NBA free agency kicked off with LeBron James announcing his plans to sign a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. Since then, the two biggest names getting tossed around in NBA circles are Kawhi Leonard and Carmelo Anthony.
Though not free agents, yet, both could be on the move before the 2018-19 season kicks off. Kawhi Leonard made it known, via his camp, that he wants out of San Antonio.
Meanwhile, Melo opted into the final year of his deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder which will pay him nearly $28 million. The Thunder are working to either trade Anthony, or buyout the final year of his deal.
With those things in mind, it’s time to predict where both will play during the 2018-19 season.
There’s a chance Leonard opens the season in a Spurs uniform. However, he’s more likely to play for someone else, if Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford are smart.
If Kawhi and the Spurs can’t figure out their differences and sign a max deal, Leonard will probably head to the Eastern Conference. The Spurs aren’t helping the Lakers become the next Western Conference juggernaut, so the team will consider options from the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and Toronto Raptors.
All three teams have the young pieces in place to entice the Spurs on a deal. But only one team feels like it’s missing the one desired piece to make the play for a title.
Kawhi’s landing spot: Philadelphia 76ers
Anthony’s case is much easier. The Thunder are working to either trade Melo, or buy him out. Regardless, he’ll become a free agent ahead of the upcoming NBA season. Only two teams have shown immediate interest in the 10-time All-Star according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Houston Rockets and Miami Heat are the two teams interested in acquiring the aging NBA star. Houston will make it happen – Melo and Mike D’Antoni will be reunited.
Melo’s landing spot: Houston Rockets
Free agency is still in its infancy as we head into the 2018-19 season. Stay tuned for more free agency madness.