Poll: NBA’s Best Newly-Formed Star Duo

After NBA teams spent the last decade trying to emulate the 2010 Heat’s “Big Three” approach to roster-building, those clubs didn’t necessarily move away from that strategy during the 2019 offseason. However, when the Lakers came up short in their effort to add Kawhi Leonard to their roster to complement LeBron James and Anthony Davis, it helped create a new storyline.

Rather than teaming up in threes this offseason, many of the NBA’s star players joined up with just one other All-Star, creating a handful of new dynamic duos around the league.

The Lakers acquired Davis – a perennial MVP candidate going forward – to team up with a four-time MVP in James.

In rebuffing the Lakers’ advances, Leonard – a two-time Finals MVP – headed to the Clippers, who also acquired Paul George – third in MVP voting last season – in a trade with Oklahoma City.

The Nets cleared enough cap room for two maximum-salary free agents, and used those slots to land Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who have combined for a total of 16 All-Star berths, 11 All-NBA nods, and three championships.

The Rockets reunited a pair of former MVP winners when they struck a deal to land triple-double machine Russell Westbrook from Oklahoma City, adding him to a backcourt that already featured the league’s leading scorer, James Harden.

Even the Warriors got into the act after losing Durant, acquiring All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade to share the backcourt with two-time MVP Stephen Curry to start the 2019/20 season.

Golden State has two more former All-NBA players in Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, and several other clubs around the league have their own dynamic duos, including Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in Portland, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in Philadelphia, and Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton in Milwaukee, among others.

Today though, we’re focusing on newly-formed pairings, so we want to know which of the five star duos listed above you’d most like to have on your roster moving forward.

We’re looking at both the short- and long-term here, so injuries like Durant’s Achilles tear should be taken into account — the fact that KD will likely miss all of next season negatively impacts Brooklyn’s duo, but we want you to consider the next few years, rather than just 2019/20.

Players’ contract situations and injury histories matter too — maybe the Clippers’ duo is slightly less appealing due to the fact that both players are only guaranteed to be around for the next two seasons, or because George is coming off two shoulder surgeries. Age is also a factor, since there’s no guarantee how many more All-NBA seasons a 34-year-old like LeBron has left.

With all that in mind, which newly-formed star duo do you like best going forward? Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to weigh in with your thoughts!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

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24 thoughts on “Poll: NBA’s Best Newly-Formed Star Duo

    • FromTheCheapSeats

      Garland and Sexton are waaaaay down the list.

      Of the other “Dynamic Duos” not mentioned, off the top of my head, I like a bunch better…

      Jaren Jackson & Ja Morant
      Dennis Smith Jr & RJ Barrett
      Jrue Holiday & Zion Williamson
      Nikola Jokic & Jamal Murray
      Kemba Walker & Jayson Tatum

  1. I was going to make a joke about Walker and Hayward but then i saw Curry and Russell listed and now im kinda serious

  2. nentwigs

    “Stephen Curry / D’Angelo Russell (Nets)”

    Isn’t that the Golden State Warriors?
    Or have I missed a BLOCKBUSTER transaction??

  3. goldenmisfit

    Cannot say it’s George and Leonard they are too similar in style same goes for curry and Russell I would say it comes down to LeBron and Davis or Irving and Durrant. But, being Durrant will be out this entire season you have to go out with LeBron and Davis

  4. FromTheCheapSeats

    For the long-term, it’d be hard to take anyone over Porzingis and Doncic.

  5. Chucktoad1

    Russell, Curry? Really? Curry’s great but Russell’s not on any of these guys level.

    Plus the Warriors dynamic duo is always going be The Splash Bros. Injury or no.

    • hiflew

      He was an All Star last year. I think you are underselling him a bit. He may not be MVP-level, but he is at least on the same level as Kyrie.

      • Chucktoad1

        I like Russell, he’s getting there. Still young. Top level are guys like James, Curry, Durant, Harden, Leonard and Antetokounmpo. Then you have guys George, Davis, Westbrook, and Butler. He’s on the next tier under Embiid, Gobert, Irving and Walker with guys like Mitchell and Simmons.

  6. x%sure

    James & Davis have the best pictures and they don’t even have to be photoshopped.
    link to google.com
    link to lakersnation.com
    link to riverbeats.life
    link to cbssports.com
    James will get so many assists to Davis, PG or not, PF or not. Davis might get jealous and rack up more than three himself… He is improving in that area.

    George & Leonard are starting from scratch… no buildup, just splat here we go. Russ & Harden is a possible trainwreck. The D’lo duos will be awkward but probably be okay, with Curry anyway, until the playoffs. Cannot picture D’lo with Draymond or Klay, but Steph is flexible.

    (Except for the rehab) Irving & Durant will have fun in Brooklyn. I want to say fun in the… ? Island? Does Brooklyn have a nickname like big apple? Nevermind what the critics say, the neighborhood is changing.

    • hiflew

      Brooklyn is the Big Apple. It’s not really a city by itself anymore, it’s just part of NYC.

  7. Reflect

    If everyone listed were guaranteed to be 100% healthy, I’d say Lebron and Davis. But lebron is getting up there in years so i don’t really trust him to stay on the court.

    I’ll go with Kawhi George.

  8. Dodgethis

    I know the poll is new duos, but the splash brothers will be the best duo as they have been for years. They are better together than any of these other groups.

  9. KL and PG13 will certainly be the most interesting to watch. The ultimate test of combo F mania, that’s been building for the past few years in the league’s FO’s, as PG mania has been subsiding.

  10. Rosstradamus

    Conley/Mitchell flying under the radar(not one mention yet) don’t think they’re #1 out of this group for sure, but they could be sneaky good together!

  11. jiegar

    when healthy… KD and Kyrie are devestating on offense.
    defence… KL and PG

    playoff… LJ and AD
    but Clippers have a better team and coach. finals …

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