Yesterday marked the beginning of official NBA free agency, and it didn’t take long until madness ensued.
Player movement in the NBA has become increasingly common over the past decade or so. Players are taking their careers in their own hands and deciding where they want to play. Conversely, owners see this and have no qualms about shipping players suddenly and often with little explanation. The result is what we experienced yesterday - madness on day one of NBA free agency with players moving around like wild.
The below tweet by SLAM Newswire is about as condensed a way for us to show you all player movement as is possible. The information is solid as of midnight or so, though there are now rumblings that something is holding up the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade with Miami, though that will likely be cleared up soon.
Our 2019 NBA Free Agency Tracker has teams and terms for all 40 signings reported so far. @AustinKent will continue to update this list as details come in. @SLAMnewswire is the go-to source for all your offseason needs. 🏀💰📰https://t.co/jd1ccXe9KA pic.twitter.com/orbJ6fU1Yk— SLAM Newswire (@SLAMnewswire) July 1, 2019
To highlight some moves from the already long list - Kevin Durant has made a decision and Kawhi Leonard has not. Those are undeniably the top names on the list, though Durant’s achilles injury in game 5 of the Finals means he will miss next season and may not be 100% the same when he does return. Kawhi is showing interest in the two LA teams, though a return to Toronto is still a strong possibility.
Kevin Durant is heading to the Brooklyn Nets with another big free agent as his running mate. Kyrie Irving was expected to leave the Boston Celtics, but that became abundantly clear when it came out Saturday that Boston intended to sign Hornets All-Star Kemba Walker to a lucrative 4-year deal. The Irving-to-Brooklyn news was fairly simultaneous with the KD news this past weekend. We also learned later that both took less money so that DeAndre Jordan could come across town from the Knicks for a cool $10M/year for four seasons.
Jimmy Butler is another big one in the aforementioned sign-and-trade with the Heat that would send the less talented, but more versatile, Josh Richardson to Philly. The move is an interesting one for Butler, who came to the Sixers because he “only care(d) about winning.” He was fed up with a lackadaisical Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, but now is heading to the so-so Heat and known lazy center Hassan Whiteside. Alright, Jimmy.
Though the Celtics found a nice shoot-first point guard replacement for Irving in Kemba Walker, they will be hard-pressed to replace big man, Al Horford, who is now a Philadelphia 76er.
Perhaps the most underrated move this free agency is the Utah Jazz signing Bojan Bogdanovic, formerly an Indian Pacer. After a trade the prior week to acquire Mike Conely, the Utah Jazz are looking like a legitimate contender in the Western Conference.
A few other noteworthy deals: First-time All-Star, DeAngelo Russel is headed from Brooklyn to Golden State as the Warriors seek post-Durant scoring while Klay Thompson heals up. The Bucks had to watch Malcolm Brogdon depart, but retained Kris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and George Hill - they have also signed Brook’s twin brother, Robin Lopez. Harrison Barnes resigned for plenty of money with Sacremento. Kristaps Porzingis is locked in with the Mavericks long-term, who also acquired Goran Dragic to create a full Slovenian backcourt with ROY, Luke Doncic. Nik Vucevic and Terrance Ross resigned with Orlando. Rudy Gay is staying in San Antonio and Ricky Rubio is going from Utah to Phoenix.
Player movement is not over, especially with Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard still yet to make a decision. Follow us on Twitter and keep checking in on this blog as we strive to continue to bring you the top news from the NBA as well as the rest of the basketball world!