playing in a league that relies so heavily on hitting it from deep. It’s still Curry and Klay.