As one door closes, another door opens. The 2019 NBA free-agency is now an open door again for all the most notable players to settle in to new or old teams. Much can change for better or worse before next July starts as star players may sign extensions or opt into the final year of their contracts. Needless to say, there will no doubt be an abundance of top-tier superstars up for grabs next summer.
With an endless number of trade requests and predictions, this list discusses on five players who are due to make an impact wherever they sign.
- Kyrie Irving
Blazing up the court with a regular season average of 23.3 points, all-star Kyrie Irving has been an essential asset to the Celtics’ wins this season. With Irving leading Boston to a possible NBA Finals position, the Celtics would most probably want to keep Irving long-term by extending his contract.
Irving said in June. “Really integrating myself with our team again and really focus on winning a championship. That’s the only thing I’m really worried about. Until I get to that point, then I can’t really answer any questions. I’m pretty sure management and I will have a talk, but that talk won’t happen now.”
Alongside the Celtics’ desire to keep him in the long run, Irving himself may choose to stay too. Playing for the Celtics offers him everything he could want — a chance to be an All-Star leader of a championship contender.
- Kristaps Porziņģis
Kristaps Porziņģis is a 7-foot-3 giant that pounds in the paint and possess the ability to make jumpers as well. (22.7 points on average) The domination in the low post is not at the expense of his speed and shooting at the perimeter, which makes him a modern-day unicorn on the court. Factoring in his young age, the potential for long-term game-play and growth makes him an extremely hot commodity in the league.
With Porzingis sitting out with an ACL injury, the New York Knicks had sadly voted against extending his rookie contract prior to the deadline.
However, with such talent and ability, it is likely for him to be a great addition to almost any potential team. Although there is no confirmed news as to when and where he will possibly return to, the Denver Nuggets may be a possible team that would want him traded in. With his height together with Centre Giant Nikola Jokic, fans will probably be salivating over that offensive overkill on the court. On the other hand, the Boston Celtics may be interested in him as a strong and reliable centre alternative in place of injured Aron Baynes and Robert Williams to jack up their rebounds and offensive output alongside Kyrie Irving who has shown interest in playing with him.
- Kevin Durant
The two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP, golden boy Kevin Durant who plays for the Golden State Warriors is currently one of the best scorers available in the league.
With a consistent trend of signing extremely short commitments with the Warriors and awkward team chemistry in the locker room with the other players, it is most probable that he will leave on top of the fact that the Warriors are constantly reigning and Durant may seek for a new challenge that the Warriors are unable to offer.
Moreover, Durant is prioritizing his game-play and money offered in his trade deal, as he puts it, it’ll be about “playing basketball and stacking money.”
Factoring his need for a challenge as well as his priority of signing super max contracts, Durant’s destinations are likely big-time commercial market teams such as the New York Knicks and either of the Los Angeles team.
Critics might feel that the exit of Durant might end the Warriors dynasty but Curry is the catalyst for the team.
- Jimmy Butler
The former NBA All-star player Jimmy Butler had requested for a trade from the Timberwolves and had already listed his desired destinations: Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. However, this does not mean that the Wolves will comply to his requests necessarily. Furthermore, his season outlooks with the suggested teams may not do his potential much justice. Although he may be able to pursue All-Star game stats, it is unlikely that he would make the playoffs.
On the other hand, teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics may be a good choice for Butler. Boston could, in theory, start Irving, Butler, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford as a strong and tight starting line-up. Lakers would be a decent choice with Butler acing up with superstar LeBron James on the court. However, considering Butler as an alpha-dog, working with King James in his shadow may not be the most ideal. Hence, working alongside Irving in Celtics would be a better match up for Butler.
- Anthony Davis
The Brow has put up another spectacular performance with a regular season average of 28.5 points on 49% shooting, 45% from three, and 13 rebounds. However, the lack of playoff runs may not be enough for Davis to stay with the Pelicans. The Pelicans are evidently far from being a championships contender. This is hard for Davis as he has more than enough potential to be a top-three NBA player. While Davis hasn’t given any indications that he wants to leave New Orleans, there have been signs that may concern the Pelicans. Davis recently told Yahoo’s Chris Haynes, for instance, that for the Pelicans to win, he has to be nearly perfect. The stress and pressure to carry a team single handed may eventually drive Davis away to a stronger team with better chances at the championships.
Although rumors have been surrounding around the possibility of LeBron James and Davis teaming up in the Lakers as an ultimate duo, he might be a better fit for the Boston Celtics who have a great chance as a championship contender. His elite level may be complemented by Irving and the rest. Nonetheless, his future still remains uncertain.Leave a comment