Free agency in the NBA is far from over.
In professional sports, there is one stretch of time that is drowned by rumors and news concerning some of the best players. These news pieces and rumors become reality for a slew of “top dogs”. In NBA free agency, these rumors create a frenzy that I refer to as “the carousel frenzy”. This year, the top players of the National Basketball Association targeted two of the big ones in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. All too often, fans get so wrapped up in watching where two or three specific players land. However, there is so much more to this frenzy than what fans are concentrating on. I have seen free agency make or break teams, careers, and franchises. The FA class of 2019 was loaded with some of the pioneers of 2000’s basketball looking for new homes. Every single FA window places targets on players but things were ramped up like never before. NGSC Sports breaks down all of the important moves for you.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signed $282 million worth of deals. The Durant deal can be worth up to $164M when all is said and done and it goes for four years. Irving’s deal is also four years at $141 million Plus, DeAndre Jordan is also becoming a Net. Jordan’s deal is worth a stellar $40 million over the course of four years. In the end, the Nets stuck it to their crosstown rivals, the New York Knicks. For the last two years, we have heard the Knick front office talk about unloading players to make cap space to get Durant. Since Irving was rumored to follow him, it widely suspected they would both be at the mecca of spirts, Madison Square Garden. In three years, the Nets managed to pull off what the Knicks have been trying to do for two decades.
Honestly, I only like one part of this deal and that is Kyrie coming to the Nets. He is now out of what I consider a “struggling Boston organization” and into an up and coming Nets camp. To be clear, when I say struggling I am talking about according to standards set by the Boston sports community. Kyrie was screwed in Boston and quite frankly I think both he and Boston needed a change. Boston needed a new face for their franchise and he just needed to become the focus of a drastically different fanbase. As for Kevin Durant, the 30-year-old phenom has to overcome an injury that most who have suffered have not overcome. I don’t see him coming back as healthy and as strong as he was. Perhaps, he should have been given a little less money for two years then we see what happens and seek an extension. Maybe, for all the criticism against him, Knicks owner, James Dolan, made the right call.
I want to see how Jordan will do with his new teammates and surroundings. I think there is potential, but he should be able to work at his own pace and his own way into it. Furthermore, the fact that the friendship was used to structure these contracts is ridiculous. The purpose of friendship is love and support, not money. I feel as if money and professionalism just became the focus of this friendship thanks to the Nets.
Kemba Walker signed with the Boston Celtics for $141 million spanning over four years. This is a huge victory for Kemba because the management in Charlotte just could not handle him. With them being a smaller team on the forefront, considering teams like Boston. This a win-loss-win situation for several parties. The loser here is Charlotte as they are getting rid of one of the premier players in the league and the face of their franchise. They were getting him with a base sticker price of $12 million/year with no bonus. Mind you, when Kemba signed nobody knew he was going to turn into the animal he is now.
Walker is taking an upgrade in pay and getting the recognition he deserves. Boston has been deep into the playoffs for as many years as I can remember. He has been looking for a team to really utilize him and he may have found it. I strongly believe he could have been a role player anywhere he went. Boston just so happened to be the lucky ones and boy will they benefit. It will take a solid chunk of money, but it was well worth it. The Boston camp was able to accomplish its goal of moving Kyrie elsewhere and rebranding their team. They were also able to rid themselves of the headache in Rozier who I frankly have not paid attention to during his time as a Bostonian. Boston knocked this deal out of the park by giving Rozier room to succeed in this sign and trade type deal.
In case you have not figured it out yet I do not think the Nets won free agency. The winner and MVP of free agency is the Warriors organization. They signed Klay Thompson to a super-max deal of five years worth a salary figure of $190 million. This allows a sense of normalcy and leadership after losing KD who opted-out from 31.7 million dollars for the 2020 campaign.
Klay, who is 29 years of age, brings a seasoned career with this organization to his teammates and allows for that sense of brotherhood to stay intact. He has the skill and will remain in his prime years for this team and more than likely retire a GSW. This was a no-brainer of a deal for this organization. It was a home-run but then the front office said “we aren’t done” and landed D’Angelo Russell. They shelled out four years and $117 million for the star. This allowed for real compensation with the loss of Durant and the sidelining of his new teammate Thompson. Once Thompson returns, watch out for what may be the new A-list couple of the NBA.
Now for the conference, I am expecting Golden State to bring home the trophy in 2020. You can say Dustyn they lost Durant, my answer is he is overrated and the Warriors were able to capitalize and find two studs to drive this team down the trail. I certainly was expecting Thompson to remain, but I was not expecting the move for Russell which really sealed the deal.
Jimmy Butler finally got his deal done in a sign and trade that takes him to South Beach, Miami. The deal is for four years at $142 million and Butler made it clear that he wanted to play in Miami once he met with the Heat. I am not sure how this is going to turn out in the long run, but Butler is now the man on his own team.
This party is still not over as Kawhi Leonard has yet to sign. Rumors have it that he is going to go to one of three teams in the Raptors, Lakers or Clippers. Some are saying that it would be a weak move if he teamed up with LeBron and AD and others are saying he is the missing piece for the Clippers. His decision could come as soon as today and as late as Saturday.
Stay tuned because NGSC Sports never stops and we will bring you more news when it is available on the free agent class of 2019.
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