Predicting landing spots for NBA's biggest free agents

Predicting landing spots for NBA's biggest free agents

Cavaliers

Predicting landing spots for NBA's biggest free agents

The NBA offseason never fails to disappoint, but this one looks to be on a whole different level. Kawhi Leonard reportedly wants out of San Antonio, LeBron James rumors are running rampant, and every team is still trying to catch to the Golden State Warriors.

On top of all that, this year’s free agent class is riddled with talent. Here is a look at the top ten free agents this offseason and where each of them could wind up.

LeBron James

LeBron James had arguably one of the best postseason performances in NBA history this season. His Herculean effort was enough to bring the Cavaliers to the Finals, but it was not enough to defeat Golden State.  This offseason LeBron will be looking for a destination that will offer him the best chance to win. James’ relationship with Dan Gilbert does not appear to be getting better, so Cleveland has their backs up against the wall.

This decision will likely come down to the Cavaliers, Rockets, Celtics, 76ers and Lakers. Financial limitations will take the Celtics and Rockets out of the running. It’s been reported the Celtics  believe adding LeBron James will not be possible.

Therefore, I believe it is a two-team race between Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s young nucleus will be a major draw for James, but I believe Magic Johnson will be able to create a strong enough roster to entice LeBron to come to LA.

Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers

Kevin Durant

Two rings in two years. The only question here is whether he signs a long term or short term deal with the Warriors after he exercises his opt-out clause.

Prediction: Golden State Warriors

Paul George

The Thunder had the early advantage in trying to sign Paul George this offseason, but after failing to make it past the first round of the playoffs, the superstar will test the free agent market.

The Thunder are confident they can still re-sign George, however, that was before Josh Hart’s latest Instagram post with Paul George sent the Twitterverse into a frenzy. The opportunity to win a championship in Los Angeles alongside another superstar will prove to be the ultimate draw for the LA-native.

Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers

Chris Paul

The 33-year-old is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and will be seeking a max contract.  The Rockets will do everything in their power to retain him and put back together the lineup that had the Warriors on the brink of elimination. The talented point guard has expressed interest in playing with LeBron James, but his contract will put Houston out of the running for the superstar.

Prediction: Houston Rockets

DeMarcus Cousins

Although he is coming off of a torn Achilles, DeMarcus Cousins is still the best center on the free agent market. The Dallas Mavericks will offer him the most money, but the Lakers, Pelicans and Wizards offer him a better chance to win.

Cousins is a tough one to predict because it’ll come down to who the Lakers decide to spend their money on. If the Lakers trade for Kawhi Leonard while landing LeBron James and Paul George in free agency, they will not be able to sign Cousins. However, if they fail to get either of those three, they will make a run at the former Kentucky star.

In the end, the Spurs will most likely deal Leonard to a team in the East and the opportunity to compete against the Kings will be too much for Cousins to pass up.

Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers (if they don’t get Kawhi)

Clint Capela

The 24-year-old had a breakout season in 2018. He averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and nearly two blocks per game. Capela is a restricted free agent, therefore, Houston has the ability to match any offer he receives (including a max contract). The Rockets will keep their original trio in tact this offseason.

Prediction: Houston Rockets

Aaron Gordon

Gordon averaged 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds last season. The 22-year-old is a restricted free agent, but if he is offered a max contract the Magic may look move on this offseason. Teams looking to build around young talent — such as Brooklyn, Indiana, and Dallas — all have the potential to offer him a deal of that caliber.

The Pacers will be looking to add an impact player to their roster to help separate them from the middle of the pack in the East and Aaron Gordon appears to be the most logical choice.

Prediction: Indiana Pacers

Julius Randle

Although he is another restricted free agent, the Dallas Mavericks and Julius Randle are a match made in Heaven. Julius Randle averaged 16.1 points and 8 rebounds last season in Los Angeles, but with the Lakers front office looking elsewhere this offseason (more on this here) it is likely they will not re-sign him. The Mavericks are desperate for talented big men and will offer Randle a contract the Lakers cannot afford to match.

Prediction: Dallas Mavericks

Derrick Favors

With the emergence of Rudy Gobert, Favors found himself in a limited role last season. In the 23 games he started when Gobert was hurt, he averaged 15 points and eight rebounds. The former No. 3 overall pick will be looking to find a larger role and Washington can offer him just that.

Prediction: Washington Wizards

DeAndre Jordan

Jordan will draw interest from a numerous amount of teams in the league. If he does decide to leave LA, the elite rebounder would pair nicely with Porzingis in New York

Prediction: New York Knicks

This is going to be an intense offseason as teams are gearing up to try to dethrone the Warriors. It will be interesting to see how accurate these predictions are when it is all said and done.

 

 

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