NBA Free Agency Predictions

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NBA Free Agency Predictions

Stephen Young

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Although the season ends in early June, free agency is one of the most exciting moments in the NBA. Every year, we see stars become free agents and wonder how loyal they are to their teams. The last several years of free agency have been league-changing as superstars such as Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins abandoned their teams to join the Golden State Warriors. A signing of a free agent can change a team’s destiny in a heartbeat. Let’s take a look at this year’s most important free agents.

Kevin Durant

Durant’s free agency has been anticipated for the last year. Following every game, reporters are curious to hear his thoughts about his future, and fans are always looking for signs of him leaving. After a year of investigation, it has become clear that next season Kevin Durant will be a New York Knick.

Kawhi Leonard

Prior to being traded to the Toronto Raptors, talks of Kawhi to Los Angeles filled the NBA community. However, reports were later released stating that Leonard didn’t want to play with fellow superstar, LeBron James. Following this, speculations of Kawhi going to the Clippers formed. Despite having great success with the Raptors, the Clippers offer something that Kawhi has been wanting for years: to play in LA. This summer, it is likely that Kawhi Leonard will be a Clipper.

Kyrie Irving

On opening night of the 2018-2019 season, Kyrie Irving announced that he planned on staying in Boston next year in front of a sold out arena. However, we experienced a similar event following the Cavaliers loss to the Warriors in the NBA Finals. While walking to the locker room, Irving told LeBron that they would be back the following year, and the results would be different. However shortly after this, Irving announced that he wanted out of Cleveland. It is likely that the same situation happened this year following his announcement. Throughout the season, it has become clear that Kyrie wants to join Durant in New York.

Klay Thompson

Although at times it may seem as if Klay Thompson’s potential is limited by the presence of Curry and Durant, his role fits perfectly on the Warriors. With the likely departure of Kevin Durant, the Warriors will go back to their old selves, the team that broke NBA records. Although some believe Klay wants his own team, he fits in perfectly and will likely continue to be a Warrior.

Jimmy Butler

Despite the fact that Jimmy Butler had a rollercoaster of a season, complaining multiple times about both the Minnesota Timberwolves and his new team, the Philadelphia 76ers, he finally seems happy with his teammates. Although the Sixers did not make it as far as they wanted to, they showed great potential for years to come. Because of this, it is likely that Jimmy Butler will remain a Sixer.

DeMarcus Cousins

Last summer, the All-Star center, arguably the best in the league, joined the best team in the NBA. He signed a one year deal for just a fraction of what he deserves just to get a ring. After taking a massive pay cut, Cousins will be looking for the most money he can possibly get while still having a chance at a ring. A team that fits this criteria perfectly is the Los Angeles Lakers. With having enough money to offer Boogie a max contract and a team that could win a championship, the Lakers are a prime destination for DeMarcus Cousins.

Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker has spent his entire career in Charlotte, despite the team’s lack of success. Many think Kemba is an underrated player due to his lack of a strong team, so many hope he will leave to join a playoff team. However, Kemba has shown no signs of leaving the Hornets. By staying with the Hornets, he will be able to sign a max contract as opposed to taking a paycut on a playoff team. Although many players oftentimes chase the max contract, it would be best for Kemba’s legacy to join a winning team. Possible destinations include the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Dallas Mavericks. Although he has shown no significant signs of either leaving or staying, it is likely that he will take the max contract and stay in Charlotte.

NBA free agency is fast approaching, and fans are anxious to see where these superstars will end up. Every year, there are surprises that take the league by storm and end up angering countless fans. It is likely that we will see big moves this summer that change a team’s future for years to come. Now, all we can do is speculate and wait for July.