The NBA season is just around the corner which means that teams are starting to form their rosters for the upcoming campaign. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best duos to watch out for next year.
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We are presently living in an age of superteams, as well as outstanding duos. There are All-Star duos playing in the NBA Finals right now, and the greatest teams usually feature the league’s most dominating duos. Because player mobility is at an all-time high right now, All-Star duos are forming all around the league. Looking forward to the 2021-2022 NBA season, it’s time to evaluate the top-10 impactful duos in the league.
Due to Kawhi Leonard’s injury, the combination of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George is not featured in this ranking. Due to an ACL injury that held him out of the Clippers’ playoff run, Leonard will be sidelined for at least another nine months. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are also not included since Simmons is presently on the market. Here are the ten greatest NBA duos for next season, without further ado.
Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic is a superstar for the Dallas Mavericks, and the Slovenian is already one of the greatest all-around players in the NBA. Kristaps Porzingis, unfortunately for the Mavericks and Doncic, has not been the sidekick many anticipated him to be. Porzingis averaged 20.1 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game last season, but those statistics dropped to a dismal 13.1 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game this season.
Porzingis should rebound next season, even if he has a poor year. After all, when he was known as “The Unicorn,” he was an All-Star with the New York Knicks. When healthy and playing confidently, Porzingis can be an All-Star in terms of an all-around game for a center. However, he has struggled in Dallas alongside the Mavericks’ franchise star for whatever reason.
Despite this, Dallas boasts a fantastic tandem in the NBA because to Luka. The Mavericks will continue to construct a contender around Luka, and they should have faith in Porzingis to deliver his finest performance. Luka may have a chance to lead Dallas beyond the first round of the playoffs if he succeeds. Next season, Doncic will be an MVP contender, which means he’ll be part of one of the greatest duos in the league.
Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal are tenth and tenth, respectively.
The Washington Wizards had a rough start to the season this season, but they were able to recover and reach the playoffs. The Washington Wizards ended with a 34-38 record and qualified for the playoffs because of Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal’s incredible skill. Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the fourth time in his career despite being moved to a different club to begin the season.
While playing 36.4 minutes per game for Washington, Westbrook averaged 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 11.7 assists. Westbrook was a dominating point guard despite his poor shooting percentages (43.9 percent FG) for a point player. At 32 years old, his athleticism is still unmatched, and he will always have a physical edge over any point guard in the NBA. Alongside him was Bradley Beal, the NBA’s second-leading scorer.
Beal has developed into one of the league’s greatest scorers, averaging 31.3 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting. Beal is a natural shooter from the mid-range and can knock down threes at a high rate (34.9 percent on 6.2 attempts per game). With a year under Westbrook and Beal’s belts, Washington should be a playoff team next season, and they’ll be a dominating offensive force once again.
Trae Young and John Collins are ranked 9th and 9th, respectively.
Everyone knew Trae Young could play, but no one anticipated him to have as much of an effect as he has this season. Young led the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals with an average of 25.3 points per game and 9.4 assists per game in 63 games. Young, despite his little stature of 6’1″, is undoubtedly one of the league’s greatest guards.
John Collins, an agile power forward who can shoot and finish lobs from his point guard, was his partner this season. Collins, who averaged 17.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this season, is likely to return to the Hawks following free agency. Collins wants a big deal, but no matter what, he shouldn’t leave Atlanta.
On offense, Young and Collins make a great team because they connect often and in interesting ways. Young will be 23 next season and Collins will be 24, giving them nearly a decade to work together as a productive combination. Young and Collins will be a top-10 combination next season if Collins remains in Atlanta, based on their performance this season.
Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are ranked 8th and 8th, respectively.
(Image courtesy of Heaven32)
Donovan Mitchell had a fantastic season with the Utah Jazz, scoring 26.4 points per game and 5.2 assists per game while guiding the club to the NBA’s best record. The Jazz improved their championship chances because to Mitchell’s development as a star. Rudy Gobert, of course, was a huge assistance.
Gobert earned his third Defensive Player of the Year Award and is the defensive center with the greatest effect. He stands 7’1″ tall and weighs 250 pounds, making him an immovable force while defending the rim. Utah was a force all season, until they ran into the Clippers in the playoffs, with Gobert dominating on defense and Mitchell handling the offense.
Utah will be a championship contender again next season, but it may depend on if Michael Conley re-signs with the team. The Jazz will be a contender in the West as long as Gobert and Mitchell remain a combination, but Mitchell may have to step up his game once again to lead the club to the top.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are ranked 7th and 7th, respectively.
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This season, the Celtics’ All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were both outstanding. Despite this, Boston finished fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 5-5 record. But it doesn’t take away from Tatum and Brown’s natural potential as a pair. Tatum and Brown have the potential to lead Boston to future success if they stick together.
Boston will need to acquire another great player to go over the hump, but the foundation is in place. Tatum is on his way to become one of the NBA’s greatest scorers, while Brown made the transition from role player to All-Star last season. Tatum scored 26.4 points per game, while Brown scored 24.7 points per game. There’s little reason to think the pair won’t come close to those numbers again next season, given how much better they’ve become each year.
Tatum and Brown will be one of the greatest duos in the league in 2022 and beyond. They are offensive studs who can take over games and can play excellent perimeter defense. New general manager Brad Stevens has a lot of work ahead of him in terms of assembling the rest of the squad, as Tatum and Brown may need some assistance to compete in the Eastern Conference with the likes of Brooklyn and Milwaukee.
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are ranked 6th and 6th, respectively.
Nikola Jokic was named league MVP, and he deservedly so. Jokic led the Denver Nuggets to the third seed in the Western Conference with 26.4 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per game, and 8.3 assists per game in 72 games. Jokic established himself as the greatest passing center of all time, in addition to playing like the best big man in the game.
Unfortunately for Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, Jamal Murray suffered an unexpected injury that forced him to miss the playoffs this season. Murray averaged 21.2 points per game and 4.8 assists per game during the regular season. Murray was amazing in last year’s playoffs, scoring 26.5 points per game and 6.6 assists per game while leading the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals.
If Murray stays healthy, Denver will have one of the greatest backcourts in the league. Murray can kill teams when he gets hot from the perimeter, and Jokic is the greatest big man in the NBA right now. It’s conceivable that a different Western Conference team would have reached the Finals if Jamal Murray and MVP Jokic had been healthy this playoffs.
5. Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker
Chris Paul, 36, has been the primary protagonist of the Phoenix Suns’ incredible season. Because he has stayed healthy for the most part and led the Suns back into the playoffs, the point guard has been the greatest offseason acquisition by any club this season. He is, after all, in his first NBA Finals.
However, looking forward to next season, it is clear that Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton will be Phoenix’s most dominating combination. Despite the fact that Chris Paul has improved his game, Booker and Ayton have youth and skill on their side. This season, Booker averaged 25.6 points per game, while Ayton put up 14.4 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game. In both of their initial playoff campaigns, Booker increased his scoring to 27.7 points per game, while Ayton averaged 16.0 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.
Because of Chris Paul’s propensity to improve his teammates, this Suns combo may possibly reach the top three if he stays in Phoenix next season. Even if he departs Phoenix, Booker and Ayton are the Suns’ future, and both will almost certainly make All-Star teams in the near future under new head coach Monty Williams.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are the fourth and fifth players on the list.
courtesy of USATSI
One of the greatest duos in NBA history is Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Steph and Klay established the Warriors’ championship reputation throughout the league even before Kevin Durant joined them to make them unstoppable. They are widely regarded as the two best shooters in history, according to many fans and commentators across the globe.
Curry and Klay may, in reality, be to blame for the current state of the game. As long as you have All-Star shooters, teams understood how three-pointers might make their attacks more explosive. Curry and Klay were mostly responsible for the NBA championship victory in 2015, which they repeated with Kevin Durant in 2017 and 2018. In the next season, the Warriors pair may be a major headache for the rest of the league.
Curry was an MVP candidate this season, averaging 32.0 points per game and 5.8 assists per game without Klay, and he will still be the greatest point guard in the world next season. Klay Thompson is expected to return from an Achilles injury and remains one of the greatest two-way players in the NBA. As long as Klay can regain his All-Star form, the Warriors will be back in championship contention.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the third and fourth players on the list.
To begin the season, LeBron James and Antony Davis were the greatest combination in the NBA, but injuries to both players prevented them from really leading the Lakers to the top record in the Western Conference. If LeBron and Davis had remained healthy, they might be playing in the NBA Finals right now. No combination comes close to what James and Davis offer to the Lakers in terms of size and ability. The fact that LeBron will be 37 years old next year is the reason they aren’t number one on this list.
LeBron James continued to be the NBA’s smartest player, scoring 25.0 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game, and 7.8 assists per game. James outperforms everyone in the NBA when it comes to making his teammates better. Davis was also effective, averaging 21.8 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game, but this was his poorest season since his freshman year. However, even though LeBron James will be 37 years old next season, LeBron and Davis remain a top-3 combination.
The Lakers will most certainly reorganize next year, perhaps with some new acquisitions, putting them back in contention for the NBA title. A healthy Anthony Davis is the greatest big player in the NBA, and James has the brains to be a leader on and off the court. Unless LeBron can reclaim his place as the greatest player in the NBA while also overcoming his age, he and Davis will be a distant third entering next season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are the second and third best players in the NBA.
The Milwaukee Bucks are now in the NBA Finals, and Giannis Antetokonmpo and Khris Middleton are the primary reason for it. The Bucks had a strong season, finishing third in the Eastern Conference with a 46-26 record and beating the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Thanks to strong efforts by Giannis and Middleton, the Bucks were able to handle Trae Young and the Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With 28.1 points per game, 11.0 rebounds per game, and 5.9 assists per game this season, Giannis Antetokounmpo is clearly a top-5 player in the NBA. At 6’11”, the two-time MVP is the league’s most dominant athletic specimen, and despite his inability to shoot consistently, he is spectacular on both ends of the floor. Khris Middleton, a two-time All-Star, is the ideal complement to Giannis since he scored 20.4 points per game while shooting 41.4 percent from three. While Giannis isn’t a shooter, Middleton is.
Giannis and Middleton are a top-two combo in the NBA in terms of defensive and offensive efficiency. Since Giannis became MVP and Middleton became an All-Star, the Bucks have been a constant championship challenger, and they will continue that momentum into next season. The effect of this combination is unaffected by whether the Bucks win the title this year or not, but a victory would push them over the top as the greatest in the league. However, Giannis and Middleton are now ranked second in the NBA, behind just one superstar combination.
1. James Harden and Kevin Durant
This past season, Kevin Durant was the greatest player in the NBA and the most unstoppable scorer. During the regular season, Durant averaged 26.9 points per game for Brooklyn, but in the playoffs, he increased it to 34.3 points per game on 51.4 percent shooting. Because the Nets lost important players like Kyrie Irving and James Harden, Durant’s postseason was more impressive.
When it comes to The Beard, he and Kevin Durant are the greatest combination in the NBA. As a member of the Nets and the Houston Rockets, James Harden won the league MVP award in 2018 and averaged 24.6 points per game and 10.8 assists per game. No combination comes close to Durant and Harden in terms of sheer offensive potency. These two guys may be the greatest one-on-one players in the NBA since Kobe Bryant in his peak, and they can’t be stopped by even the best defenders. Modern NBA regulations, of course, give Durant and Harden even more power to demolish opponents with their scoring prowess.
The Brooklyn Nets should have won the NBA title this season, but Harden (and Kyrie Irving) were both injured at the worst moment, leaving Durant to deal with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on his own. Durant tried his hardest, but he was unable to complete the task. Looking forward to next season, Brooklyn is the favorite to win the league, thanks to the greatest combination in the game, Durant and Harden.
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