Free agency is very much a mixed bag of thrill and disappointment. These five teams will have to look elsewhere in building their franchise. Consider these 5 hyped-up scenarios to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors. These are the top 5 signings will not take place in the 2019 offseason:
5. Kyrie Irving To The Celtics
The engagement between Uncle Drew and the Celtics never turned into a marriage. Kyrie is a star, but he does not fit in Brad Stevens system on the Celtics. The chemistry went bottoms up and the Celtics despite being loaded with talent could not make a deep run in the playoffs. Kyrie was not the leader they had hoped for. Maybe, Kyrie can still be the man, but it might have to be in Brooklyn.
Kyrie Irving is an undoubtedly phenomenal talent, but he is leaving Boston for a similar situation in Brooklyn: a young team that he will have trouble leading. Kyrie Irving can be the best scorer on any team, but not the best player. As great as Irving is, there’s a need for maturity and growth. Irving has to leave his flat earth-centered convos and "government conspiracies" talk at the door. The Nets' success depends largely on Irving's development as a leader and a player, not an attention-grabbing diva.
4. Kemba Walker To The Knicks
Kemba Walker is a native of New York. Sources close to Walker have professed that he has no desire to play in the big apple. According to Dallas Mavericks insider Mike Fisher, Walker, who’s a New York native, does not have an interest in returning there.
Walker will definitely be choosing between 4 or 5 teams in free agency. The teams are likely the Mavericks, Hornets, Celtics, Clippers, and Lakers. The Knicks will have to settle for tier 3 or 4 free agents like Julius Randle, DeMarcus Cousins, or Bobby Portis.
3. Klay Thompson To The Clippers
The star shooter will not be suiting up for anybody, but Golden State. The torn ACL definitely changes the market for a guy like Thompson, but all indications have us believing the Warriors will give Klay the max to return to the bay.
While the Clippers have a realistic shot at Kawhi Leonard, Klay is likely not in the cards for them. Loyalty, money, and a home-grown atmosphere will prove too much to leave behind for the 5x All-Star.
2. Jimmy Butler To The Nets
Jimmy Butler is the logical backup choice to any team who might miss out on a tier A free agent like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker or Kyrie Irving. Butler seems more like he is destined to head West based on speculation.
The Rockets and Lakers are in a seem able tug of war for his services. Butler brings all-out grit, leadership, hustle, and versatility to guard up to 4 positions. The Nets seem destined on a Kyrie and KD pair up. Butler is likely not on the radar of Brooklyn. I believe the Rockets will clear out the cap space needed to get Jimmy Butler.
1. Kawhi Leonard To The Lakers
The Lakers win most of the glory in LA, but not in the Kawhi sweepstakes. It seems to be a two-team race between the Raptors and Clippers for the superstar swingman’s services. The two-way guru is not lining up to play third or even second fiddle to LeBron or Davis. Kawhi is not the type to team up with buddies. He’s a competitor -- a rarity in a buddy-buddy league.
The Lakers have a real shot at guys like Jimmy Butler, D'Angelo Russell, Kemba Walker, and even DeMarcus Cousins. They are probably sliding in the DMs of many free agents, but the Klaw has his sights set on either the LA Clippers or the Toronto Raptors.