This summer sent a huge shock-wave throughout the NBA with stars like LeBron James, Paul George, and Chris Paul making huge decisions about their future. For most, this summer was really one of the wildest in recent memory... and it's hard to argue.
Yet, even with all the summer's events in the books, it may just be a warm-up for whats to come in 12 more months.
The summer of 2019 brings all sorts of new players to the field and has (arguably) the best class of free-agents ever. It's unlike anything the league has seen before. So who are the supposed "big names" hitting the market next summer? Well, we're glad you asked!
7. Kristaps Porzingis
KP isn't the biggest name on this list, but he might be the most intriguing. After playing his way into New York's heart, his season got cut short by an ACL tear. While he's expected to come back sometime next season, nobody knows how soon it will be, or how good he will recover.
If he picks up where he left off as a player, his multi-dimensional play and shot-blocking prowess would make him an extremely valuable piece for any team come 2019. If he, however, comes back as only half of himself (or misses all of next season entirely), he may not even find himself with a max offer on the table when he hits the market in 12 months.
6. Al Horford
It's unlikely he'll leave the Celtics, but stranger things have happened, right? Al Horford has been a valuable big man almost his entire career. With the Hawks, his ability to play inside-and-out was key to playing alongside Paul Millsap. And now, in Boston, his skill set on both sides of the floor allows Horford to impact the game in more ways than just scoring.
Regardless of how he's used, his mix of modern and traditional big man play is a near perfect fit for any roster. If he somehow finds himself considering a departure from Boston next offseason, he could be one of the key free agents of the summer.
5. Jimmy Butler
So, Jimmy Butler is guaranteed to hit the market next offseason after turning down a four-year extension worth approximately $110 million from the Timberwolves. He's probably not going back either, as he is having some serious issues with some of the team's young stars.
The Knicks will likely serve as the front-runner for his services, but both L.A. teams will likely make a run for him.
What makes Butler such a high target is his two-sided game. On defense, he is known as one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. He's been setting the tone for Minnesota's defense since his arrival. And on offense, J.B. can score a myriad of ways.
4. Klay Thompson
If you're not a fan of the Golden State Warriors, the summer of 2019 may be your time to rejoice.
There's just no way the Dubs can continue to pay all these All-Stars, especially with Thompson and Green likely to command a huge pay raise. And for a guy like Thompson, who's done everything behind Steph (and now behind Durant), why not try and see what you can do on your own?
Basically, every team with cap-space will have Klay in their sights, and for good reason. Aside from Curry, Thompson is the best shooter in the league. Coupled with his defense, his game is truly one of a kind.
3. Kyrie Irving
When the Celtics traded for Uncle Drew, it instantly changed the game for them. In today's NBA, having an All-Star caliber point guard is essential. And when that point guard has the best handles in the game, it only helps to bolster Championship hopes.
Although it's likely Kyrie stays in Boston, some have said he's strongly considering a move to New York to meet up with Jimmy Butler.
Of course, with huge health concerns on the table, and reports being made public about his diva-like behavior in Cleveland, his reputation may have taken a hit since his 2016 Championship run.
2. Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard wants to be a Laker. And whether he has to wait a year or not, the only thing likelier than him ending up in Los Angeles is him leaving the Spurs.
The only thing that's clear, is that Kawhi will have to play his heart out for whatever team he suits up for next season. Putting aside obvious health questions, he'll have to repair a broken reputation after much reporting was released regarding the dramatic situation with San Antonio.
Yet, as the second-best two way player in the entire NBA, Kawhi's place amongst the hierarchy will never be argued.
1. Kevin Durant
When KD announced his decision to join the Warriors, he made no promise that he'd stay forever.
Whether that's next summer or another summer, teams will no doubt be pusuing his services.
Could a return to D.C. suit his desires? Maybe a return to OKC? As the second-best player in basketball and the best offensive player in basketball, he'll impact his team in more ways than one.