PREDICTING THE LANDING SPOTS FOR THE TOP 5 FREE AGENTS

By Joseph Cervantes

.

.

.

5. Klay Thompson

Team Prediction: Golden State Warriors

Contract Predicition: $190 Million/ 5 Years

Klay Thompson is coming off an impressive season with improvements towards his defensive game but unfortunately, he suffered a devastating ACL injury against the Toronto Raptors in the Finals. Typically, a torn ACL can take around 7-10 months to recover from, so he is expected to play again at some point next season. Klay made it clear to the Golden State Warriors that he wants the max deal which is $190 million for 5 years but would explore other options in free agency if they fail to offer it to him. However, Klay’s Dad mentioned that his son is planning to be a Warrior for life, “Oh yeah, you can mark it down. Klay’s going to retire in the Warriors’ uniform”. It looks like it’s a done deal as long as the Warriors give Klay the max contract he deserves.

.

.

4. Kyrie Irving

Team Prediciton: Brooklyn Nets

Contract Prediciton: $141 Million/ 4 years

At the start of the 2018-2019 season, the Celtics were favorites to win the East with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward being fully healthy. On October 4th, 2018, Kyrie said ¨If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here next year¨. However, their season came to an unanticipated turn as they struggled in the regular season with a record of 49-33 and failed to make it past the second round against the Milwaukee Bucks. Recently, Kyrie opted out of his $21.3 million contract which makes him a free agent this offseason, so the question is which team will he sign with? There are strong indications that Kyrie plans to sign with the Brooklyn Nets which is 22 miles away from his hometown, West Orange, NJ. Irving is planning to sign with agency group Roc Nation Sports, the agency with longtime connections to Warriors superstar Kevin Durant. Kyrie´s decision will ultimately come down to where Durant signs with regardless of his injury, as both of them have discussed about pairing up this upcoming season .

.

.

3. Jimmy Butler

Team Predicition: Philidelphia 76ers

Contract Predicition: 189 Million/ 5 years

At the beginning of the 2018-2019 season, Jimmy Butler got off to a bumpy start with the Minnesota Timberwolves due to the locker room drama and eventually requested a trade a few weeks after. Fortunately, he was traded to a contending team, the Philadelphia 76ers, a team filled with young talent and lots of potential. Jimmy stated that whatever team that intends to sign him, should only offer him the max contract. It’s uncertain whether Jimmy will resign with the 76ers if they were to offer him the max contract. Although Jimmy is turning 30 years old this year, he still has many years left in his prime, which is why the 76ers should offer him the 5 year $190 million max contract. Jimmy Butler ́s best option for his career would be to resign because his chemistry will become stronger with the team as time progresses, while also playing alongside with Simmons and Embiid. If the 76ers are able to resign Jimmy Butler, they can become a legitimate contender for the East this upcoming season.

.

.

2. Kevin Durant

Team Prediciton: Brooklyn Nets

Contract Prediction: 164 Million/ 4 years

Kevin Durant is one of biggest centerpieces this upcoming offseason, as wherever team he goes to can impact the decision on other free agents. After suffering a gruesome injury with a ruptured right Achilles tendon, Durant is very unlikely to play next season. Recently, Durant declined his $31.5 million player option which means he’s getting a new contract wherever he goes this up coming. After getting so much backlash for joining a team filled with all-star talents, Durant is set to lead his own team once again and possibly pairing up with another star. All eyes look at both New York teams as they both have the cap space to sign two max contract players. Brooklyn is looking like a real possibly for Durant, as his longtime best friend Kyrie Irving, is reportedly also looking to sign with Brooklyn. Kevin Durant is an unpredictable man and will be patient this off season as to which team he signs with.

.

.

1. Kawhi Leonard

Team Prediciton: Los Angeles Lakers

Salary Prediction: $141 Million/4 year

Kawhi Leonard has one of the biggest decisions in his life this offseason, which could ultimately come down to winning, being close to his family, and his long-time dream of playing on an NBA team in Socal. Let´s take a look back at his team history before the NBA, he played high school ball at MLK high, which is located in Riverside, 55 miles away from LA. He then went on to play at a smaller college SDSU, which is only a couple hours away from Riverside and LA. So it was pretty clear that Kawhi liked the idea of playing close to his hometown. Also, a majority of his family is from Riverside and they all indeed have a strong relationship with Kawhi, especially his 4 sisters. In recent interviews, Kawhi stated that he doesn’t care about being the best player on his team, he cares about winning. Playing with Lebron James and Anthony Davis is a once in a lifetime opportunity right now and would instantly make the Lakers favorites to win the Championship. Nonetheless, Kawhis decision could’ve already been made back in June 2018, when he and his uncle Dennis (his agent/manager) requested a trade to the LA Lakers. Kawhi already proved he can lead a team to a championship in Toronto, what would his purpose be if he stayed? Kawhi “carried” the Raptors in the 76ers series and put so much stress and harm into his body that he had to play through an injury. They beat the Bucks as a team effort from everyone and from Kawhi’s late game clutchness. They beat the Warriors but in reality it was because of the devastating injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. If Durant played, it would have been too much for Kawhi and who knows what could’ve happened. He wouldn’t be able to “carry” teams throughout the playoffs anymore if he wants to take care of his body. Kawhi really cares about his body as shown in past history with the Spurs, so his best option would be the Lakers because of superstars Lebron and Davis. He won’t have to take over in games as many times as he did on the Raptors. That will be a huge X factor when it comes time for his decision. Kawhi is set to have meetings with the LA Lakers and the LA Clippers next week alongside his Uncle Dennis.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s