2019’s Top Free Agency Scenarios

With free agency looming and several big names looking for a bigger payday, I decided to try and foresee the future (and play a bit of devil’s advocate) about who could and SHOULD go where. It’s already shaping up to be an interesting summer and there could even be some blockbuster draft night trades. Either way you look at it, your favorite team could be making a big splash or losing a key asset if the payday isn’t good.

Kevin Durant

In what could be his last season to play in a Warrior’s uniform, there’s a lot of speculation as to where KD will end up for the start of the 2019-2020 season. The Lakers, Knicks, Clippers, and Nets have all been thought of potential destinations for the two-time finals MVP. However, the most logical choice would be Brooklyn or the Knicks with the amount of cap space they both have coming up and they both plan on aggressively pursuing Durant come July 1st. And with the Knicks being a potential destination for lottery pick Zion Williamson, this could be a great fit.

Destination: New York Knicks

Kyrie Irving

Uncle Drew is no stranger to drama. As a matter of fact, you could say he feeds off of it. There’s no secret that this season with Boston hasn’t lived up to expectations. Especially with the 4-1 semi-final exit to the Bucks. With or without the addition of Tyron Lue to the Lakers staff, Kyrie seems to constantly be linked to purple and gold as of late more than he was to the Knicks earlier in the season. Could another LeBron x Kyrie championship run be in front of us? With cap space for two max deals, I’d say bet on it.

Destination: Los Angeles Lakers

Jimmy Butler

There seems to be this diva persona that follows Jimmy Butler wherever he goes. What could’ve and should’ve been a terrifying team in Minnesota turned out to be a nightmare for everyone in that organization. Teams don’t seem to be salivating at the thought of landing the 3 and D All-Star anymore. Philly might be the only place willing to take him for the moment. Expect a re-sign with the 76ers and watch them continue to build an Eastern conference powerhouse…if Jimmy’s ego can stay out of the way.

Destination: Philadelphia 76ers

Kawhi Leonard

In what has been the Klaw’s best season to date, there seems to have been a newfound freedom and sense of worth in Toronto. For instance, Kawhi had a  34ppg average in the Eastern semis against the 76ers…a feat that not many players have been able to do (for reference: a player named Michael Jordan has done it a few times). There was much speculation that a move to Los Angeles via the Clippers was in the future but Toronto has awakened a different type of animal in the 6’7 silent killer. Game winner, to end the series? C’mon…he’s even showing a smile and an infamous laugh since being in the 6.

Destination: Toronto Raptors

DeMarcus Cousins

Boogie Cousins proved that even after coming off an Achilles injury, he’s still an effective player and can help solidify a team’s journey to success by being somewhat of an anchor and is still versatile as a big. Averaging a 16-8-3 stat line this season, DeMarcus is on the right track to make his return from a quad injury in the Western Conference Finals. Right now, outside of the Warriors, the Nets have been linked to being interested in the sometimes hotheaded big man. With a much higher ceiling as far as cap space is concerned, I would expect Cousins to look for a payday, especially if he is feeling 100% with his abilities.

Destination: Brooklyn Nets

Kemba Walker

This man has to be the most interesting free agent that nobody’s talking about. Cardiac Kemba isn’t getting any younger and he knows it. Now he’s not old by any means…matter of fact, at the age of 28 he seems to be at the height of his game. However, with that being said, Kemba should know that it’s time for a change of scenery. And although LeBron’s camp have been rumored on wanting to pair King James and Walker for a couple years, the Dallas Mavericks have been favorites to land him this summer to try and form a three-headed monster with Luka Doncic and Porzingod. With the retirement of Dirk and some expiring deals, they have just the right amount of space to go all out on the NBA’s most overlooked point guard.

Destination: Dallas Mavericks

Klay Thompson

A key piece of a 73-9 season and three championships, Klay is expected to bounce if he doesn’t get the money he’s wanting in a max deal. But I’d go as far as to bet that he will get the money he’s gonna ask for. Keep in mind, Kevin Durant is not the end all be all for this team. Draymond allegedly told Durant that he really isn’t needed in Oakland (soon to be San Francisco). I’d expect Jerry West and the Warriors to focus their money on the second splash brother this summer. The Clippers and Lakers don’t have a chance as far as I’m concerned.

Destination: Golden State Warriors

D’Angelo Russell

*DISCLAIMER* This is mostly speculation and a good “guesstimating” effort of sorts. D’Angelo Russell has had an incredible season. Year by year he improves and looks more like what the Lakers wished he would be. After a career year and an All-Star selection, the restricted free agent will more than likely look to entertain and potentially accept any big payday offer that comes his way in an effort to get Brooklyn to match or let him secure the bag. Either way, look for Russell to make some noise with a potential big payday looming his way. As a Lakers fan, I’d like to see him back in purple and gold via Lonzo trade but that’s not likely to happen. Expect to see him test the market and stay in Brooklyn via a matching offer.

Destination: Brooklyn Nets

Where do these predictions stack up with yours? Let us know!

About the author

A Los Angeles native, AJ grew up watching sports from the age of two and his love for basketball and football never died. He started playing sports at age seven and went on through collegiate and minor league levels (local and overseas) as well. After nearly twenty years of athletics, AJ decided to hang it up and retired from minor league football in June of 2018. Since then, he has continued his love of sports by writing for the Suave Report as a sports and culture contributor as well as coaching and refereeing sports in the OKC metro area. He currently lives with his wife, Beth and daughter, Gianna in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, working as a coach and gym owner.

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