BOSTON – The road maps are out, filed mostly via the arduous work done by the Bill Russell/Wilt Chamberlain/Kareem of NBA writers these days in ESPNs Adrian Wojnarowski who breaks stories like apostles break bread.
From published reports, a few of the gemstones of ESPN scoops are:
BOSTON – Kemba Walker to sign, replacing the departed Kyrie Irving. (Boston will need ample help in the front court as Al Horford, Aron Baynes are vanquished while Terry Rozier is presumably sent packing as well. Rozier and Daniel Theis were sent qualifying offers, but the C’s are likely to renounce Rozier to create some Salary Cap space for a much-needed rebounder.
GOLDEN STATE – The Warriors are re-upping the injured Klay Thompson as they pursue the best player in the league in Kevin Durant – who was injured badly (Achilles) in the NBA Finals. The Warriors are at a crossroads of their existence (moving to downtown San Fran from Oakland) and will be doing with a pair of crutches.
PHILADELPHIA – Free agent guard Jimmy Butler seems to be the “key” piece, but most reports have him departing from Broad Street while Tobias Harris stays put and Al Horford signs-up. Horford’s first order of business would be to teach Joel Embiid how to be a pro, something Sixers GM Elton Brand needs assistance with as he tries to mold a franchise around Ned Cohen’s smarts and vision. … The chemistry classes being taught in both Philly and Boston (see above) will make the East a four-horse race come 2019-2020. (Toronto, Milwaukee, Philly and Boston).
MIAMI – Some reports have Butler enamored with the Miami Heat franchise. It would make a lot of sense for Butler to forego the ring contender thing for life on the beach.
OTHER REPORTS: Other notable NBA FA reports have Nikola Vucevic re-signing with the Orlando Magic, Derrick Rose heading to Detroit, Paul Millsap re-upping with his Denver Nuggets via a $30M option, Kyrie Irving to Brooklyn (Good Luck) and Nerlens Noel declining yet another option.
TORONTO – It’s all about Kawhi Leonard.
LA LAKERS AND LA CLIPPERS – See Toronto comment, although the Lakers are very obviously positioned well with Lebron James and Anthony Davis but the supporting crew and the “have vs have nots” within the Lakers’ locker room does not bode well.
Whoever ends up with Leonard probably wins.