You can never know what NBA players are going to do. More often than not, they wind up making everybody look like a fool by completing a move to a team nobody expected in the first place.
Even so, judging from what we’ve seen out of some players and the full landscape of their cap space and their chances to contend, we can already make our picks about where some of the best players in the world will land.
The thing is, this upcoming free agency features several top-tier NBA players, and while everybody is going to try and make the most of the sweepstakes, there are only so many spots available. Tonight, we’re going to let you know about the most realistic destination for every top free agent.
7. Kemba Walker - Charlotte Hornets
Even though Kemba Walker is going to be heavily pursued by the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks, we just don’t see him leaving the Charlotte Hornets. Not now, not later, not ever.
Walker is one of the best players in franchise history and they can offer him the most money while also giving him the chance to be the team’s go-to-guy. Sadly, he’s never going to be able to compete for a Championship.
6. Jimmy Butler - Los Angeles Lakers
While Jimmy Butler was heavily tied with a move to the New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets, latest reports point towards the two-way guard/forward leaning towards signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers are going to be extremely aggressive in their pursuit for All-Star caliber talents in the summer, and while we don’t see them finding much success in free agency, they’re a lock to make a huge bid for Butler.
5. DeMarcus Cousins - Los Angeles Clippers
Even if the Golden State Warriors fail to keep Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson, they are not going to resign DeMarcus Cousins. All Cousins wanted was to have the chance to make it to the playoffs and have an easy way to the NBA Finals, and now he’s going after the money.
There’s just no way Cousins is going to leave more money on the table and the Clippers are in a prime position to offer him a lucrative contract
The Los Angeles Clippers are in the prime position to offer him a lucrative contract, and they will compete with the Mavericks, Lakers, and Knicks for one of the best big men in the NBA.
4. Klay Thompson - Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson has repeatedly claimed he’s quite comfortable at the Bay. He loves it there, he’s happy with the role he has, and he knows they can (and will) offer him a bunch load of money. So why would he leave?
Thompson is already a borderline Hall of Famer, a three-time NBA Champion and one of the best shooters we’ve ever seen. He doesn’t need any kind of pressure on his shoulders, so there is no need to try to have a bigger role elsewhere.
3. Kyrie Irving - New York Knicks
Kyrie Irving is just not staying with the Boston Celtics. We know it, he knows it, even Danny Ainge knows it. The New York Knicks are bound to make a run at him, and they can offer him a massive deal.
Kyrie and the Celtics just don’t get along and Uncle Drew would love to go back to where it all started. After dominating at TD Garden, he wants to be ‘the man’ at Madison Square Garden as well.
2. Kawhi Leonard - Los Angeles Clippers
The Toronto Raptors are quite optimistic of their chances to keep Kawhi Leonard beyond this season, but, truth to be told, we really don’t like their chances, even if they make it to this year’s Finals.
Kawhi has already stated he wants to play in Los Angeles and has bought a huge mansion in Southern California. The Clippers have a great coach, a promising core, and a lot of money. It’s a no-brainer for him.
1. Kevin Durant - New York Knicks
Ever since the start of the season, all signs have pointed towards a potential Kevin Durant exit from the Golden State Warriors, and latest reports claim his move to the Knicks is already a ‘done deal’.
Durant and Irving are keen to join forces and Durant would love to help his legacy by taking this mediocre franchise back from the ground. The Knicks are one of the biggest markets in the world, and he knows that winning at MSG will make him one of basketball’s biggest legends.