Ranking the Best Brother Combos in the NBA

Christopher Walder@@WalderSportsContributor IISeptember 5, 2013

Ranking the Best Brother Combos in the NBA

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    The NBA is living proof that sometimes talent can indeed run in the family. There are currently, by my count, seven sets of brothers playing in the league. 

    Some are twins, some are All-Stars and some are even teammates. 

    Having brothers compete against each other at the professional level isn't a new trend. In NBA history, there have been over 50 brother combos who have stepped foot on an NBA court.

    Horace and Harvey Grant, Dominique and Gerald Wilkins, as well as Brent and Jon Barry are some of the more noteworthy siblings. 

    In 2013-14, that tradition will continue. Even more basketball families will feel the immense sense of pride that comes with having more than one member be a part of one of the greatest pro sports leagues on the planet. 

    So, with that being said, which NBA brothers stand heads and tails above the rest? Which family has all of the bragging rights?

    Statistics, career accomplishments and individual success were all taken into account when comprising this list. In some cases, one particular brother was able to elevate him and his sibling up the list based solely on his own merit.

    For the record, the Hansbrough brothers—Tyler and Ben—won't be included on this list. Ben recently signed a one-year deal with Gran Canaria, so he is no longer in the league.

    The same holds true for the Pargo brothers—Jeremy and Jannero—as Jeremy will be suiting up for CSKA Moscow in the VTB United League next season. 

    *All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com

7. Mason and Miles Plumlee

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    Current teams: Brooklyn Nets (Mason) and Phoenix Suns (Miles)

    2012-13 statistics for Mason (Duke Blue Devils): 34.7 minutes, 17.1 points, 59.9 percent from the field, 10.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.4 blocks, 2.9 turnovers

    2012-13 statistics for Miles: 14 games, 3.9 minutes, 0.9 points, 23.8 percent from the field, 1.6 rebounds, 0.1 assists, 0.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 0.2 turnovers, 8.8 PER

    Miles Plumlee was as close to a non-factor as one can be during his rookie season with the Indiana Pacers. His brother, Mason, who was selected 22nd overall by the Brooklyn Nets this summer, will look to avoid a similar fate. 

    The younger of the two, Mason finds himself entering a perfect situation in Brooklyn. He's going to be surrounded by savvy veterans right out of the gate in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry.

    Even if he doesn't see much action in his rookie campaign, being able to learn from, and work with, some of the best minds in the game—including head coach Jason Kidd—is a tremendous opportunity that he needs to take advantage of this season.

    Both Plumlee brothers are exceptional athletes with great motors who can run the court and rebound. Unfortunately, that might not be enough, as evident by Miles' lackluster year. 

    Some of the blame does fall on Miles for failing to stand out and wow his coaches, but frankly, there wasn't really a need for him in the Pacers' rotation. In the end, Indiana did find some use for Plumlee, dealing him to the Phoenix Suns as part of a package for veteran power forward Luis Scola. 

    As far as Mason is concerned, the Nets are looking to compete for an NBA championship, so I doubt a rookie selected outside of the NBA lottery will be given much playing time. The Nets' roster is extremely deep, so minutes for Mason could be few and far between.  

6. Markieff and Marcus Morris

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    Current teams: Phoenix Suns (Markieff and Marcus)

    2012-13 statistics for Markieff: 82 games, 22.4 minutes, 8.2 points, 40.7 percent from the field, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.8 blocks, 1.3 turnovers, 12.6 PER

    2012-13 statistics for Marcus: 77 games, 19.8 minutes, 7.7 points, 42.2 percent from the field, 3.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 1.0 turnovers, 11.3 PER

    Twinsanity?

    Members of the Phoenix Suns, Markieff and Marcus Morris are the second set of twins in NBA history to play for the same team. Ironically, the first set—Dick and Tom Van Arsdale—also played for the Suns during the 1976-77 season.

    On Feb. 21, the Houston Rockets traded Marcus to Phoenix for a 2013 second-round pick, reuniting him with Markieff, who was selected 13th overall by the team in 2011. 

    The two started a game together against the Rockets on March 10, 2013, becoming the first twins to ever accomplish that feat. 

    The twins have spent a majority of their lives side by side, including a three-year stint together with the Kansas Jayhawks, so the Suns' move to acquire Marcus was made, in part, to quell the brothers' anxieties over being apart from each other. 

    Neither player is really proficient on the defensive end, so they'll have to rely on their shooting strokes—which could also use some work and more consistency—to keep them on the court. For a rebuilding team like the Suns, the PT will be there if the tandem can prove their value when given the opportunity. 

5. Cody and Tyler Zeller

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    Current teams: Charlotte Bobcats (Cody) and Cleveland Cavaliers (Tyler)

    2012-13 statistics for Cody (Indiana Hoosiers): 29.5 minutes, 16.5 points, 56.2 percent from the field, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks, 2.3 turnovers

    2012-13 statistics for Tyler: 77 games, 26.4 minutes, 7.9 points, 43.8 percent from the field, 5.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists. 0.5 steals, 0.9 blocks, 1.2 turnovers, 11.0 PER

    What a shocker. The Charlotte Bobcats made yet another pick in the NBA draft that 99 percent of experts and fans have criticized.

    As the No. 4 overall pick, Cody Zeller was going to have a ton of pressure on his shoulders regardless. Now, as a Bobcat, that pressure becomes even greater. 

    Sure, it's an unfair situation to be in, but it's nothing Cody can't handle. 

    Tyler Zeller, the older of the two brothers, didn't have nearly as many expectations to live up to in his rookie year as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. After Anderson Varejao went down with a season-ending injury, Zeller was thrust into the starting lineup at center, earning All-NBA Rookie Second Team honors in the process. 

    With the Cavaliers acquiring Andrew Bynum over the summer and a healthy Varejao returning to the team, Zeller's role is likely to diminish next season. 

    Cody is currently penciled in as the starting power forward for the Bobcats, so his minutes will never be in question.

    Charlotte is looking to return to the postseason for just the second time in franchise history. The Bobcats' chances of snagging one of those final few slots in the conference will depend heavily on what the team can get out of the young Zeller as a rookie.

    *Luke Zeller, the older brother of both Tyler and Cody, played 16 games for the Phoenix Suns in 2012-13. He was eventually waived by the team on February 21, 2013. 

4. Jeff and Marquis Teague

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    Current teams: Atlanta Hawks (Jeff) and Chicago Bulls (Marquis)

    2012-13 statistics for Jeff: 80 games, 32.9 minutes, 14.6 points, 45.1 percent from the field, 2.3 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.4 blocks, 2.9 turnovers, 16.8 PER

    2012-13 statistics for Marquis: 48 games, 8.2 minutes, 2.1 points, 38.1 percent from the field, 0.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.1 blocks, 0.7 turnovers, 6.0 PER

    This is a tale of two NBA brothers who find themselves with far different roles on their respective teams.

    Jeff Teague has been the starting point guard for the Atlanta Hawks during the past two seasons. He was selected 19th overall in the 2009 NBA draft and has seen his scoring totals rise from 3.2 to 14.6 over a four-year span.

    On July 13, the Hawks matched a four-year, $32 million offer sheet that Teague had signed with the Milwaukee Bucks to keep him as their starter for the foreseeable future.

    On the other hand, Marquis Teague rarely saw the court for the Chicago Bulls during his 2012-13 rookie season. Even with franchise player Derrick Rose out for the entire year, Marquis wasn't able to secure much playing time behind guards Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson on the depth chart. 

    It wasn't a complete waste. Marquis did manage to log 72 minutes of action during the postseason, which is valuable experience for someone who is young and unseasoned.

    Jeff encountered similar problems during his rookie year, riding the bench and failing to carve out a niche. Marquis has a lot to offer at the NBA level, so, hopefully, somewhere down the road, he can find similar success to that of his brother and make a name for himself. 

3. Stephen and Seth Curry

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    Current teams: Golden State Warriors (Stephen and Seth)

    2012-13 statistics for Stephen: 78 games, 38.2 minutes, 22.9 points, 45.3 percent from three-point range, 4.0 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.2 blocks, 3.1 turnovers, 21.3 PER

    2012-13 statistics for Seth (Duke Blue Devils): 32.3 minutes, 17.5 points, 46.5 percent from the field, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 1.2 turnovers

    After going undrafted in the 2013 NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors decided to go out and sign Seth Curry, the brother of Stephen Curry, who just happens to be the franchise's top player.

    I guess it pays to have friends—or in this case, family—in high places.

    There's no denying how gifted a player Stephen is. In 2012-13, he broke the NBA record for most three-pointers in a season, nailing 272 shots from behind the arc to break Ray Allen's previous record of 270. During the postseason, he elevated his game to new heights, averaging 23.4 points and 8.1 assists while taking the Warriors to a first-round series victory over the third-seeded Denver Nuggets. 

    His greatness alone elevates the Curry brothers to No. 3 on this list. Frankly, there is no way of knowing what kind of impact Seth will make—if any—on the Warriors. 

    Even if he were to make the roster, the chances of him seeing any significant playing time are slim to none. Perhaps a stint in the NBA's Developmental League would be the best course of action to take.

    It's very rare to see someone with the scoring prowess that Seth showed at Duke not be taken in the draft, but his small stature at 6'2" and 185 pounds was obviously a big-enough red flag for teams to pass on him.

    However, Stephen proves on a nightly basis that size isn't everything, so, hopefully, Seth can learn by example and prove his doubters wrong as well. 

2. Brook and Robin Lopez

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    Current teams: Brooklyn Nets (Brook) and Portland Trail Blazers (Robin)

    2012-13 statistics for Brook: 74 games, 30.4 minutes, 19.4 points, 52.1 percent from the field, 6.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 2.1 blocks, 1.8 turnovers, 24.7 PER

    2012-13 statistics for Robin: 82 games, 26.0 minutes, 11.3 points, 53.4 percent from the field, 5.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.6 blocks, 1.3 turnovers, 18.9 PER

    The Lopez twins declared for the NBA draft in 2008 after spending two years at Stanford University.

    Brook was selected 10th overall by the New Jersey—now BrooklynNets, while his brother, Robin, was taken 15th by the Phoenix Suns.

    While they may share an identical appearance to one another, the playing styles of both are vastly different.

    Brook has become more of an offensive low-post weapon for the Nets, averaging 17.9 points and 7.4 rebounds over his young five-year career. He was named to his first Eastern Conference All-Star team in 2013, replacing the injured Rajon Rondo on the roster. 

    Robin has struggled to stay healthy, missing 15 or more games in each of his first four seasons. When he is at 100 percent, Robin has proven to be a valuable defensive commodity. He's a better rebounder and shot blocker than his brother, but his offensive game is nowhere near the level of Brook's. 

    Recently, Robin was dealt from the New Orleans Hornets—where he played in all 82 games last seasonto the Portland Trail Blazers in a three-team trade that landed former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans in The Big Easy.

    Yes, Brook is the better player and will likely find more individual success over his NBA career, but Robin has proven to be a serviceable NBA center as well. That shouldn't be omitted. 

1. Pau and Marc Gasol

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    Current teams: Los Angeles Lakers (Pau) and Memphis Grizzlies (Marc)

    2012-13 statistics for Pau: 49 games, 33.8 minutes, 13.7 points, 46.6 percent from the field, 8.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.2 blocks, 2.1 turnovers, 16.7 PER

    2012-13 statistics for Marc: 80 games, 35.0 minutes, 14.1 points, 49.4 percent from the field, 7.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.7 blocks, 2.0 turnovers, 19.5 PER

    In February of 2008, Pau Gasol was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Los Angeles Lakers for a package that included Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie and two first-round picks. 

    Once believed to be an afterthought in the deal, the rights to Marc Gasolwho was selected 48th overall by Los Angeles in the 2007 NBA draft, were also sent Memphis' way as well. 

    Fast forward five years later and Marc has emerged as a star in his own right, possibly surpassing his brother in the Gasol pecking order. Of course, he still has a long way to go before garnering the same level of success as his older sibling. 

    In 2013, Marc was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, earning his first piece of individual hardware in the league. While Pau fell off the map a bit this past season due to injuries and his team's struggles, that was not an indication that he should no longer be considered an elite frontcourt player in the league. 

    His résumé speaks for itself. Pau is a two-time NBA champion with the Lakers, a four-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year (2002). He's a sure-fire Hall of Famer and easily one of the greatest European players the league has ever seen. 

    With the credentials of Pau and the rising status of Marc, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind as to who make up the best brother combo in the NBA.