NBA free agency begins this Sunday and a cataclysmic shift may be felt in the NBA. This summer’s free agent market will have three of the biggest names in the NBA available. Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant will all three be available for the right price and the right team.
The New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers are all desperate for one or two of the elite stars to sign with them. Whether those big market teams can land any of the three is anyone’s guess right now.
Other elite NBA free agents are topping the lists of teams around the Association. When the free agent market opens on Sunday evening, it is going to be a mad free-for-all with some major talent moving to new teams.
- Kawhi Leonard
Leonard is coming off of an NBA Finals win in which he was named the Most Valuable Player of the series. His stock has never been higher, especially with Durant suffering an Achilles injury and set to miss the start of next season.
The guard is unlikely to re-sign with the Toronto Raptors and all signs point to Los Angeles. He could be more likely to sign with the Clippers than the Lakers although the Knicks are also in the mix.
Likely destination: LA Clippers
- Kevin Durant
Durant has declined his player option for next season with the Golden State Warriors. The dynasty is over although it already felt that way during the playoffs when Durant suffered an ankle injury in the Western Conference Finals.
The New York Knicks have made a hard play for Durant as their next franchise star. Durant is recovering from Achilles tendon surgery and it could take up to six months for him to return to the court. If the Knicks and other teams aren’t put off by the injury, Durant could suit up just after the new year. It still feels like a big gamble.
Likely destination: New York Knicks
- Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker is the perfect team player that the Boston Celtics need as they say goodbye to Kyrie Irving. Reports indicate it is the Celtics that are likely to add Walker this offseason.
The point guard averaged 25.6 points per game and 5.9 assists for the Charlotte Hornets last season. Those are great numbers for a player competing for a middle of the pack Eastern Conference team. His arrival should greatly improve the Celtics’ underachieving back court.
Likely destination: Boston Celtics
- Kyrie Irving
Is Kyrie Irving an elite NBA player? If you are a Celtics fan you may disagree after two so-so seasons in Bean Town. Irving’s ability to be a team leader and top player was overvalued due to him playing alongside LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Still, Irving is seen as a top free agent with the LA Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, and New York Knicks chasing him. The guard averaged 23.8 ppg and 6.9 apg last season. Despite his good numbers, Irving failed to make the Celtics better overall and their shortcomings in the playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks reflected his poor leadership.
Likely destination: Brooklyn Nets
- Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson is in the Kyrie Irving grey area when it comes to NBA free agents. He is a good player that contributed to the Golden State Warriors’ success, but was he the sidekick to Stephen Curry and Durant?
Thompson finished the season injured and it could affect his value on the free agent market. Still, teams will be happy to plough money into Thompson despite him playing alongside two of the game’s modern greats. Like Irving, are Thompson’s performances and numbers buoyed by playing with the Associations’ best players?
The guard scored 21.5 ppg and collected 3.8 rebounds. With Durant gone, Golden State need to hang on to Thompson. It looks like he could re-sign with Golden State for five years and $190 million.
Likely destination: Golden State Warriors