This summer was filled with action. Paul George getting traded to Oklahoma City, Chris Paul getting traded to the Houston Rockets, and Gordon Hayward signing with the Celtics were just some of the moves made this offseason. With all that action has come drama too, first with Carmelo Anthony, then with Kyrie Irving.
It’s safe to say that these past few months have been a wild ride. But when looking at next summer’s list of Free Agents, it’s easy to realize that we’ve seen nothing yet. Some of the best players in the world are Free Agents next year, and their moves could shake up the NBA hierarchy for good.
Here are the Top 5 Free Agents in the summer of 2018:
On July 1st, 2018, Chris Paul will be 33 years old. He’ll still likely get close to max money, but he has lost value as his age continues to add up. Nobody knows how the Rockets will fare in the upcoming season. But if the team ends up a bust, CP3 may not be shy in his exit. One huge contender for Chris Paul’s services next summer could be Cleveland, who would want to sign Paul to keep LeBron James in town. Even at the back end of his career, Paul is still one of the league’s most elite point guards. A smart playmaker and superb passer, Paul personify a special class of pure point guards. Additionally, CP can score and defend in a way most other players can only dream. Hungry and desperate for a Ring, this superstar floor general will be on every team’s list.
Just because Paul George gets to play with Russell Westbrook for a season, doesn’t mean he’s going to stay. In Indiana, all reports claimed he wanted to be a Laker. While that’s quieted down since he’s got traded, he could still elect to move to L.A. next summer. The Purple and Gold may be his first choice, but the Thunder (and some say the Warriors) could make strong cases. PG13 would make any team better on both ends of the floor. His ability to create his own shots on offense while defending the opposing teams best player on the other end is a valuable skill to have. At 27 years old, this two way forward may have yet to hit his prime.
The Thunder are in serious danger next summer. Not only do they risk losing Paul George, but they are also in danger of losing Russell Westbrook, who has been with the Thunder since the 2008 NBA Draft. Yeah, Russ has it pretty good in Oklahoma City. He has complete control in a winning situation. The keys are his. And, while he is likely to stay with the Thunder for at least a few more years, you shouldn’t bet on him staying. The Lakers, amongst others, could be serious contenders to steal Russ away. The 2017 MVP would be a prized addition to any team. He literally does it all, with triple-doubles coming on the daily. Even with how unlikely it seems now, don’t be too surprised to see him packing his bags in a year.
When Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors last summer, it shocked the world. And when Kevin Durant re-signed with the Warriors this summer, it shocked no one. Once you’re a Dub, you won’t want to leave. That was proven this year when the Warriors resigned all but one of their Free Agents. It’s a huge leap, but what if KD pulls King James? What if he wins again next season, and then elects to go back home to bring a ring there? Who knows if OKC would want him at this point, but they’d be stupid not to. The 7-foot superstar is the best scorer in the NBA, with insane shooting and handles to go with above average defense. He may not be the best locker room leader, but he certainly does more than enough to keep things together. All of those talents have been amplified in Golden State, which is probably why he’ll be a Warrior for the rest of his career. But who knows, stranger things have happened, right?
Remember “The Decision?” A young LeBron James shook the NBA with news of his choice to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. Four years and two Championships later, LeBron made “The Decision 2.0” when he announced he was returning to Cleveland. Now a few years removed from that chapter, LeBron once again faces a huge crossroads. With Kyrie wanting out and inadvisable front office shifts making headlines, we could soon find the third installment of the infamous “Decision” saga. The Lakers and Heat have been rumored to be possible LeBron destinations. Even at 33 years old, King James could elevate any team to instant Championship contention. The situation in Cleveland may work out, nobody knows. But until LeBron makes a final choice, everyone will be holding their breath.