NBA Daily: Free Agency Watch – Days 4-5

Spencer Davies takes a look at the offseason activity that has happened over the last two days in the NBA for the latest installment of Basketball Insiders Free Agency Watch.

5 min read
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The type of summer we all expected is exactly the summer we have gotten.

Five days into the free agency moratorium period, we have seen the balance of power in the NBA shift in all kinds of directions. There are multiple teams with a chance to really make some noise when the new season begins as the movement has given franchises a boost, or even a shot in the arm to become a true contender.

Still, there’s plenty of update-worthy transactions to mention — even if we have to wait for the largest domino to fall for a little bit longer.

No, We Still Don’t Know Where Kawhi Is Going…Yet

While the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and the rest of the “big fish” in the 2019 free agency pool have already found their new homes, Kawhi Leonard is taking his time to announce where he will play.

Since the New York Knicks reportedly backed out of a meeting, we already know that the hunt is down to three teams—the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers and the defending NBA Champion Toronto Raptors.

The case to play for the purple-and-gold is simple: Form one of the greatest trios in the history of the NBA with LeBron James and Anthony Davis to hunt.

Heading to the Clippers would not only allow Kawhi to play close to home but also for one of the most well-structured, up-and-coming organizations in the association from the top down.

Of course, staying with the Raptors should be an easy decision to run it back and try to repeat. Every key piece from the championship team—Danny Green pending—will return to The North for 2019-20. With a ton of guys having only one year left on their deals, maybe going back on a short-term contract could be the smartest call.

Kawhi knows he’s the top dog in this class, and he’s going to take this decision at his own pace. He’s never had the luxury of being a free agent before. Leonard is also somebody that wants to keep whatever he is thinking as quiet as possible. It’s about those organizations building trust with him more than anything before he commits.

You can take any guess about where he is going, but the truth of the matter is we won’t know until he does. And if he’s had his mind made up, then that team is doing a solid job of keeping things mum — unless the noise regarding the Lakers is true because it has been quite loud on that front.

The basketball world waits, as does the rest of the 2019 player pool.

Grizzlies Actively Moving Parts, Finally Get Off Chandler Parsons’ Contract

After years of being stuck with the albatross that was Chandler Parsons’ contract, the Memphis Grizzlies finally found a partner to move it to. Also armed with a sizable contract, the Atlanta Hawks sent Solomon Hill along with Miles Plumlee in exchange for the oft-injured 30-year-old forward in order to open up a roster spot.

Hill’s history with staying on the floor isn’t the best either, yet he is two years younger and still could have more left in the tank than Parsons. It’s a nice pickup for Memphis, who will have depth at the wing with the move. Though, Plumlee likely won’t receive much playing time, having an extra big at your disposal never hurts.

Memphis also has a highly-sought-after veteran that contenders would love to have in Andre Iguodala. Originally thought to have explored a buyout with the versatile forward, it now looks like the trade market may be the route the team goes.

The Grizzlies understand how valuable a championship-quality piece can mean to a franchise looking toward a title, so they’re going to explore their options before just letting Iguodala for nothing. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks are teams who have interest. Depending on how free agency shakes out, the Los Angeles Lakers could be after him as well.

Fresh Faces In Minnesota

Using the trade exception acquired in the Dario Saric trade to the Phoenix Suns, the Minnesota Timberwolves landed Portland Trail Blazers swingman Jake Layman. In addition to bringing in Noah Vonleh and Jordan Bell, the organization has been stocking up on new talent.

Albeit the numbers don’t pop out, Layman is coming off a career year where he was consistent and efficient with the Blazers. His shooting improved, as did his defense. Head coach Ryan Saunders is going to have a boatload of forwards on his hands, and he’ll surely experiment with a number of different lineups.

It won’t be easy for Layman to crack a rotation with Robert Covington, Andrew Wiggins, Josh Okogie, Keita Bates-Diop and prized rookie Jarrett Culver all in the fold, but as we said before—wing depth is never a bad thing.

Two Former NBA Veterans Looking To Make A Comeback

Former All-Star center Amar’e Stoudemire and dynamic combo guard Monta Ellis are looking to show they still have plenty of miles left in their bodies. Per a report by Jordan Schultz, the two are scheduled to have a private workout in front of at least five NBA teams this coming Monday in Las Vegas. Stoudemire and Ellis are said to be healthy and hope to latch on with a contending team like the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Schultz.

Stoudemire has been playing overseas and participated in the BIG3 league last summer. He was last in the NBA in 2015-16, while Monta Ellis was last seen in the association during the 2016-17 campaign.

Make sure to keep it locked to Basketball Insiders Free Agency Watch as we await the next swarm of moves.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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