With free agency already underway, several teams are looking to improve their rosters in order to boost their Championship odds, although we already know the Golden State Warriors are most likely to just win it all again.
Also, now that Paul George, LeBron James and DeMarcus Cousins have already chosen their respective destinations, there aren’t any top-notch free agents teams could pursue in this upcoming weeks.
So, most teams are already planning ahead of the 2019 summer, that’s likely to be one of the most insane free agencies in the history of the game, considering how much prominent names are going to be up for grabs. Having said that, let’s take a look at next year’s top free agents.
10. Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker has been involved in dozens of trade rumors ever since the prior campaign when the Charlotte Hornets were reportedly trying to move him, and now that the team has signed Tony Parker, it seems like they already know he’s outgrown them.
Walker is an above the average scorer and a solid playmaker but has always lacked the kind of true support cast to truly show his expertise, and with a very short market for point guards right now, he could be in for a major deal next season.
9. Khris Middleton
Khris Middleton has to be by far one of the most underrated players in the NBA, but truth to be told, he’s a very solid defender and a switchable wing that could guard and play up to the power forward position in small ball sets.
Also, he’s a very consistent shooter that can score from all three levels and contribute in several categories of the stat sheet. Every team looking for a wing should definitely go ahead and try to make a run at him.
8. Kevin Love
It seems like Kevin Love is just not getting the respect he deserves anymore because people tend to forget how much of a dominant scorer and rebounder he was throughout his Timberwolves tenure and how consistent he was for the Cavs as well.
Love is an underrated passer, a committed rebounder and a guy that’s able to spread the offense, a tailor-made big man for modern basketball, and he’ll likely be traded by Cleveland at some point this season.
7. Marc Gasol
Even though Marc Gasol isn’t getting any younger, he’s still going to draw a lot of attention come 2019 and he becomes an unrestricted free agent, as he’s already stated that he’s “torn between the desire to win and his love for Memphis”.
The former Defensive Player of the Year is still a top-notch defender that could play below the rim or guard all the way to the perimeter, not to mention his great playmaking skills and ability to run the offense as a point center.
6. DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins just became one of the NBA’s biggest enemies after taking the easy way out and taking just 5.3 million to play for the Golden State Warriors alongside 4 All-Stars and most likely piggyback ride his way to the Championship.
Even though, keeping him beyond this season is going to be extremely tough for the Dubs, as they’re going to have to find the way to keep as much as 3 free agents happy, on board and with a big paycheck at the end of the month.
5. Jimmy Butler
According to several reports, Jimmy Butler has grown sick and tired of the lack of competitiveness and character the young Timberwolves have shown and would like to go back to the Eastern Conference to compete for a Championship.
Butler is a top-tier two-way player and could draw a lot of interest, but he won’t settle for anything less than a max deal unless it gives him a true shot at the ring, and the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks have already emerged as potential suitors.
4. Klay Thompson
Even though Klay Thompson has stated over and over that he’s more than happy with the role and the money he’s getting with the Golden State Warriors, we all know he could be any team’s go-to-guy and get paid big time.
Thompson grew a Lakers fan and the team would love to make a run at him, and with the Dubs kind of short on cash for the summer, 2019 might as well be the year when somebody’s going to be able to dethrone them.
3. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving has already refused to commit to a long-term deal with the Boston Celtics, stating that it didn’t make any sense, financially speaking. Furthermore, that statement may be his ticket out of the team that traded for him a year ago.
Irving is reportedly looking forward to joining forces with Jimmy Butler to rule the Eastern Conference, and he was linked with a move to the Nets or Knicks before heading to the Celtics as well.
2. Kawhi Leonard
Assuming Kawhi Leonard’s ability to come back as dominant as he was before being on the losing end of Zaza Pachulia’s cheap shot, he’s going to be one of the most desired players in the world in 2019.
Also, it’s fair to say that Kawhi has already said that he wants to be in Los Angeles when he hits free agency, so the Lakers and Clippers are the obvious frontrunners to land him, but that doesn’t mean any other team could end up convincing him.
1. Kevin Durant
And 2019’s top free agent has to be Kevin Durant, who’ll likely join the team that beats the Warriors this season. Durant has grown to be arguably the best player in the world, and every single team with enough cap space to try and get him will make a run at him.
All jokes aside, Durant has already tainted his legacy by betraying the Oklahoma City Thunder, so we don’t really see him leaving the Warriors until he decides to retire, but who knows? If he’s done it once, maybe he’ll do it again.