The NBA seems to get more interesting to follow every year, as it has become full of storylines that are created in the offseason. The NBA offseason is something special, as we have been spoiled 0ver the past few summers as so many different stars have signed or have been traded to other teams, changing the landscape of the league greatly. The past few summers have been absolutely wild, and this up and coming summer could be just as crazy as you will read down below.
In this article, we will be looking at 20 NBA players who will be free agents this summer and try to forecast which new team they will be signing with if any. Staying with the patterns of NBA offseasons having a lot of changes, if we are right about our predictions, the league could look a lot different.
This past offseason was certainly intriguing as LeBron James is just about the biggest free agent once could ask for in any sport and we saw him go to the league's most popular franchise. This coming offseason, we're already seeing some potential drama, as evidenced by the recent incident involving Draymond Green and Kevin Durant in Golden State, over KD's free agent status this coming summer. This offseason certainly will bring many more changes to the NBA's landscape.
Note* - This list is not necessarily in order of talent.
Here are 20 NBA players set to hit free agency in 2019, and where we think they will sign.
20 Hassan Whiteside - Portland Trail Blazers
Hassan Whiteside has played for a few different NBA teams throughout his career, but he reached stardom with the Heat a couple years ago. However, he is finding it hard to rekindle that spark he had.
As he's 29 now and pushing 30 years of age, we have him changing up his career path this summer, and going to the Western Conference to join the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers would be a nice new start for him, as they are lacking a real defensive presence down low and would lean on him for minutes at center.
19 Kawhi Leonard - Toronto Raptors
If you had asked me this before the season started, I would have told you that Kawhi probably would be signing with the Lakers in 2019, but with how his year is going so far in Toronto, it's going to get more and more likely that he could re-sign with them.
The Raptors are currently at the top of the Eastern Conference, and Leonard has looked very good alongside Kyle Lowry. A lot of eyes were on Kawhi to see how he would perform in Toronto after the way things ended in San Antonio, but he is proving a lot of people wrong.
18 Klay Thompson - Los Angeles Lakers
Klay Thompson is one of the deadliest NBA shooters of all-time, which he has shown countless times, most recently his game where he made 14 threes, breaking an NBA record set by his teammate, Stephen Curry. Klay Thompson is certainly in a good spot when it comes to where he is playing and the system he is in right now, because it is something special to say the least. However, with DeMarcus Cousins joining the team and the Warriors pretty much becoming the greatest sports team of all-time, we have Klay Thompson joining forces with LeBron James and the young Lakers next season to try and rival his old team.
17 Julius Randle - New Orleans Pelicans
Julius Randle is one of the best young players in the league, and while he was very good with his former team in Los Angeles, Randle has brought his game to another level this year in New Orleans, as he may have found a good home with the Pelicans.
Alongside Anthony Davis, the young duo could end up being a really good team in the Western Conference once they build up some chemistry. We have Randle staying in New Orleans for next season. The Pelicans will also likely have to add another piece, as they'll want to do what they can to convince Anthony Davis to stay, when his turn for free agency comes in 2021.
16 Terry Rozier - San Antonio Spurs
Terry Rozier made a name for himself last season with the Celtics, especially in the playoffs. Rozier is playing with a lot of young talent, and has even said he is unhappy with how much playing time he has gotten this season. With the Celtics struggling early on this year, Rozier may be thinking about other opportunities this offseason, as he is a free agent and could be in for a nice contract. The Spurs could be a great spot for him, as they are a good team in the West and are looking for pieces like him to be a real contender.
15 Marc Gasol - Toronto Raptors
Marc Gasol has been one of the best centers in the league for years now, but he now finds himself on a rebuilding Memphis Grizzlies roster at the age of 33. Gasol has been well received in Memphis for a while now, but he must be thinking about the future of his career, as the team has been losing games rapidly over the past couple of seasons, and his talents would be better off on another team. The Raptors would be a great team for him to join, as they would love his veteran presence as they try to make more runs in the Eastern Conference.
14 Jimmy Butler - Philadelphia 76ers
Jimmy Butler was just traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, and it seems to be a good fit for him, as Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are more suited to his winning attitude rather than Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. We will have to wait a few weeks and see how Butler gels with his new teammates, but this is a time for Butler that he has to repair his reputation. Being on his third team in a year and a half, he'll have to show that he's not a locker room problem. Being in a winning environment will make him happy and it will make sense for him to stay put.
13 Khris Middleton - Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton is one of the most underrated wings in basketball. He is a great scorer, and he also manages to put up good rebounding and passing numbers while playing great defense. He has found a nice spot alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, and I don't see him changing teams, at least not this upcoming summer. Middleton is looking to find some success with the Bucks as they finally will look to make it deep into the East. The Bucks have looked better than expected so far this season and may have finally turned a corner. Expect Middleton to stick around and be a part of that.
12 Kemba Walker - Brooklyn Nets
Kemba Walker has put up excellent numbers over the past few seasons, but Charlotte has done nothing to make their roster better, and they won't be contending for a championship for a decade or so, sorry Hornets fans. Walker is easily the best player on the team, and he'll want to use free agency to land himself the best deal possible.
The Brooklyn Nets are finally becoming a respectable team in this league, and could really use his talents at point-guard to become a really good team in the East. Given that the Nets have the cap space, they could give Walker a max deal, which not many other teams would be willing to give.
11 Kristaps Porzingis - New York Knicks
Kristaps Porzingis is the heart and soul of the New York Knicks franchise. Booed when he was drafted a few seasons ago, Kristaps is now beloved by Knicks fans as he really is something special on the hardwood. Sadly, Porzingis tore his ACL last year, and it looks as though he will not even step on the court for New York this season at all. Porzingis has already made it a goal to stay in NYC for the rest of his career, and he is more concerned about coming back healthy rather than signing with a whole new franchise.
10 DeMarcus Cousins - Golden State Warriors
DeMarcus Cousins shook up the league this year when he signed with the Golden State Warriors of all teams, for a small $5 million contract. Cousins got injured last season, and will most likely make his debut with his new team later on this season as they get ready for the playoffs.
Cousins will end up signing back with his new team next year, as he will fall in love with the way they play the game in Golden State and considering he won't have much time to play with them, he will sign back for another year at least.
9 Nikola Vucevic - Indiana Pacers
Here's another classic case of a really good player being on a terrible team, Nikola Vucevic has been under the radar of NBA fans for his entire career, but he is a really good scorer and rebounder. The Magic have been in rebuild mode for years now, and while Nikola has been putting up good numbers, this will be his final year in Orlando, most likely, as we have him signing with fellow Eastern Conference franchise the Indiana Pacers to provide scoring for them, possibly even off the bench behind Myles Turner. This could help Indiana take a big step in the east.
8 J.J. Redick - Philadelphia 76ers
J.J. Redick is one of the best shooters in the league without question, and he is starting to make a case that he is one of the best shooters to ever play in the NBA. Now playing with the Philadelphia 76ers, Redick has been putting up career-high numbers alongside the young talent Philly has. The Sixers also sacrificed some outside shooting when they traded for Butler, so they'll definitely want to keep Redick around another couple of years.
Redick understands that the 76ers could be a dominant team in this league once they get things on the real right track, and this is why he will sign back again.
7 Dwight Howard - Brooklyn Nets
Since being one of the most dominant players in the league with the Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard has been looking for a team to get the best out of his talents for years and years now, none of them ultimately working out for him or the team. Now on the Wizards, Howard is probably re-thinking his decision of joining them as they have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league. Like we said before, the Nets are going to have a busy offseason as Dwight could end up joining them along with Kemba Walker, making them a possible playoff contender in the East.
6 Kyrie Irving - New York Knicks
This has been a report for a long time now –Kyrie joining the Knicks next offseason – but there is still a lot of basketball to be played before then. The Celtics haven't been that great this year despite all the talent, and that may just be the problem – there's too many star players on one team. While this isn't the case for some other teams, the Celtics have been average this year.
Irving has been up and down for them this season, and he may want to change up the league some more and sign with the Knicks, instantly making them a championship contender in the East as he would pair up with Porzingis.
5 Tobias Harris - Miami Heat
Tobias Harris is one of the better scorers in the NBA, as he is averaging over 20 points per game for a Los Angeles Clippers team who is holding their own as of now. This summer, however, we have Tobias Harris signing with a new franchise, the Heat being the team of choice. Miami is full of solid players but is still a team that could use Harris' play nicely and would still allow him to put up good numbers. The Heat have swung and missed on some big names recently, and they'll be looking for some kind of addition this summer. That would be a nice fit for both parties here.
4 Karl-Anthony Towns - Minnesota Timberwolves
Karl Anthony-Towns came into the league with a bang, as he instantly became one of the best centers in the league due to his excellent play. The Wolves then traded young talent for veteran talent with getting Jimmy Butler, and that did not end up working out, at all. The team did not win games and adding the star talent stunted Towns' growth immensely, as he fell out of the convo for best center in the league. With Butler gone, Anthony-Towns is going to start dominating again, which is why he will sign back with the team that drafted him number 1 overall.
3 Myles Turner - Indiana Pacers
Myles Turner is a solid big man in this league, with some serious upside that could have him being one of the best centers in the NBA in a few seasons. The Indiana Pacers are a nice fit for Turner, as they have a lot of young players but still are creating a winning attitude. Myles is expected to put up numbers, but also has a bit of a leash where he can mess up here or there. As he plays for one of the better teams in the East, Turner is going to want to stay somewhere he's comfortable and remain in a winning environment.
2 LaMarcus Aldridge - Utah Jazz
LaMarcus Aldridge has silently been putting up great numbers for the Spurs for a few seasons now, but with San Antonio losing the spark they had a few years ago with prime players leaving the franchise, Aldridge is going to follow the path they set for him.
This summer, we have him signing with another Western Conference team, the Utah Jazz. It could be a nice spot for Aldridge, as they could spread the floor for him as he gets buckets down low for them. The Jazz seem to be one of the NBA's western teams on the upswing and it would make sense to add a veteran.
1 Kevin Durant - Los Angeles Lakers
Kevin Durant had already been dropping hints that he was going to seek the highest payday possible and with the recent drama surrounding the Warriors involving Durant and Draymond Green, there's almost no way Durant could come back next year. While the Warriors will likely still find a way to three-peat come this June, it's going to be Durant's turn to get paid like the top-3 player he is. The Lakers weren't quite able to add that second superstar for LeBron James this offseason, but that only means they'll have the cap space needed to bring Durant into the fold next year.