On Friday, the Phoenix Suns announced the signing of Zoran Dragic, the 25-year-old brother of reigning Most Improved Player Goran Dragic. They are the second pair of brothers Phoenix has reunited over the last few years. The first, obviously, was Markieff and Marcus Morris, the former of which really came into his own as an NBA player last year.
In any event, while Phoenix transforms itself into the real city of brotherly love, the number of siblings in the NBA—particularly on the same team—appears to be on the rise. Tyler and Ben Hansbrough shared time in Indiana, as well, and the recent influx of Zellers and Plumlees—even though they haven’t been NBA teammates—has been a bit overwhelming over the last three or four years.
Even guys like Carlos Boozer, Kevin Durant, Jrue Holiday, J.R. Smith and others have seen their siblings brought on board their team’s Summer League squads. This is, more than it ever has been, a family business.
But a lot of that is because talent runs in families. There’s simply no questioning that. Often in high schools and colleges across the country, siblings excel together at music, theater, academics and of course sports, but only a small handful of those talented siblings will see multiple offspring from the same family make a name for themselves on an elite level. It’s not necessarily a rarity for that to happen, but it’s certainly not common, either.
In the entire history of the NBA, there have been right around 50 examples of brothers who both have played in the league, and when one considers that there are over 400 players in the NBA at any given time, that’s a pretty small sample.
Today’s top five looks at the best of those sibling pairings, though most of them never did play together at the NBA level. Here are the most talented brothers the league has ever seen:
#5 – Tom and Dick Van Arsdale – The Van Arsdale twins dominated at Indiana University back in the ’60s, and in their first professional season in 1966 both were named to the All-Rookie team. Dick was a three-time All-Star and one of the best free-throw shooters in the league, while Tom, who played for six different teams, still holds the NBA record for most regular season games without a playoff appearance.
#4 – Jon, Brent and Drew Barry – Jon was a solid role player throughout his career (and is now a solid analyst for ESPN), but Brent started almost everywhere he played and even won two NBA championships with the Spurs in 2005 and 2007. Adding an extra layer to this is brother Drew, who saw spotty action in the NBA for Golden State, Seattle and Atlanta. The fourth brother, Scooter, also played basketball but was the only one not to make the NBA. All are the sons of Hall of Famer Rick Barry.
#3 – Dominique and Gerald Wilkins – Dominique’s NBA resume is well-documented— nine All-Star selections, seven All-NBA team selections, a scoring title, and of course two dunk contest wins—but younger brother Gerald played 14 full seasons in the NBA. In what is a rarity on this list, these two brothers actually were able to play on the same team, the Orlando Magic, in 1999, putting an exclamation point on two very respectable careers.
#2 – Horace and Harvey Grant – With three championships alongside Michael Jordan and four All-Defensive team honors, Horace clearly had a more memorable career than his twin brother, but both were solid rebounders, and Harvey even had three seasons where he averaged over 18 PPG.
#1 – Pau and Marc Gasol – Pau is a two-time champion and four-time NBA All-Star with the L.A. Lakers, and at one time not too long ago would have been considered the best power forward in the game. He won Rookie of the Year in 2002 and before coming to the NBA was one of the best players in the history of Spain. Younger brother Marc also has come into his own as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, earning an All-Star selection of his own in 2012 and a Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013. A fun fact about these two: they were traded for each other in the deal that sent Pau from Memphis to L.A. At the time, nobody considered Marc a respectable NBA prospect, but that trade clearly worked out well for both teams.
Marcus and Markieff Morris – Drafted back-to-back in the middle of the 2011 Draft’s first round, these twins started off on different Western Conference teams but ultimately landed back together a short time later. Interestingly, the reunion seemed to make both of them better.
Brook and Robin Lopez – Both top-15 picks in the 2008 Draft, the Lopez twins have seen varying degrees of success in their young careers, though both look like they’ll be around for a while as long as they stay healthy. Brook has been the better NBA prospect so far, appearing in an All-Star game and showing loads of talent scoring in the post. Robin has jumped around a little early in his career but could be a starter in the right situation. He also has much cooler hair than his brother.
Jason and Jarron Collins – Stanford just has this thing for attracting talented twin big guys to play for their program, but long before there was Robin and Brook Lopez, there was Jason and Jarron Collins. Neither player really had a difficult time finding work over the course of their careers, but neither was ever anything close to All-Star quality, either.
Stephen and Joey Graham – Coming out of college (both Grahams attended Oklahoma State), Joey was considered the better pro prospect, and consequently he was drafted in the first round (15th overall). Stephen went undrafted, but both players have enjoyed pretty consistent careers in the league. Turns out there really wasn’t a whole lot of difference between these twins’ level of play, after all.
Mark and Brent Price – Both Mark and Brent made their money in the league by shooting from deep, but Mark was the four-time All-Star (including one All-NBA first team selection), and was able to turn his sharpshooting into two three-point contest victories in 1993 and 1994.
Bernard and Albert King – If you do an internet search for “Albert King,” you’re probably going to get more about the famous blues musician than you are the younger brother of former NBA scoring champion Bernard King, but Al wasn’t as bad a player as his relative obscurity may suggest. He even had one season in which he averaged 17 PPG. That’s nothing compared to Bernard’s impressive career scoring numbers, All-Star appearances and All-NBA team inclusions, but as NBA siblings go, they were still a pretty impressive duo.
Brandon and Kareem Rush – Both Brandon and Kareem have had respectable careers as shooting guards in the NBA, with the Brandon sticking around the league much longer than his older brother. The really sad part of this particular story is that it could have been a familial NBA trio had the oldest brother, JaRon, been able to make the Seattle SuperSonics after having signed in 2000 despite not having been drafted. Personal issues resulted in his being cut, however, so Brandon and Kareem were the only ones who got the opportunity to play at the highest level. These guys were no slouches, obviously, but three siblings would have put them in Barry territory.
Jeff and Marquis Teague – Jeff certainly has seen his fair share of success as an Atlanta Hawk. Marquis, though? Not so much. Not yet, at least.
The Plumlees – Miles and Mason already are in the NBA, and both actually have had quite a bit of success early in their careers. One more, Marshall, is coming up through the Duke system just like his big brothers. Is there room for one more?
The Zellers – Cody and Tyler look like they’ll have NBA jobs for a while, but older brother Luke had a harder time sticking. He spent a short time with Phoenix a few years ago but wasn’t quite as gifted as his younger siblings. Seems like in this case the younger they are, the better they are at basketball.
As parents, it would be hard not to feel overwhelming pride as you watched your children grow into talented young men (and, of course, multi-millionaires). Of course, while talent does often run in families, it doesn’t always run right to the NBA, and that’s what makes this list of gentlemen so impressive.
Grizzlies trade Jonas Valanciunas to Pelicans for Eric Bledsoe, Steven Adams
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Andrew Lopez, the New Orleans Pelicans are shipping guard Eric Bledsoe, center Steven Adams, the Nos. 10 and 40 picks of the 2021 NBA Draft, and two future first-round picks to the Memphis Grizzlies for center Jonas Valanciunas and the Nos. 17 and 51 picks of this week’s upcoming draft. So, the Pelicans are giving up the Lakers’ 2022 first-round pick. Valanciunas, the 29-year-old veteran center, averaged 17.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game in 62 games played throughout the 2020-21 season. He also shot 59 percent from the field. The seven-foot Lithuanian also ranks fourth overall in true shooting percentage (.616) among active players. On July 11, 2019, Valanciunas signed a three-year, $45 million contract with the Grizzlies. He is set to earn $4 million next season.
Additionally, in 71 games played last season, Bledsoe averaged 12.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. The six-foot-one guard also shot 42.1 percent from the field in the 2020-21 season. On November 23, 2020, as part of a four-team trade, Bledsoe and Adams were traded to the Pelicans from the Oklahoma City Thunder, along with two future first-round picks and the right to swap two additional first-round picks. Last season, in 71 games played, Bledsoe averaged 12.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. His field goal percentage was 42.1 percent as well. The 11-year veteran is set to earn $18,125,000 in the 2021-22 season. Before he was traded to New Orleans, on March 4, 2019, the guard signed a four-year, $70 million extension. He earned his first All-Defensive second-team selection in the 2019-20 season.
The Grizzlies and Pelicans have agreed on a trade to send Jonas Valanciunas, 2021 Nos. 17 and 51 picks to New Orleans for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, 2021 picks Nos. 10 and 40 and a protected 2022 first-round pick via the Lakers, per @wojespn pic.twitter.com/q7ZoqzpJjt
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 26, 2021
Moreover, in 58 games played last season, Adams averaged 7.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. The six-foot-eleven center ranks fifth among active players for effective field goal shooting percentage (.591). The eight-year veteran also ranks third in offensive rebounding percentage, with an active statistic of 14 percent. On November 23, 2020, the same day Adams was traded to the Pelicans, he signed a two-year, $35 million extension. For next season, he is projected to earn $17,073,171. To add to this trade news, the Grizzlies and Pelicans are swapping second-round picks in this year’s draft, too. Referencing NBA.com’s “Consensus Mock Draft” article, with the No. 10 pick of the draft, the Pelicans were originally expected to draft either Josh Giddey or Davion Mitchell at this number. However, plans have now changed.
From ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the trade will not be finalized until August 6th, and this is because of the annual salaries of these said players. Free agency will begin on August 2, 6:00 p.m. (EST). Furthermore, per Spotrac’s 2021-22 NBA salary cap table, next season’s luxury tax threshold is $136,606,000. The team’s current available luxury tax space is $22,555,195. The Pelicans and Grizzlies have a salary cap maximum of $112,414,000. Brandon Ingram, Bledsoe, and Adams had a combined cap percentage of 39.2 percent. Considering that Bledsoe and Adams are traded away, this will clear up $35,198,171 of dead cap space.
Yesterday, CBS Sports reported the news pertaining to Lonzo Ball’s desire to remain in New Orleans. With extra cap space, the team is expected to re-sign the 23-year-old guard. Likewise, for the Grizzlies, the teams has a luxury tax space of $37,019,952. Their current cap space is $8,321,229. As stated before, the transactions have not yet been finalized. The Grizzlies’ outgoing cap is now $14 million, but from the contracts of Adams and Bledsoe, they are bringing in $35,198,171.
NBA Trade Rumors: Jazz considering trade offers for Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale, and No. 30 pick of the 2021 NBA Draft
Per one interesting announcement from Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Utah Jazz are open to trading forward Bojan Bogdanovic, forward-guard Joe Ingles, small forward Royce O’Neale, and the No. 30 pick of the 2021 NBA Draft. Fischer stated, “The Utah Jazz are known to be one of the few teams actually searching to move playoff-tested talent. Retaining Mike Conley is an offseason priority, sources said, and the Jazz have held numerous discussions with teams around the league about offloading salary to create for Conley in free agency.” Point guard Mike Conley is set to become a free agent this offseason. Though, general manager Justin Zanik will aim to re-sign the 33-year-old guard in the coming weeks. Conley earned $34.5 million in the 2020-21 season.
“League personnel most often mention Joe Ingles as the Jazz wing to watch, and Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale are also considered available for trade as Utah narrows its focus towards building a contender around Donovan Mitchel. The Jazz are also open to discuss trading their No. 30 pick, sources said.” In the 2020-21 season, in 72 games played, Bogdanovic averaged 17 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. On May 1, 2021, in the team’s 106-102 victory over the Toronto Raptors, the six-foot-seven Croatian scored a season-high 34 points, shooting 12-for-22, and he finished his performance with four rebounds and four assists as well. On July 7, 2019, he signed a four-year, $73 million contract with the Jazz.
In 67 games played last season, Ingles averaged 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. The six-foot-eight forward is set to earn $14 million in the 2021-22 season. Plus, among the mentioned players, Royce O’Neale has contributed the least. In 71 games played last season, he averaged seven points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. On January 19, 2020, the forward signed a four-year, $36 million extension with the team. He will earn $8.6 million next season. According to The Athletic, in the team’s seventh workout for draft prospects, they viewed Quentin Grimes, David Duke, Matt Mitchell, and a few other players. In the first round, if the team chooses not to draft any of the players they are holding workouts for, the organization will trade the No. 30 pick.
Just for a reminder, retrieved from Spotrac, the 2021-22 NBA luxury tax threshold is $136,606,000. Utah’s active roster cap is $133,284,695, the maximum cap is $112,414,000, and the current cap space is $72,990,215. Furthermore, center Rudy Gobert currently has the highest guaranteed contract on the team. On December 20, 2020, Gobert signed a five-year, $205 million extension with the organization. Gobert is set to earn $35.3 million in the coming season, whereas Donovan Mitchell will earn $28.1 million. Gobert and Mitchell combined consume 47.6 percent of the team’s salary cap. For the upcoming 2021-22 season, the Jazz have a guaranteed total of $129,719,453. Based on the team’s future outlook, the Jazz will have to make a trade or two in order to retain their star players. This should go without saying.
NBA Analysis Network reported a few days ago that a potential Jazz-Knicks trade target is Bojan Bogdanovic. Greg Patuto proposed the Knicks receiving Bogdanovic, while the Jazz would receive Kevin Knox II, and the Nos. 19 and No. 32 picks of the 2021 NBA Draft. Now, this could still happen at some point during this draft week, but then again, sports bettors and fans alike understand that these news reports could be just rumors. The most intelligent, unforthcoming general managers know not to leave bread crumb trails for the media, especially leading into the offseason. They will do everything necessary to protect their foolproof plans.
Raptors, Pacers, Timberwolves, Kings, and Cavaliers among teams showing interest in Ben Simmons
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, five teams have shown interest in pursuing Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers. Fischer reported, “Cleveland, Indiana, Minnesota, Sacramento, and Toronto all showed interest in acquiring the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year.” Furthermore, the teams are wanting Simmons to change position from point guard to forward. “Multiple executives from those teams, when contacted by Bleacher Report, mentioned their excitement at incorporating Simmons as a play-making forward—not at the point guard position he’s played in Philadelphia.” The six-foot-eleven guard averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists in the 2020-21 NBA season. This might sound fine for a young rookie, but as a five-year player, these aforementioned statistics were career lows.
However, the 25-year-old also earned his third NBA All-Star selection and second All-Defensive first-team selection last season. After a less than mediocre performance in his third postseason of his NBA career, the majority of 76ers’ fans would agree that it’s now time for Simmons to have a change in scenery. With a regular season record of 49-23 (.681), the No. 1 ranked 76ers in the Eastern Conference entered the conference semifinals as favorites over the Atlanta Hawks. Leading into this series, some NBA analysts were predicting Philadelphia to prevail four games to two. The 2016 first overall pick was expected to limit Trae Young in scoring and rally his team from point deficits, but none of this ever manifested.
Raptors, Wolves, Cavs, Pacers and Kings have all showed interest in acquiring Ben Simmons, per B/R's @JakeLFischer
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 25, 2021
Pertaining to postseason averages, Simmons had a playoff series-low of 9.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in the conference semifinals against the Hawks. This lackluster showing proved to be a more significant downfall for the superstar, considering Simmons had only five points, eight rebounds, and 13 assists in Game 7 versus the Hawks. In the 2019-20 season, he averaged 2.1 steals per game, leading all other players in the league. Moreover, Simmons currently ranks sixth in the NBA for active player triple-doubles (32). With a total of 32 career triple-doubles, he ranks 13th on the all-time list, tied with Clippers’ guard Rajon Rondo.
On July 16, 2019, Simmons signed a five-year, $169.65 million contract extension with the 76ers. He is set to earn $30.5 million in the 2021-22 season. Among these teams interested in Simmons, Cavs’ Kevin Love has the fourth largest contract guarantee of $91.4 million. Love is due to earn $31.3 million next season, and the 13-year veteran’s contract consumes 26 percent of the team’s salary cap. He could be traded this offseason. Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns has a contract guarantee of $130.8 million. The 25-year-old Wolves center will earn $31.6 million in the upcoming season.
Plus, Kings’ 2017 first-round pick De’Aaron Fox has a guaranteed contract of $171.1 million. Fox will earn $28.1 million next season. To add to that, Raptors’ Pascal Siakim has a contract guarantee of $131.4 million. Not to mention, reported by Yahoo Sports via trade rumors yesterday, the Golden State Warriors are a potential trade partner for Toronto. The Warriors could make a move on Siakim, clearing up space on the Raptors for Simmons. Per Spotrac, the 2021-22 season cap maximum is $112,414,000. In the coming weeks, one of these said five teams might make a substantial trade offer to the 76ers’ organization that they cannot refuse.
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