Editors note: Since the writing of this article, news has surfaced that Kyrie Irving does indeed intend to sign with the Brooklyn Nets.
Every basketball fan loves this time of year. The finals are over, the champions have been crowned, and the draft has come and gone. Next up is the biggest day of the year: the opening of free agency. It’s like Christmas day for NBA fans. The excitement level is off the charts. Here are some of the biggest names in free agency, and some rumored landing spots.
Kemba Walker. The Celtics are in the running for Kemba Walker. On Saturday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Celtics will sign Walker to a four-year, $141 million contract, an offer that Charlotte can not match. The Celtics, after looking like everything was falling apart at the seams because Al Horford wanted out and Kyrie Irving is departing, make a big splash with one of the first reported signings. According to Max Kellerman of ESPN, “Kyrie Irving’s skills are superior to Kemba Walker’s, but Boston will be a better team if they can sign Kemba.”
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. With Kemba Walker heading to Boston, where is Kyrie Irving going? Nets or Knicks, right? The Nets would be a better situation for both parties because the Knicks are a trainwreck. The Nets come into play as the front runners for Irving, and Durant, too. Both players would be a good fit. The Nets have a lot of young talent that Irving or Durant could help bring to the next level.
Kris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon. The Milwaukee Bucks want to keep their superstar Giannis Antetokuompo happy. Keeping Kris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon would definitely help the Milwaukee Bucks do so. This would also give them another shot at reaching the NBA Finals and possibly winning a title for the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks ownership would probably pay the luxury tax if needed to keep this team together.
Kawhi Leonard. Many reporters have linked Kawhi Leonard to Los Angeles; supposedly, he has interesting in playing with the Lakers or the Clippers. If the Clippers can court Leonard, they would be an interesting team. Then, if they clear enough cap room for another max slot, they could go after someone like Jimmy Butler.
Al Horford. Some Boston Celtics players and coach Brad Stevens created a rift inside the locker room — especially star center Al Horford. Horford was so upset that he did not sign a three-year, $60 million extension. According to varying reports, Horford may have believed that Gordon Hayward was forced more touches than everybody else. This was to help his shot mechanics and rhythm. This was a huge concern for Horford considering that Hayward was out a whole year because of a freak injury. His shot was way off and he seemed to lack any confidence in it. The Philidelphia 76ers and the Sacramento Kings seem to be set in position as the front runners for the veteran, according to reports.
D’Angelo Russell. Many reports from various NBA insiders expect the Brooklyn Nets to part ways with Russell, who will likely have many suitors.