As the off-season of the 2018-2019 NBA season approaches, one of the most star-studded free agency lists in past years has the potential to flip the NBA we've known since LeBron James' "The Decision" on its head. Talents such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, and DeMarcus Cousins are looking forward to new contracts or new homes for next season. On top of free agency, the most talked about athletes the past two years, Zion Williamson is entering the 2019 NBA Draft. Enjoy your last few days of normality within the league, it appears we're aimed to enter the twilight zone.
1. Kevin Durant
Arguably the greatest scorer in the NBA, Kevin Durant enters free agency this summer. With the world at his feet, the four-time NBA scoring champion has to make an important decision for his future and legacy. Regardless of where the two time NBA champion lands, the team will instantly be considered a contender within their conference. Many consider the youthful Knicks organization with athletic talents like Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox alongside the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft front runners for Durant.
2. Kawhi Leonard
It's Kawhi Leonard's world and we're just living in it. His transition in Toronto following a rough breakup with the San Antonio Spurs has been satisfying to watch. Kawhi concluded his David vs. Goliath story against the back-to-back defending NBA champions with an NBA Championship, the world has no choice but to accept his reign as the most dominant NBA player on the planet today.
3. Kyrie Irving
Between injury and an inconsistent post-season performance, Kyrie's value is unclear. It is also uncertain what Kyrie values for himself. After leaving Cleveland to escape LeBron's shadow and create his own legacy, he later admitted it was a foolish act and he's learned a valuable lesson from it. All signs are pointing towards a reunion between LeBron and Kyrie. Arguably one of the most dominant NBA duos of all-time, the Western Conference should be wary of the two reuniting under the bright Staples Center lights.
4. Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson has proven to be a ruthless athlete determined to do what's best for his team to win. Under the Golden State Warriors organization, Thompson's established himself as one of the deadliest shooters in the league. Recently, Thompson has developed his play on the opposite side of the floor, earning himself an NBA All-Defense award for the 2018-2019 season. Personally, I think Klay Thompson is the dark horse in the NBA Free Agency. I believe his potential is far greater than we've seen throughout his run in Golden State.
5. DeMarcus Cousins
Much like Kyrie Irving, DeMarcus Cousins has suffered from injury and inconsistent play in the post-season. Unfortunately for Cousins, the Warriors will most likely focus their available cap space on players like Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant due to his rocky history under the organization. Everyone is aware of the skillset DeMarcus Cousins possesses but that's not enough to secure the max deal he's looking for when considering the negative baggage coming alongside him.