The New Orleans Pelicans have two of the best under-25 players in the NBA in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
Ingram is the older of the two at 24-years-old and and Zion Williamson only recently turned 22 in July.
When healthy, the two stack up with the NBA’s elite duos, especially when you consider their respective ages.
In fact, few of the playoff teams in the NBA boast a duo that are not only their best two players but also under the age of 25.
Most such teams are the cellar dwellers like the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder, rebuilding teams that aren’t yet threats to make the playoffs and whose young players are still rookies or guys in their second seasons.
There are really only three potential playoff teams whose best two players are under 25 and the New Orleans Pelicans are one of them.
New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are the NBA’s best young duo
- Evan Mobley
- Darius Garland
The Cavaliers made the play-in last season behind an All-Star season from 22-year-old guard Darius Garland and rookie Evan Mobley, whose two-way play helped propel the Cavaliers out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
When you factor in Mobley’s defense and the fact that he is just a rookie, Cleveland has a strong case, and should keep rising in the East as their young duo continues to develop and improve.
- Ja Morant
- Jaren Jackson Jr.
The Grizzlies were the two-seed in the Western Conference last season and Ja Morant was a fringe MVP candidate at just 23-years-old.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is still just 22, so their combination of scoring and defense, as well as the fact that they have already made it to the playoffs as a high seed, gives the Grizzlies a decent argument as well.
New Orleans Pelicans
- Brandon Ingram
- Zion Williamson
As good as the duos above are, the New Orleans Pelicans still have the strongest argument as the best under-25 duo in the NBA.
Mobley and Garland are not likely to be MVP candidates in their careers, though Mobley is certainly young and talented enough to eventually get there.
Morant is definitely a future MVP candidate and a healthy Zion Williamson will make a case for MVP himself, so that is pretty much a wash and you can argue all day about who the better player really is.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is a great player and a better defender than Brandon Ingram but you’d find few people outside of Memphis would wouldn’t name BI as the better player overall. Ingram is an elite scorer who is also a better playmaker and at least equal as a rebounder if not better.
They still have to prove it on the court, but the Pelicans have the best under-25 duo in the NBA, now they just have to get them healthy at the same time.