NBA Report: Stars Lining Up For 2019 Free Agency; Durant, Irving, Leonard Headline Free Agents List
If the mid-season trade bonanza is of any indication, the NBA is in for a wild free agency season. The 2019 NBA Free Agency Season will be one of the most-anticipated offseason in NBA history. It's that time of year that NBA teams could alter its destiny by adding a superstar or two.
That being said, here are 5 free agents who will likely be heavily involved in the upcoming free agency season.
Kevin Durant - Player Option
The Golden State Warriors are gunning for a three-peat. Regardless of the result of the 2019 NBA Finals, Kevin Durant would be the most sought-after free agent this summer.
Durant previously took a hometown discount to re-sign with the Warriors and allowed Golden State to retain its core. That said, Durant has made it clear that he isn't doing the same again and would likely do what's best for him.
The Warriors have reportedly given their GM the go signal to do whatever it takes to retain their stars. However, there's just too much money to leave on the table and other NBA teams would also go after the slim reaper with everything they've got.
Kyrie Irving - Player Option
Kyrie Irving left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Boston Celtics to become his own man. The Celtics despite all the rumors that Irving would not sign a long-term deal, managed to get a verbal agreement from Irving that he would stay in Boston.
But something has changed this season and it is almost a certainty that Irving would be listening to other teams' offers during the free agency season. However, there is still a chance that Boston could make Kyrie stay, especially if the Celtics manages to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
Kawhi Leonard - Player Option
Whether Kawhi's injury would slow him down has been answered. It clearly didn't. Leonard remains one of the most feared two-way players in the business, spearheading the vastly improved Toronto Raptors into second place in the Eastern Conference.
Leonard, like Kyrie Irving, has given the lip service and stated that he wants to stay in Toronto. However, Leonard is eligible to sign a huge contract in the offseason and the Raptors would be hard-pressed to keep up with the other NBA teams who would surely be gunning for Leonard's services.
Klay Thompson - Unrestricted Free Agent
Klay Thompson is one of the best shooters the league has ever seen and a key member of the Golden State Warriors. A lock-down defender, the sharp-shooting Thompson is in line to receive his first massive contract.
Thompson will also likely listen to other teams' offer if only to gauge his worth in the current NBA market. But the shooting guard has said that he will be willing to take a hometown discount to remain with the Warriors.
Kemba Walker - Unrestricted Free Agent
Kemba Walker started the 2018-2019 season on fire, turning heads with his aggressive and consistent play. Walker undoubtedly is an All-Star and would be a great piece for any team to build around.
Walker is due for a massive contract this summer. While the Charlotte Hornets is expected to offer a max or near-max contract, for Walker to remain in Buzz City, other teams with cap-room might be able to lure the All-Star guard. Especially, if Walker could have a chance to play with another star.
While the list only includes 5 free-agents who would likely be the center of attention this summer, there are other stars who will also be available during the free agency season. Jimmy Butler, Nikola Vucevic, DeMarcus Cousins, Tobias Harris, D'Angelo Russel, Harrison Barnes, Paul Milsap, Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, and Robin Lopez are among the free agents who would get a lot of attention this summer.
Also, there are restricted free-agents like Terry Rozier, Trey Lyles, Kevon Looney, Justice Winslow, Malcolm Brogdon, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Kelly Oubre who are likely going to get massive offers during the 2019 free agency season. Hassan Whiteside, Jeff Teague, Julius Randle, and Jonas Valanciunas all have player options and could switch teams or pick up their option if they want.
The list only covers the top-tier free agents. While they or they may not shift teams, their decisions could have a huge impact not only for their ballclubs but also for the entire NBA. Next season, the NBA could see multiple superteams if the stars align or it could see the breakup of a dynasty. Only time will tell.