The 2019 NBA off-season sports some of the biggest names in the past few years. We have recently crowned NBA champs as well as the runner-ups awaiting a major payday. On the other hand, there are some big names who couldn’t rise to the moment and will be looking to switch teams.
1. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors (Player Option)
Coming fresh off of his second championship and the most dominant postseason of his career. Kawhi really has no reason to decline his player option, yet he has decided to enter free agency. He has expressed that he wants to play for his home state team LA Clippers who have a max slot open. That was before he won his second chip though. Toronto has done everything they could possibly do to resign him. Staying in Toronto would give him $50 million more than LA or any other team. The world awaits Klaw’s decision.
2. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors (Player Option)
Any other player would have stayed put, picked up their option after a career altering Achilles injury. But Kevin Durant is bigger than that. If reports are to be trusted, New York and Brooklyn are still in play for KD. Durant still hasn’t picked up his player option to stay in Golden State for one final year and make $32 million.
3. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics (Player Option)
Kyrie’s is a curious case. He demanded a trade in Cleveland which landed him in Boston and then this postseason happened. According to official sources, Kyrie has commited to Brooklyn for a 4 year, $141 million deal. This will obviously have a domino effect on the rest of the free agency.
4. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors (Unrestricted)
The lifelong Warriors Guard is likely to stay in Golden State and sign a max deal. This is despite the ACL tear he suffered in game 6 of the NBA Finals. He is supposed to get a 5 year, $190 million deal and keep splashing in the bay area.
5. Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets (Unrestricted)
According to sources, Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics have finalised a 4 year, $141 million deal. Kemba was one of the most grossly underpaid stars in the NBA and this is his big payday as well as a chance to compete in the postseason.
6. Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia 76ers (Player Option)
Another one of those big name players, he is expected to meet with Houston and Miami Heat at the start of free agency. Philly is also considering a sign and trade which will benefit both parties. Miami is way over the cap and will look to clear some salary space and get a designated two way player in Jimmy.
7. D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets (Restricted)
Since Kyrie Irving coming to Brooklyn is finalised, Russell might be waived or traded as soon as the Kyrie deal is inked. According to rumours, Lakers are frontrunners for Russell due to their delicate cap space situation and the need for a third all star beside James and Davis.
8. Al Horford, Boston Celtics (Unrestricted)
Horford is probably the most the underrated free agent this year. Having declined his option with the Celtics, he will be looking for nothing less than a championship contender. The services he provides are rare to say the least. Suitors might include young teams with a need for veteran leadership such as Dallas, Brooklyn, New York. We’re gonna have to wait a bit more for this one.
9. Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic (Unrestricted)
Nikola Vucevic is coming off a monstrous season and a playoff appearance. He averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds and got named an all star. He will be signing a 4 year, $100 million deal to stay with Orlando Magic.
10. Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers (Unrestricted)
The second sixers in this list, Harris is coming off a career year in terms of production and efficiency. He was one of the best floor spacers this season and there will be a lot of demand for him in free agency. If Jimmy Butler leaves Philly, he might choose to resign and stay with the 76ers.
Die Hard Basketball fan from India. Loves everything sports! Peace.