• Jac Manuell

2019 Big Name Free Agents

Celtics Blog

The 2019 free agent class is even more stacked than this year’s one was. With rumours already heating up about some possible big names moving and/or teaming up, the 2019 free agency period is expected to produce some major fireworks. While this year’s period has been somewhat underwhelming , next year is sure to heat up. Here’s some of the biggest names available on next year’s market.

Klay Thompson

NY Post

Klay is one of the premier shooting guards in the league today; a low maintenance superstar with the talent to be the number one guy on upwards of 20 teams. News came out last month, via Thompson’s father, that it’s unlikely the sharpshooter will sign an extension with Golden State this summer. Mychal told 95.7 The Game:

"Klay definitely wants to play his whole career in Golden State… But let's just say that negotiations will probably continue in the summer of '19."

While that bodes well for Warriors fans we all know a year is a long time in this league and things can change dramatically between now and then. As David Aldridge reported in one of his recent mailbags:

“With James on the ground in L.A., the Lakers are all but assured to get one of the group of elite players who’ll be unrestricted in 2019 -- Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker or someone else who shakes free or is otherwise available.”

Watch this space...

Kevin Durant

SB Nation

What Women Want was an average rom-com that came out at the start of the millenium. We learned essentially nothing from Mel Gibson who strived to answer the age-old, horribly sexist question.

Another lingering question around one of the game’s greats is figuring out Kevin Durant wants. Durant is an enigma that even his closest confidants don’t know fully. His intentions are kept close to his chest, and to be fair he has every right to do so. That’s what makes the situation surrounding his free agency status even more intriguing. The best inclination we’ve got of his true character has been in a number of insightful podcasts with the pod-god himself, Bill Simmons.

He may want to join the mecca in New York, as was reported by Zach Lowe only a few weeks ago, he may want to join the other best player in the game and close friend LeBron James in L.A, or he may just run things back in The Bay.

There’ll be surprises aplenty in next year’s free agency with Kevin Durant’s decision every chance to be one of them.

DeMarcus Cousins


If Boogie comes back fit and firing he’ll be on the league’s most bargain basement contract. Just over $5 million for one of the league’s most talented big men is an absolute steal for Golden State. Achilles injuries are notoriously tough to recover from, but even if Cousins’ comes back at 80% health he’ll surely be in the running for a hefty pay day once free agency comes around again next July.

There’s no way he re-ups with the Warriors in 2019 unless owner Joe Lacob decides to splurge ridiculously into the luxury tax, especially when Klay and KD are set to hit free agency. Instead look for Boogie’s team to target one of the many teams with cap space next year.

If fully healthy, Cousins is an All-NBA caliber center and will have plenty of teams clamouring for his services.

Kyrie Irving


There have been no stronger free agency and trade rumours than for star point-guard, Kyrie Irving. He may not have been traded this summer; as was brought up in Kawhi rumours, but rumblings of him joining another squad come next free agency period just won’t go away.

According to numerous New York media outlets, Uncle Drew might as well be already wearing a Knicks uniform.

Kyrie’s move from Cleveland to Boston could act as precursor to another move. He’s a player who firmly believes in controlling his own narrative and was already linked to numerous other teams in his earlier trade from the Cavs. Don’t rule out any of those destinations as 2019 free agency rolls around. Furthermore, the likelihood of Kyrie buddying up with fellow free agent Jimmy Butler continues to grow by the day.

Just look at the top recommended Google searches when you type their two names

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire...

Jimmy Butler


"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes?"

Shakespeare was a pretty foreboding mofo and his quote from Macbeth applies to Jimmy Butler’s situation in Minnesota equally.

There have been rumours of discontent (another Willy favourite) growing this offseason with Butler’s status with the Timberwolves. He’s reportedly unhappy with certain teammates’ attitudes which may force his hand in free agency. Rumours are just rumours until proven otherwise but the fact such noise is coming out already isn’t a good sign for those in and around Minnesota.

The fact he already rejected an extension from the team isn’t anything to note as signing now rather than in free agency next year would leave tens of millions of dollars on the table. Butler may have had injury issues along the way though that doesn’t discount from the fact he’s a max-player on the free market. The TWolves have already committed a max contract to Andrew Wiggins and are in talks with Towns and his management. Eventually, something’s gotta give, and in this case it very well could be Butler.

Kawhi Leonard

Sports Illustrated

If we had trouble understanding Durant’s intentions, then decoding Kawhi’s motives is as hard as reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace in Russian. No one around the Spurs organisation had any clues as to how things deteriorated so rapidly. Even San Antonio legend, David Robinson tried contacting Leonard in the hopes of mending any burnt bridges.

There have been conflicting reports over recent days about whether Kawhi will re-sign or whether he still is bound for L.A. The fact that the rumours persist indicate that the noise surrounding the Lakers/Clippers won’t go away any time soon, and with that, a possible move to another franchise to form his own version of a super team (!!!!!).

At his best Kawhi is an MVP contender and walk up All-NBA prospect. If he can regain full fitness and show that form he produced in 2016-17 then teams will be lining up for his services. That would surely put a smile on Kawhi’s cold, emotionless face.

Twitter: @TheJManJBT

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