Three days into the NBA free agency, trades and trade request, a number of moves and high stake (potential) deals dominate headlines, thus keeping the news cycle juicy. Here is a cursory look at the eye-catching contracts, game-changing packages from days 2 and 3, and the ones on the horizon with potential for record breaking elements:
Potential Landing Spots for Durant The one deal that has yet happen is the Kevin Durant move to somewhere. Up to five teams are dangling different offers on the table, some sensible, others bothering on the unbelievable — including hypothetical moves to Phoenix, Miami and Toronto. He is perhaps the biggest name in the sport to request a trade since Kobe Bryant did it in 2007. Kyrie Irving also figures to be on the move once the Brooklyn Nets figure out their plans for Durant but he’s not nearly as valuable an asset right now.
"Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving have both very likely, almost assuredly, played their last games in Brooklyn." —@wojespn pic.twitter.com/fPUlFZIKD1 — Get Up (@GetUpESPN) July 1, 2022
Six years ago, Durant chose July 4 to reveal his “next chapter” when he left the Thunder for the Warriors. Will the Brooklyn Nets perform a repeat on Independence day, unveiling the next destination of one of the best shooters the game?
Gobert Pitches Tent With the Wolves Timberwolves already have Karl-Anthony Towns in their frontcourt, but still paid a hefty price — four first round picks, plus Malik Beasley, 2022 first-rounder Walker Kessler and more for three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert. The 30-year-old will pair with Towns to form a dynamic and formidable front court in Minnesota. A three-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year, Towns inked a four-year, $224 million supermax extension at midnight Friday.
The Timberwolves are paying a combined $430M for KAT and Rudy Gobert. 😅💰 pic.twitter.com/61kKrFIBlb — theScore (@theScore) July 2, 2022
In landing the 7-foot Frenchman, Minnesota also got one of the NBA’s best players on both ends of the floor.
Celtics Are Not Settling for Runners-Up Boston Celtics acquired a productive guard (when healthy) from the Indiana Pacers in Malcolm Brogdon, as well as veteran forward, Danilo Gallinari, and the front-office managed not to give up any of the top eight rotation players from their NBA Finals run. The C’s are clearly in win-now mode after coming within two wins of securing the 2022 NBA Championship, so it makes sense to invest in the team from top to bottom. The team did exactly that using their taxpayer mid-level exception and a trade that cleared their bench of players who did not see the floor in the Finals without surrendering rotation players.
Malcolm Brogdon wants that chip with the Celtics ☘️ (via @MarcJSpears) pic.twitter.com/WErjZhnIWf — NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 1, 2022
Boston could likely add a bit more around the margins before the end of the offseason, but this might be the team we see take the floor on opening night in late October.
Other Teams Strengthen Roster The Pelicans and Zion Williamson, as well as the Cavaliers and Darius Garland, agreed to five-year, $193 million extensions that can be worth up to $231 million. Not forgetting the Bulls gave unrestricted free agent Zach LaVine 215 million reasons to stay in Chicago.
Players averaging 25+ points on 60% shooting: — Zion Williamson The only player EVER. pic.twitter.com/Y32sWQ6h3E — StatMuse (@statmuse) July 2, 2022