Photo Credit: Clutch Sports
With free agency arriving today, it is time to get ready for a new era in the NBA. Over 40% of players in the league are free agents in some capacity. Many of the game’s best players are likely on the move. We’ve already that two superstar point guards are on their way to different teams with Kemba Walker on his way to Boston and Kyrie Irving on his way to Brooklyn, but that still leaves so many big names out there. Their signings will define the next 5 years of NBA basketball. Here are my predictions for how some of these big stars sign this week:
Kevin Durant: LA Clippers – 4 Year Max
Durant to the Clippers makes a lot of sense. He’s going to miss the first year of his deal with a torn Achilles, but this is a young team with exciting talent to cultivate for another season and either sign another max player alongside him this week or next offseason. While it makes sense from a basketball standpoint, there’s nothing Durant has left to prove to people, so it is a mystery what he is prioritizing in his next team.
Kawhi Leonard: Toronto Raptors – 1 + Player Option Max
Like Durant, Kawhi has accomplished so much in his career that it is difficult to say what he is looking for in this next contract. However, it does seem that he truly enjoyed his time in Toronto. Also, given that he is possibly the best player in the world right now and coming off an unbelievable championship run, it would be hard to see him passing at the chance to run it back with Toronto. Signing a 1+1 with Toronto also gives him the ability to be next offseason’s biggest free agent and allow him to head to LA.
Jimmy Butler: Philadelphia 76ers – 5 Year Max
It’s hard to envision a scenario where Philadelphia doesn’t offer their best and most reliable player from the playoffs the maximum in both dollar amount and years. It’s also really hard to see Butler passing that up, given that he’d also have a shot at a championship with Philly.
D’Angelo Russell: LA Lakers– 4 Years $100M
A reunion in LA seems a bit strange for Russell and the Lakers given the way the organization seemed to give up on him so quickly. However, with Lakers freeing up $32M in cap space, this reunion really does make sense for both parties. D’Angelo can sign for just under the max to allow LA to have some extra room to sign some veterans looking to compete for a ring with LeBron, AD, and Russell.