2019 NBA free agency: Predicting where the top free agents will land

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images /
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NBA free agency
Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images /

Kyrie Irving: Brooklyn Nets

From ESPN‘s Zach Lowe to Nets Daily‘s Anthony Puccio to the simple fact he switched agencies to ROC Nation Sports, the general consensus appears to be that Kyrie Irving joining the Brooklyn Nets is all but a done deal. ROC Nation is owned by Jay-Z, a former part-owner of the Nets and regular fixture at games, while the president of ROC Nation, Michael Yormark, is the twin brother of Nets CEO Brett Yormark.

The reports have been all over the map, but it appears Irving has been despondent from the Boston Celtics, indicating he’s gone this summer. The Knicks are another option, but the more functional Nets could have room for two max-level free agents. That leaves room for dreams of Kyrie luring Kevin Durant to join him as part of the Big Apple’s other, more stable franchise.

The Nets will likely bid adieu to first-time All-Star D’Angelo Russell, but it’s worth the loss for one of the game’s preeminent floor generals. Despite all the questions about Irving’s leadership and personality quirks, he still posted 23.8 points, 6.9 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game on .487/.401/.873 shooting splits in one of his finest seasons yet.

That season completely fell apart in the Celtics’ second round playoff series, but the Nets will happily scoop up the six-time All-Star as the linchpin of their ongoing rise to prominence, especially since it’ll give them a better chance of luring another big name to Brooklyn.

The biggest obstacle here? The Lakers joining the race for Kyrie’s services, arriving late to the game with their newly created space for a third star.