A dynamic duo features two superstar players that can carry a team on their backs. Over the years, we have seen duos range from Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. While these duos helped their respective teams win championships, not all great duos won a ring.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, and James Harden and Chris Paul are just a few in recent memory. With the next regime of players on the rise, the next wave of dynamic duos are here before us. In regards to the best young duos in the NBA, these are the ‘top 10 young under 25’ dynamic duos in the league today.
10. De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton (Sacramento Kings)
Fox is having his best season
With the addition of Haliburton, Fox is able to move to shooting guard and allow Haliburton to play point. In his rookie season, the 21-year old is averaging over 13 points and five assists. If that number can grow to 20 and six, the team could have one of their best backcourt tandems in franchise history.
9. Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies)
Morant, the 2020 Rookie of the Year, is just 21 years old and is making strides towards being the team’s first All-Star guard since Mike Conley Jr. Averaging over 20 points and seven assists, Morant is a human highlight reel with flashy dunks and passes.
Jackson remains a conundrum. He hasn’t consistently played healthy the last two seasons, but when he plays, Jackson has 20-point, 10-rebound potential. Until Jackson can play a season all the way through healthy, the jury remains out on the 21-year old.
8. LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges (Charlotte Hornets)
At just 19 years old, Ball owns a slash line of nearly 15 points, six rebounds, and six assists. He is the youngest player to ever record a triple-double and is a leading candidate to win Rookie of the Year despite missing time with a wrist injury. Ball is the first exciting player, potentially ever, for the Hornets at this young age.
At 23, Bridges is a late bloomer out of Michigan State but is having a career season shooting over 50% from the field. This could be one of the better inside-out forces on the rise.
7. Collin Sexton and Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Both Sexton and Garland are enjoying career seasons, averaging over a combined 40 points and 10 assists per game. Both players bring an exciting rise to the Cavaliers if they continue to progress.
As for Sexton, his move to shooting guard has allowed him to become an elite scorer. At 22 years old, we haven’t seen the best of Sexton just yet. As for the 21-year old Garland, he has already doubled his rookie campaign's point and assist total. Year 3 could be a breakout season for him.
6. Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
The combination of Herro and Adebayo would be higher had Herro’s production not tailed off as of recently. Herro’s shooting percentages have dipped off compared to his rookie year where he swept the nation in the NBA Finals. Herro is just 21 years old, which means that he could just be in a sophomore slump.
Adebayo is an All-Star, hustle player, defensive game-changer, and max-level player. Assuming Herro returns to his original ways, this Heat could rise as high as the top-3. Adebayo is on the verge of averaging a double-double for the second straight season and is just 23 years old.
5. Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns)
Unfortunately, the stock for Booker and Ayton are lower because of the Chris Paul effect. Before Paul arrived, the Suns were not a playoff contender. With Paul’s addition, the Suns are fighting for a No. 1 overall seed in the Western Conference. However, Paul is 36 years old and won’t be around forever, which makes the combo of Booker and Ayton the future faces of the organization.
Booker and Ayton were believed to have a ceiling of being the next Kobe and Shaq. Booker once scored 70 points in a game, while Ayton is long, strong, inside force. In a few years when the 24 and 22-year-old are in their prime, we could see a resemblance.
4. Trae Young and John Collins (Atlanta Hawks)
When Young averaged 29.6 points and 9.3 assists per game last season, the NBA world believed the then 21-year old was a future star in the making. Young is still enjoying a strong season at age 22, close to 25 points and nine assists. There is still plenty of reason to believe that Young’s ceiling is as high as Kyrie Irving's.
As for Collins, after a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds last season, his production has not matched last year’s standards. At 23 years old, it feels like Collins still has untapped potential, which makes the Hawks looming decision with his upcoming free agency very intriguing.
3. Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets)
This is technically Porter’s third season in the league, but due to an injury, it’s his second full season. Porter is putting on a strong display at 22 years old as he averages close to 19 points and eight rebounds a game. Out of high school, many believed that Porter was going to be a future No. 1 overall pick. Maybe at full health, that could finally be a reality.
As for Murray, before the torn ACL, Murray was a 40-point scoring threat. This was the first time the 24-year old was averaging over 20 points per game. Once Murray comes back, the tandem of Murray and Porter will essentially be a Big 3 with Nikola Jokic.
2. Jayson Tatum and Jaylon Brown (Boston Celtics)
After watching Tatum score 60 points and lead the Celtics back from a 32-point deficit against the Spurs, all the fans in Boston had to confirm their feelings about the superstar. This has been a breakout year for the 23-year old, putting up a slash line of close to 26 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Combine that with Brown’s line of 24 points, six rebounds, and three assists, the Celtics own one of the best combos in the league.
Brown is just 24 years old, but what stands out with these two is their resume and experience. The two have played together their whole career. Both have been major parts of the Celtics' run to the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the last four seasons. Eventually, Brown and Tatum are going to get over the hump. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett had to form a Big 3 in order to win a title. Before that, the last dynamic duo to win a title was Larry Bird and Kevin McHale. Can Tatum and Brown replicate history?
1. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans)
Clearly, the New Orleans Pelicans struck gold with Williamson, who is putting close to LeBron-like numbers at the age of 20. In his first full season with no minutes restrictions, Williamson is averaging close to 27 points and seven rebounds. We still haven’t seen what a fully developed Zion can do, and that is terrifying to the rest of the league.
As for Ingram, making an All-Star appearance was the beginning of his turn towards stardom. The 24-year old is averaging more points and assists this season, while his shooting percentages are still on par with the rest of the league. Ingram’s ceiling was once Kevin Durant. Even if Ingram is a “great value” version of Durant, the combination of a player like that and Zion has the future in New Orleans very hyped.
Williamson and Ingram are the best duo moving forward, which could be great for the city of New Orleans. The franchise has never made the NBA Finals. With Williamson and Ingram leading the way, that could change during this decade.