You do not have to be someone’s twin to be viewed as their clone. When it comes to the game of hoops, there are obviously the actual birth twins like the Lopez’s, Thompsons’s, Morris’s and Martin’s. Aside from Robin’s much less effective outside shot than his brother’s shooting stroke, each of those sets of twins possesses quite a bit of overlap when dissecting their skillset Venn diagrams.
Some other random player tandems surely share similar physical characteristics, but in basketball, it is the actual game of the player that draws comparisons to other teammates/opponents. They may not own that same sense of telepathy as the blood brothers listed previously, but God certainly blessed some players with mirrored specialties on the basketball court.
With that premise established, here is an active NBA clone for each current Los Angeles Lakers player as we approach the opening gun of the regular season race.
Each Lakers player’s current NBA clone:
D’Angelo Russell: CJ McCollum
Sweeping the fact that Russell is a big point guard and McCollum is more of an undersized shooting guard under the rug, the two have built reputations as solid secondary scoring threats. While both qualify as two of the more effective high-volume shooters from behind the stripe, they each have continued expanding their offensive games and can score with relative ease from all three levels when they are on.
Despite their silky smooth skillsets on offense, neither has developed the same positive reputation on the other end. McCollum is entering his age-32 season, so expecting massive improvements from him as a defender at this point may be far-fetched. 5 years younger, Russell still has time to turn things around in that aspect of his game and seems up to the task.
Austin Reaves: Malcolm Brogdon
As of this moment, Reaves and Brogdon are two of the more intelligent guys in the league. They seem to always make the right plays. One could say that the two just play the game the right way. Both have more than garnered the respect of opposing defenses from the outside, and the duo quietly grown in their abilities to create for themselves and others. Plus, neither is a slouch on defense, even if they do not fit the bill of being primetime “stoppers“.
Taurean Prince: Kenrich Williams
Every team needs at least one of those guys that you just know you can count on to avoid mistakes during their minutes. Barring catastrophic developments, neither Prince nor Williams are ever going to become superstars. That is perfectly fine, though, as they are superstars within whatever role assigned to them.
LeBron James: Luka Doncic
When (maybe) the greatest baller of all time names you as his favorite player, you are doing something right. And when (maybe) the future face of the entire league admits that he will never be able to score as many points as you, you have clearly cemented your status at the top.
The mutual respect has always been there between these guys, and so has the mutual ability to completely control an entire basketball game. It should go without saying that Luka is among the top (if not the top) candidates to claim the King’s crown upon his resignation.
Anthony Davis: Giannis Antetokuonmpo
When it comes to the universe of unicorns in the university of the unimaginable, AD and Giannis are the brightest shining stars. Without yet mastering the art of the trifecta, the two have basically graduated from every other area of the game.
Interior Inferiors? Check.
Glass Gobblers? Check.
Plausible Playmakers? Check.
Defensive Demolishers? Check.
Anything else not involving hitting threes consistently? Check.
Gabe Vincent: De’Anthony Melton
A backup point guard is one of the more subtle ingredients in the recipe for basketball success. That is why guys like Gabe Vincent and DeAnthony Melton are so critical to their respective teams. Their point-of-attack defense is the biggest benefit which they bring to the table, but they are each more than capable scorers. Plus, they are battle-tested (70 combined playoff games with 7 combined years of NBA experience).
Max Christie: Caleb Martin
Caleb Martin announced his presence as an NBA player in last season’s postseason. Despite he and his actual twin Cody going undrafted, they have each grown into solid 3&D players in this league. Christie may have been fortunate enough to hear his name called in the 2022 draft, but still did not enter the league with hefty expectations. As time has passed, he is slowly beginning to build his brand by doing similar things on the floor as the Martin twins.
Jarred Vanderbilt: Herbert Jones
Herb Jones might hold the record for the shortest amount of time for a pro to establish himself as a true lockdown defender. Since tormenting the Phoenix Suns in the 2022 playoffs, his clamps have remained consistent. His offensive growth may not have caught up to his defense yet, but it may never have to if he can continue impacting the game the way that he does as a defender.
Vando’s career has been largely the same thus far, it just took him a bit more time to gain the respect that he deserved on D. That is what the Los Angeles limelight can do.
Rui Hachimura: Harrison Barnes
It was tempting to name Kawhi Leonard as Rui’s reflection given the two’s obvious similarities as scorers. The two men make magic happen from the midrange, and Leonard’s overall offensive game took a bit of time to fully blossom (similar to what appears to be happening right now with Hachimura).
Christian Wood: Naz Reid
There will always be a place in this league for a big man who can go get a bucket in a multitude of manners. But a big man that can hit 3’s consistently? Those guys will always have an actual role on a team.
Regardless of their physical characteristics (most notably their wingspans), these two have not yet become super dependable on the defensive end. If they can continue to exhibit and expand on their offensive versatility then they should both have a place in the league looking ahead.
Jalen Hood-Schifino: Jalen Suggs
Not only do these youngsters share the same name, but they are also each known for having bigger bodies than most lead guards. Neither of them has really ever shown the consistent ability to knock down jumpers, but there is a mountainous amount of time for them each to improve that aspect of their repertoires.
For now, they can continue to bolster their spot in the big leagues with dogged defense and solid secondary orchestration.
Maxwell Lewis: Cam Reddish
As a rookie, Maxwell Lewis has nearly the exact same body that Cam Reddish did when he was a first-timer. That in and of itself would seem to pit the peas in the same pod, but their games are quite similar when you really watch them.
Hopefully, Lewis can develop more rapidly than Reddish. And hopefully, Reddish can look back on the 2023-2024 and laugh at all those who have previously doubted him as a professional.
Cam Reddish: Kessler Edwards
Reddish and Edwards are two of those young veterans still searching for their place in the NBA. While their builds scream potential, their bodies have yet to put it all together in the actual game setting on a consistent basis thus far in their young careers. Do not sleep on either of these young gentlemen, though, because they could very easily break out this season.
Jaxson Hayes: Jericho Sims
Two of the most explosive centers currently in the league, these guys can go BOOM at any given moment. Defenders always must think methodically about what type of outcome may lie ahead when either of these big boys is coming at them down the lane. Similarly, rim attackers are always going to have to think twice about how they go about shooting their shots at the rim with these guys lurking.
Also, they were collegiate teammates at the University of Texas. So, they obviously have a lot of experience playing with/against each other and learning from each other’s dynamic leaping abilities.