The most exciting part of the NBA off season arrives on Sunday afternoon. Here is what to watch for and where to catch all of the breaking news.
The best part of the 2019 NBA season is finally here on Sunday evening, as the 2019 NBA Free Agency period opens at 6 pm ET.
Yes, it is arguably just the draft. The actual season and the playoffs are carry a little more weight. But in terms of sheer drama, it’s awfully tough to beat NBA Free Agency.
Past seasons have included the likes of LeBron James escaping Cleveland, while massive stars like Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and now Anthony Davis have all forced their way out of town via trades.
Adding to the craziness is the ability to profit from these huge transactions. Anyone interested in betting on free agency moves can certainly do that, although it’s impossible to know for sure what will happen.
It’s all coming at us fast starting Sunday night, so let’s dive into what NBA fans should brace for and where they can soak this drama up:
Where to Track NBA Free Agency
In today’s mobile world, you’ll be getting instant news from reporters and even players via social media. However, you know ESPN will be breaking NBA Free Agency news live on the air, while Monday morning sports talk shows like ‘First Take’ will dive into the biggest moves. More specifically, ESPN may be the best spot to catch all of the news. Superstar NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski will be joined by talented basketball writer Zach Lowe bright and early at 7 am ET for the ‘ Woj & Lowe Free Agency Special.’
That gets the ball rolling, while the process will be dissected further starting at 4 pm with a free agency special on ‘The Jump.’
What to Watch For
Keeping tabs on all of the player movement will likely take up a good chunk of your time over the next week. There is a PGA Tour tournament distracting the sports world right now, while the women’s soccer team is also on the field. That being said, you’re not going to want to miss the latest NBA Free Agency buzz. Here are the biggest storylines to track:
Will Kawhi Stay or Go?
The biggest question going into the off season was what will the future hold for Kawhi Leonard. He did his job and won a title with the Toronto Raptors, so he owes nothing to that franchise.
Leonard now has to ask himself if he values winning championships over his original desire to play in Los Angeles. I still think he’s destined to start over with the Clippers, but until we know for sure, this will be the biggest storyline to kick off Sunday.
KD & Kyrie Together?
The chatter has grown quite loud surrounding Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, two high-profile free agents that seem destined to change teams this summer. The issue is if they’ll be doing so together. Reports suggest they’re New York-bound in some capacity. Will Durant’s Achilles injury disrupt their prior plans? Will their union take them to the Nets or Knicks? All of these questions will be answered in a matter of days.
Houston, There’s a Problem
The Rockets took a step backward last year and have been looking at themselves in the mirror lately. That’s put Clint Capela and even Chris Paul in trade talks and whether real or not, the Rockets will have some explaining to do.
Will either player get traded and how will Houston get back into the title conversation? With James Harden’s prime slowly being wasted, the Rockets will have to act fast.
A giant piece to Houston’s puzzle could very well end up being Jimmy Butler. There are bigger names out there at the moment, but Butler’ exiting Philly would negatively impact the 76ers. Depending on where he goes next, Butler’s presence could boost someone else’s NBA Finals odds, too. The question, of course, is where?
Klay to L.A.?
Other names like Tobias Harris and Kemba Walker seem to be in limbo, but I doubt Klay Thompson is going anywhere. He does have ties to L.A, though, and may entertain conversations with both the Lakers and the Clippers, among other franchises.
Thompson has been extremely loyal to the Warriors and values winning above all else, though. The big question is if his knee injury will keep Golden State from offering him a max deal. If so, he could be gone.
Ultimately, things are set up nicely for a wild 2019 NBA Free Agency period. Injuries to both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson definitely change the way things may have played out, but both players are still free to leave Golden State if they desire to.
It’s likely that Kawhi Leonard may be the first big domino to fall, however. Will that keep other teams from making splash moves until he’s made a decision? Perhaps, but there should still be enough movement right away on Sunday to glue you to some sort of a screen.
It should be interesting!