DeMarcus Cousins will be signing a one year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. With Kawhi Leonard signing with the Clippers, the Lakers have resign point guard Rajon Rondo to a two year deal. Rondo, Cousins, and Anthony Davis all played together in New Orleans and will now be with LeBron James and Kuzma.
Latest reports on Kawhi Leonard is that it’s between the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors. I stated before I would hate to see him go to the Lakers to form a super team with Anthony Davis and Lebron James. However unlike when Kevin Durant went to Golden State and Lebron going to Miami. Leonard has proven he can win twice as the superstar. The first time with the Spurs with Duncan, Ginobli, and Parker. The second time basically all by himself with the Raptors. So, if he did decide to go to the Lakers it would be more about just winning and maybe not being “the man.”
So far, the NBA free agency has started to balance power. The Nets look like they will be a force next season. The Bucks managed to gain some power back after losing some of its players. The Heat got better with Jimmy Butler. Detroit may be better with Derrick Rose. It would be nice to keep Leonard in Toronto. Drake is doing his part. Only time will tell when Leonard will make his decision. Hopefully, it’s not the Lakers.
Well it’s been a busy few hours after free agency started yesterday at 6pm. The biggest news was Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both confirming to sign with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Philadelphia Sixers offer Tobias Harris a five year deal which means Jimmy Butler isn’t in there plans. They are now finalizing a deal with Al Horford for four year, 109 million deal as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski.
Since they are losing Durant the Warriors are reportedly going to acquire DeAngelo Russell services. This will help with not only losing Kevin Durant, but the loss of Klay Thompson due to injury.
Apparently Jimmy Butler will be finalizing a deal with the Miami Heat. Andre Iguodala is reportedly being traded to the Grizzlies.
The Milwaukee Bucks are going to be resigning Brook Lopez who has revamp his career by becoming a stretch five and hitting threes. His deal will be a four year, 52 million dollar contract. Not bad for a center with 11 years and an injury history. This was confirmed by Matt Velasquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
NBA free agency starts today and the biggest names seem like they will be moving on. Lets look at the possible directions.
Kawhi Leonard to LA? I hope not. Unless he’s going to the Clippers. ESPN’s Stephen Smith is reporting that the Lakers want Kawhi. I agree with Jay Williams in that if Kawhi goes to the Lakers it is a weak move. Another superteazm is not what the league needs.I hope Kawhi goes to the Clippers or stay in Toronto. Or…Philadelpha. However Kawhi is going to do what’s best for him. Lets hope that what is best for him is going anywhere but the Lakers.
Kyrie Irving is the Lakers second pick, again according to Stephen Smith. I don’t see him wanting to play with LeBron again. Even with a weak leadership season with the Celtics, there is no denying his skills as one of the top five point guards. I agree with everyone else and see him in Brooklyn or with the Knicks. He wouldn’t have other quality rising starts which was the case in Boston.
Kevin Durant. I think his decision is going to be based on Kawhi. If Kawhi goes to the Lakers, you best believe Kevin is staying in Golden State. If Kawhi goes anywhere but the Lakers, then Kevin is leaving for New York or Brooklyn. I feel that helps balance the league.
Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris: Not too much is being heard about them. It’s being reported by NBA.com that the Rockets are interested in trading players in hopes of bringing Butler, who is friends with James Harden and lives near Houston. The Sixers need another piece, a shooter, but if Jimmy leaves they will need more than that. I think you will see the Sixers resign one or the other and try to land another free agent that can score and play defense while also deepening their bench.
Kemba Walker from the Charlotte Hornets seems most likely to sign with the Celtics according to NBA.Com and I think it could work out better than Kyrie. Kemba seems to be more team oriented with his leadership style while Kyrie is more ball dominant. Time will tell.
There is nothing the league can do to stop super teams, but again hopefully Kawhi doesn’t go to the Lakers, because if he does, that is going to make the league at least for next year, the dominant team if he plays with Anthony Davis and Lebron James. Yes, the Lakers will become the villains again. Kawhi doesn’t like drama though, so he may elect to go to the Clippers. I don’t see him staying in Toronto only because he seems really interested in returning home. One thing is for sure, his decision will impact the rest of the league’s decisions.
In what will be the last game in Oracle Arena, the Raptors won their first championship. They become the first team to win with five road wins. Lowry led the way scoring eight points in two minutes. He finished with 26 points 10 assists and 7 rebounds. Leonard with 22 points. VanVleet came off the bench for 22 points, 12 of those points in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors suffered the onslaught despite having six turnovers and ten turnovers in the first half. Then they lost Klay Thompson in the third quarter with a knee injury. Steph Curry had 21 points on 3-10 shooting from three. Draymond Green had 11 points 19 rebounds, and 13 assist in their loss.
The game came close in the end as the Warriors inbound to Curry who miss a three to take the lead by two. The loose ball was recovered in the final seconds by Draymond Green who called a timeout, but with no timeouts, the Warriors were charged with a technical foul. Leonard hit the free throw to put them up by two and then Lowry inbound to Leonard who was fouled. He hit the final two free throws and that was all she wrote.
The narrative will be that the Raptors only won because of the injuries of Durant and then Thompson. Although there is no denying that a healthy Warriors team most likely would of won, The Raptors were a consistent defensive team and prove that they are worthy of the title.
Lowry, the longest tenured Raptor, had faced many playoff disappointments, can now cherished all the tears and hard work. Leonard now hoist his second championship and is now arguably the third best player in the league. For Ibaka and Gasol who were on contenders they now have their rings as well. The Raptors made the moves of firing coach of the year Dwane Casey and hired rookie head coach Nick Nurse (who now becomes the third straight rookie coach to win a championship.) Then they traded DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Moves that proved to be worth it as Toronto celebrates the championship win.
Leonard was presented the 2019 Bill Russell Finals MVP. He credit his life experiences and teammates for the season. He celebrates his second championship with Danny Green.
Toronto enjoy your win, you deserve beating one of the best teams ever.
Tony Parker, according to the NBA, will be retiring after 18 years. He played his last season with the Charlotte Hornets. A mainstay as part of the big three in San Antonio where he won four NBA championships and was the 2007 Finals MVP.