By: Brandon Easler
The NBA Offseason is usually the most exciting throughout all of the major sports leagues, as big name free agents decide where to continue their careers, disgruntled superstars demand trades, and teams building for the future hope to make the right picks in the draft. This offseason will be very interesting because each of those three things have already been talked about and will continue to be over the next month.
Let’s start with the draft. I feel like Ayton will probably go number 1, as it will be nice to see him stay around in Arizona. After that is where the real question marks begin. Luka Doncic was battling Ayton for the number one slot not too long ago but has now been slipping on some draft boards a little bit. This is due to the rise of Marvin Bagley III. The Kings have needs at a lot of different places, and just drafted De’Aaron Fox last year so maybe they want to go with a 4/5 this year. The Hawks will likely select whichever of those two the Kings do not pick, and then after that is a mystery. The Grizzlies have been rumored to be shopping the fourth overall pick. Michael Porter Jr.’s health has been a big concern. Trae Young is a big risk/big reward type player. I am not sure if this draft will be as good as people initially thought it was going to be, but it will be interesting to see where all the pieces fall as we get the draft going in just a few days.
Kawhi Leonard has set the NBA world ablaze with his recent trade request from the Spurs. People are left wondering why he would want to leave such a stable franchise that has made the playoffs for the last 20 years. Could it be how they handled his injury? Could he want to be in a bigger spotlight? Leonard wants to go to the Lakers, but his personality just does not match up with the big lights of L.A. Other options include the Celtics and Knicks. Each of these options could be intriguing for many reasons. The Lakers could still get 2 other superstars to pair with Leonard, the Celtics already have the best defense in the league and adding Kawhi to that would make it very hard to score over 100 points, and the Knicks could get Kyrie soon with his rumored desire to go there. It remains to be seen whether or not the Spurs will comply to Kawhi’s trade request, and they will most certainly make sure to get the best value in return to continue their consistent success of making the playoffs.
The last and probably biggest question is where will the big name free agents sign? While this is not the deepest of free agent classes it does boast some very big names in LeBron, PG13, and CP3. LeBron has been linked to a number of teams, but the most logical would seem to be staying home in Cleveland, going to the Lakers, or headed to Philly. Houston is another intriguing option, but they would have a lot of work to do to create the cap space needed to sign LeBron and CP3. Paul George seems to either be headed to the Lakers or returning to OKC. I think he goes to the Lakers, as the possibility of teaming up with LeBron or Kawhi or both would be too much for him to pass up. CP3 is most likely going to return to Houston, but if George decides to resign with OKC then LeBron might recruit Paul out to the Lakers with him. There are a few other free agent questions outside of those three, which include how much money does DeMarcus Cousins get after his achilles injury, does Clint Capela get a big contract and will the Rockets match whatever he is offered, and where does Julius Randle go if the Lakers bring in the superstars that they are expected to?
The NBA offseason will start in full force with the draft on Thursday night, followed by free agency beginning on July 1st. There will most likely have been a few trades to go down before free agency begins, as I expect there to be a couple of unexpected deals to happen on draft night. Every move this offseason will be made in order to try and take down the Warriors dynasty, as all of the 29 other NBA teams are looking to dethrone them.
Follow @NbaNosebleed for more!