Opinion: NBA free agency sends players everywhere

Kawhi Leonard

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Kawhi Leonard

By Grant Baker, Round Table reporter

The National Basketball Association has had one of the most eventful and crazy offseasons in the history of the league. From Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets, to Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, this is a breakdown of who won in free agency this year. Many different teams could get the award of “best offseason” because this offseason was a huge one.

Some big free agency winners in the NBA were the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers. The Brooklyn Nets brought in the 10-time All-Star and former MVP Kevin Durant. After three years with the Golden State Warriors, he managed to win two NBA Finals and two finals MVPs.

Not only did they bring in a top-five small forward in the league, they also managed to bring in finals champion Kyrie Irving and former All-NBA First Team center Deandre Jordan.

After D’Angelo Russell’s contract expired, the Nets decided to move onto bigger things and opted to do a sign-and-trade for Golden State star Kevin Durant. Although Kyrie Irving will play in the 2019-2020 season, Kevin Durant is out with an Achilles injury.

The Los Angeles Lakers managed to bring in All-Star Anthony Davis but at a big price. The Lakers traded away Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks for the Pelicans superstar. The Lakers did manage to get Anthony Davis, but those players were the young core of the team, along with three future first-round picks, which could be future stars.

The Houston Rockets managed to bring in former MVP Russell Westbrook but gave up Chris Paul and first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, along with pick swaps in 2021 and 2025. This has helped the Thunder greatly as they can build a young core in the future but traded away their All-Star point guard.

The Los Angeles Clippers managed to bring in an arsenal of talent in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Leonard won the Finals MVP in the 2018-2019 season, along with averaging 26.6 points per game.

He was a great addition as they signed him to a three-year deal. He was productive in San Antonio during the years he was there, winning a championship and an MVP, only to get another a few years later

He only played a total of nine games in the 2017-2018 season as he had a right quad injury that kept him off the court. After his storied past with the Spurs and Raptors, he decided to join forces with Paul George in Los Angeles to build a powerhouse.

George had spent his last two years on the Thunder, along with two playoff appearances. He averaged 21.9 points per game in the 2017-2018 season and 28.0 points per game in the 2018-2019 season. He came close to winning MVP last season, finishing in the top three for voting.

The Clippers gave up Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari, along with the Clippers first-round draft picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026, and two first-round choices from Miami, which are in 2021 and 2023. They also managed to acquire the right to swap first-round picks in 2023 and 2025. The Clippers did manage to bring in two very skilled players but gave up a ton of first-round draft picks to the Thunder, who will have a lot of young talent in the future.