Which 2019 NBA Free Agent Will Leave? Which Will Stay?
The 2019 NBA offseason is just around the corner and this is probably one of the most interesting one. So many superstars are entering free agency which is why I will bring up every major free agent and whether or not I think they will leave.
Marc Gasol (Player Option) - STAY
There really isn’t a reason for Gasol to not stay after winning a Championship. There has been several reports on Marc Gasol’s decision having a lot to do with Kawhi’s decision which will most likely be to stay as well. On top of that, he is also getting $26 million dollars next season which would probably be enough to convince him to stay.
Al Hortford (Player Option) - STAY
Al Hortford has a 30 million dollar player option with the Celtics but it’s clear he wants to be traded. Al is 33 years old and yes he is a great player, it may be a little difficult for him to find a contract worth that much so clearly, he just staying for the money and requesting a trade right after he signs.
Julius Randle (Player Option) - LEAVE
The New Orleans Pelicans are getting the 1st overall pick which is very likely going to be Zion Williamson. Zion is a power forward and there really isn’t going to be a great spot for Randle is he stays. I also don’t think the Pelicans would pay him in the first place. I think he would end up either joining the Phoenix Suns or the Dallas Mavericks.
Demarcus Cousins (Unrestricted Free Agent) - LEAVE
Ever since DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Golden State Warriors, the warriors’ front office has made it clear many times that they have no intentions to resign DeMarcus Cousins. We all knew how great of a player he was before he tore his Achilles. However, even after he started to play again, he just wasn’t the same player and after seeing his finals performance, as well as how the Golden State Warriors are focusing on Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, I don’t think Golden State Warriors would want to resign him.
Nikola Vucevic (Unrestricted Free Agent) - STAY
The Magic finally made it to the playoffs after Dwight Howard left and Vicevic became an All- Star. He clearly had the best season of his career and even though his playoff performance wasn’t great, I do not think Orlando will let him go that easily. Again, The Orlando Magic can offer him a 5 year max contract while other teams can only offer him 4.
Khris Middleton (Player Option) - STAY
Khris Middleton has been a great player alongside Giannis and could possibly be the second best player on the team. I highly doubt the Bucks will let him go that easily and I also don’t think he would want to leave a superstar like Giannis.
Kristaps Porzingis (Restricted Free Agent) - STAY
The Mavericks traded for Porzingis for the intention to resign him. Porzingis is also a restricted free agent so the Mavericks only have to match the amount of money he wants. The Mavericks has a ton of money and they should not only be able to sign porzingis, but they can also sign another star.
Tobias Harris (Unrestricted Free Agent) - LEAVE
Tobias Harris is an unrestricted free agent so he can go anywhere he wants. Also, the 76ers definitely are more focused on Jimmy Butler than Tobias Harris. Now, I think Tobias would like to stay but I just couldn’t see how they are going to pay Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris but the will definitely resign one so what do you think?
Who do you think the 76ers will resign?
D'angelo Russell (Restricted) - LEAVE
I highly doubt D’angelo Russell wants to go but there has been tons of rumors surrounding Kyrie going to the Nets. Irving and Russell are both point guards with similar play styles so it probably would not work. The Nets have tons of money so they would probably try to sign either Kemba or Kyrie over keeping D’angelo.
Jimmy Butler (Player Option) - LEAVE
The 76ers definitely would like to sign Jimmy Butler to a max so it is really up to Jimmy where he would like to go. However, the reason why I think he would leave is that there are several sources that states that he would like to join the Rockets and he is close friends with James Harden if the Rockets trade Chris Paul.
Klay Thompson (Unrestricted Free Agent) - STAY
After seeing Klay’s incredible performance during the playoffs especially in the finals, Klay is definitely getting the contract that he wants. Even though he tore his ACL, the Warriors cannot let him go and Klay definitely wants to stay on the team after winning 3 rings in the past.
Kemba Walker (Unrestricted Free Agent) - STAY
Kemba Walker has announced that he really loves the city of Charlotte and he wants to play there for his entire career. He is so loyal to the city that he is willing to not take the super max contract so the Hornets can sign other players. There is no way the Hornets are letting him go since he is there franchise player.
Kyrie Irving (Player Option) - LEAVE
There has been too many rumors surrounding where Kyrie will go making it almost impossible for him to stay in Boston. He clearly doesn’t like it there and from his playoff performance, I highly doubt the Celtics would want to sign him either. I think his destination would be the Nets. He did apologize to LeBron for leaving him but that doesn’t mean he wants to play with him.
Kawhi Leonord (Player Option) - STAY
When the Raptors trade Demar Derozan for Kawhi Leonard, everyone was saying that it was a risky move. Kawhi could easily walk away and he never said that he had any interest in playing in Canada. However, as the season progressed, he was exactly what the Raptors needed and soon developed a close relationship with his new teammates. On top of that, they won the championships so there really isn’t a reason for him to leave.
Kevin Durant (Player Option) - STAY
After all that drama, I thought he was going to leave for sure. However, after he ruptured his Achilles, it will make it a lot harder for him to find another team willing to take that big of a risk on him. Also, the Golden State Warriors’ front office has made it clear that he will offer Kevin Durant a max and is willing to go into the luxury tax. I highly doubt Kevin would find another team that are willing to pay him as much as the Golden State Warriors are.