The first 6 hours of NBA free agency this past week were almost as breathtaking as a last second shot in a playoff game. Within those first 6 hours some incredible things happened, including Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, two of the top available players, signing with the same team. Check out what happened this week in the National Basketball Association! And don’t forget to check out the latest NBA odds for the upcoming season.
NBA Updates July 5th Edition – Nets Win Free Agency
Brooklyn Nets sign Durant and Kyrie
The Brooklyn Nets went from a fringe playoff contender to an Eastern Conference power overnight. The Nets not only signed Kevin Durant away from the Golden State Warriors, but they also acquired the services of former Boston Celtics point-guard Kyrie Irving. The Irving signing is huge because the Nets pulled him away from an Atlantic Division rival.
Kyrie made no bones about where he wanted to play. It felt like only 5 minutes had passed after free agency opened before Irving let out word that he wanted to become a Brooklyn Net. Kyrie likes where the Nets are going.
Durant signed with the Nets to play with Kyrie Irving. At least, it seemed like he did. He had a chance to go to the Knicks, but decided against that. KD must rehab the ankle he injured while with the Warriors during the playoffs. He might not be ready to start the season, but the NBA doesn’t end until summer 2020. There’s a chance Durant could hit the court at least in the playoffs.
Even if he doesn’t, the Nets will be strong because in addition to signing KD and Kyrie, they also signed DeAndre Jordan. The center averaged a double-double last season with 11 points and 13 boards per game.
That gives Brooklyn two of the top overall players in the NBA in Irving and Durant and one of the best centers in the game in Jordan. Brooklyn is suddenly the best team in the Eastern Conference if the Raptors don’t resign Kawhi Leonard.
Knicks make virtually zero moves in free agency
The New York Knicks won 17 games last season. They lost 65. This free agency they were supposed to really put in an effort. Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, someone, anyone, had to land in Madison Garden, right?
Nope. Nobody decided to sign with the New York Knicks. Well, nobody except center Julius Randle. Randle decided to leave the New Orleans Pelicans, mainly because the Pels drafted Zion Williamson, and head to New York. Randle is a good player. He’s not Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving good, though.
The Knicks will be more competitive in 2019-2020 than they were this past season. They can’t be worse after drafting R.J. Barrett and signing Randle, but they have no shot in the deep Eastern Conference now that the Nets are a power and Boston and Philadelphia remain top tier contenders. If the Raptors resign Kawhi, the defending champs are part of that NBA Eastern Conference power group as well.
New York has a long way to go to contend in the conference.
Kawhi has yet to decide his new zip code
Kawhi is an L.A. native. He grew up a Laker fan. But, the Lakers already have a couple of superstars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He might want to play in his home town for a team he can lead. Makes sense. The Raptors know how great of a leader Kawhi Leonard is.
There’s also the possibility he remains in Toronto. The Raptors organization, the city itself, and Toronto’s fans grew on Kawhi. Even though he’s a west coast guy, he appeared to fall in love with Toronto the way the city fell in love with him.
Where will Kawhi end up playing this season? Only he really knows. Wherever he plays, the team becomes a contender, maybe the favorite, to win the NBA Championship.
Have a great week!