NBA Free Agency opens at 6:00pm ET on Sunday, June 30. By Monday morning, we’ll know where the top players on the free agent market have signed. Check out an update about what happened this week and how some teams are in a great position to sign the biggest free agent names! And as always, be sure to check out the NBA odds for the upcoming season!
NBA Updates of the Week – June 28 Edition
Los Angeles Lakers can go from worst to first
By Monday afternoon, every fan on the planet could be wondering how the Lakers went from the most dysfunctional organization in the NBA to the Western Conference favorites. Four words and two names: Jeannie Buss and Rob Pelinka.
Buss sided with Rob Pelinka over Magic Johnson. That gave Pelinka full control. Look what’s already happened? She managed to swing a massive trade with the New Orleans Pelicans for one of the top players in the NBA, center/power forward Anthony Davis. LeBron was so giddy after the trade that he’s giving AD #23. King James said he’s going back to #6.
Trading for Anthony Davis isn’t all that Pelinka did, though. On Friday morning, June 28, he traded Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards to open up max cap space. Why? The Lakers had to make room to sign Anthony Davis. Davis is so happy to be a Laker that he waived his $4 million trade bonus. That also helped.
The Lakers also managed to garner enough cap space to make either a major free agent signing, or break up the money into a bunch of smaller free agent signings. Pelinka and Buss want Kawhi Leonard. Leonard might want to play in Los Angeles, his home town.
That would be crazy, right? In three weeks, the Lakers could go from LeBron James and pretty much nobody to a starting five that includes King James, Anthony Davis, and Kawhi Leonard. Wow.
Expect a Boston break-up
While their hated rivals, the Lakers, have already bounced back to prominence by trading for Anthony Davis, the Boston Celtics could be on the downturn after 6:00pm on Sunday night.
Kyrie Irving and Al Horford are likely gone. The Celtics will look to build around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Neither has shown that Top 5 NBA player ability. Boston’s other big time player, Gordon Hayward, has yet to rediscover his pre-injury form.
Boston will try to sign either Kemba Walker or Jonas Vucevic. Even if they do, the Celtics won’t be any better next season than they were this season. But, all is not lost for Celtics fans. Even with just Taytum and Brown as their core, Boston could still be the favorites to win the Eastern Conference.
If Kawhi leaves the Toronto Raptors for a Western Conference squad, the Celtics could be number one in the East. Khris Middleton has already said he’s leaving Milwaukee. It’s crazy how things work out in the NBA.
Where will Kevin Durant end up?
The Golden State Warriors can offer Durant the max available with the most years possible. That would give Durant security. However, Durant said he’s exploring his free agency options. The reason likely has to do with the way the whole ankle injury situation happened during the playoffs. Durant obviously wasn’t one-hundred percent, but because his employers wanted him on the court, KD played.
That turned out bad for Kevin Durant. He might want to go through rehab with a different organization. There’s also the chance that the only reason the Warriors want to sign Durant to a max contract is so that they can trade him. Players don’t often like being used that way.
If Durant decides not to stick with Golden State, he could end up a New York Knick. The Knicks want Kevin Durant. The team is awful, but playing in New York has some major perks. Plus, who’s to say the Knicks only sign Kevin Durant? They could pair him with Kemba Walker or Kyrie Irving.
Wherever KD goes, he deserves success. Few players would have laid it all on the line the way Durant did in that playoff game against the Raptors.