This week, Danny shared some of his NBA offseason predictions:
The NBA offseason is in full swing, and there are plenty of big names available. Though, because of serious leg injuries to both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson in the NBA Finals, it might lead to less drama this summer. Or maybe it won’t. Rumors continue to swirl about some of the best players in the league, and who knows, by the time you see this, perhaps some of those rumored signings will be made official. The Anthony Davis trade to Los Angeles could’ve changed some things with regards to free agency, but only time will tell. In the meantime, allow me to predict where a few of the top available NBA free agents will end up:
KAWHI LEONARD: Los Angeles Clippers
-Let’s start with the NBA Finals MVP. Leonard is a beast, and will most likely be opting out of the final year of his contract. I’d be very surprised if Leonard then decided to stay in Toronto. And it might have nothing to do with the city or the Raptors organization. It might just be that Leonard had already made up his mind about where he wants to spend the rest of his career. Much like LeBron James, Leonard might just want to live in Los Angeles.
Now, that doesn’t mean Leonard will be signing with the Lakers. For one, the Lakers probably can’t even afford to sign Leonard after the trade for AD. And two, Leonard has reportedly expressed serious interest in the Clippers. And where there’s smoke, there’s fire. I’d put my money on Leonard being in a Clippers uniform next season.
KEVIN DURANT: Golden State Warriors
-That’s right, I think Durant is staying in Golden State. It’s not how I felt two weeks ago, but since he ruptured his Achilles in the NBA Finals, I’ve been forced to change my tune on this one. So much so, that maybe Durant’s name doesn’t even belong on this list, because I don’t even think he’ll become a free agent this summer. I think Durant will just pick up his 2019-20 player option, which will pay him $31.5 million. And then he can become a free agent next summer.
We all thought Durant was good as gone from Golden State after this season. But if he’s going to miss most of next season recovering from Achilles surgery, then why would he waste a year of a max contract when he could just pick up his player option and then sign with the New York Knicks next offseason? What, you mean to tell me that the Knicks wouldn’t give Durant a max deal next summer? Of course they would. And they should. And Durant should not make that move until after next season, because of the injury.
KLAY THOMPSON: Golden State Warriors
-Like Durant, Thompson suffered an unfortunate leg injury in the NBA Finals. Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6, but I’m not sure that changes much. he’s an unrestricted free agent, and I expect the Warriors to offer him the max, which would certainly keep him around. Even with the ACL injury, this is an easy decision for both Golden State and Thompson. He’s not going anywhere.
KYRIE IRVING: Los Angeles Lakers
-Irving is expected to opt out of the final year of his current contract and become an unrestricted free agent. Reports have him linked to the Brooklyn Nets, which makes absolutely no sense. If Irving wants the largest contract possible, he’d re-sign with the Celtics. If he wants the best chance to win a championship with a team that’s looking for an All-Star point guard, he’d sign with the Lakers. What exactly does Brooklyn do for him? I really don’t know.
By the time you read this, maybe him signing with the Nets will be made official. But I won’t lie, if that does happen, I’ll be shocked. I’ve been telling you for a while now that I believe he’ll end up in LA. And that was before they traded for AD. The only issue there would be that the Lakers might need Irving to take a little less money to play there. Then again, I’m sure there’s something the Lakers could do in order to make the money work long-term. If you’re LA, you find a way. If you’re Irving, I don’t know how you say no to both the Celtics and Lakers and then end up going to the Brooklyn Nets.
So I’m sticking with my guns on this one. Kyrie will be a Laker next season.
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