2018 NBA Possible Free Agent Moves

Will LeBron James be heading out west for his next title? We’ll know soon enough…
Photo Courtesy: Erik Drost
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By Joel Montgomery

We’re now currently in the midst of the NBA offseason, and after the festivities and promise introduced to the league through the Draft, the collective NBA world now has its eyes set on free agent movement.  With it looking very likely that LeBron James could be leaving Cleveland, we’re on the precipice of the next NBA Big Bang. Furthermore, after severing ties with the Spurs organization, Kawhi Leonard could end up being the biggest trade piece since Shaq’s move to Miami. Who will go where? Will the league’s ambitious contenders find ways to inch closer to the seemingly unbeatable Golden State Warriors? These next few weeks have a lot in store.

LeBron Watch
For obvious reasons, target number one for contenders including Houston and Philadelphia, and even the likes of Magic Johnson and the LA Lakers legacy, are all eyeing LeBron James—with his next “Decision” being imminent. No theatrics this time around though, as James himself has requested to not have a “media circus” surrounding his next move, including not wanting teams to come to him with their pitches and what-not. James, as an all-time great and now long-time veteran, knows exactly what he wants out of an organization and teammates. He himself and only he knows which teams are actually within his consideration. For LeBron, family, winning, and control all matter. Which team can give him the best of all worlds?

Kawhi’s Next Step
Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs organization have been at odds ever since Leonard’s devastating injury in Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals. While Kawhi and the Spurs are seemingly on the same page when they meet for treatment or whatever reason, while behind closed doors and to the media the Spurs have been taking constant potshots and nudges to Kawhi to either get him to talk more openly about what’s wrong or to trust the team’s staff on his readiness to continue playing. Regardless of what it was, their efforts pushed Leonard away to the point of no return by this point, to where Kawhi has explicitly stated his desire to leave the Spurs’ max deal on the table and end up on a Los Angeles team, whether that be the Clippers or Lakers. Despite these wishes however, knowing the Spurs, they have no plans to trade him to a rivaling Western Conference team, but time will tell. After recently beginning to receive guidance from his uncle, who is a good friend of Kyrie Irving’s father, maybe a move for Kawhi to a powerful contender in Boston could be in store? 

The PG-13 Debacle
While Paul George hasn’t been shy about how stoked he would be to play where he grew up for his childhood team in the Los Angeles Lakers, possibly for a team-up with LeBron James (and toss in Kawhi to that proposed squad if you really wanna get crazy), he also has been adamant about his growing relationship with Russell Westbrook. While recently Westbrook hasn’t been seen too positively in the media’s eye due to the team’s play after last season, this could be hard to believe for some. But while PG has been vocal about his enjoyment of learning to play with Russ, not the same can be said about Carmelo Anthony, who could be the road block for the Thunder’s progression if he doesn’t accept a lesser role. While Melo accepted his bonus from OKC with spunk, he’ll need to humble himself in on-court affairs and concede to a viable role if he hopes to be a factor in this team’s success; and Melo’s choice in the matter could be the key to whether Paul George stays or leaves.

Free agency moves bring about the next exciting step in the NBA offseason, and we’re all locked in waiting to see yet again how the league is flipped on its head. Keep checking back for all the latest in NBA offseason transactions and signings.

Upcoming Key Dates

July 6-17 – NBA Summer League
August 4 – NBA Africa Game 2018
September 7 – Basketball Hall of Fame 2018 Enshrinement Ceremony