The NBA offseason is always a highly anticipated event. Along with the NBA Draft, the NBA Free Agency has become the pillar around which headlines are made. Over the past decade, star players have used the free channel to make money on and off the field. The direction of this offseason is no different.
In 2010, NBA superstar LeBron James decided to join the Miami Heat alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. While the decision infuriated fans by burning his jersey in the street, James benefited immensely. In four seasons with the Heat, James led Miami to the NBA Finals and also won two titles. During a national television event, James revealed that he has no doubts about the direction he wants to take his career.
Another great example was in 2016, when Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors. With the Warriors fresh off a historic 73-9 season, Durant’s decision has caused a lot of controversy that is still hanging over his head. According to Stephen A. Smith, Durant’s decision to join Golden State was the superstar’s weakest move. Despite the story, Durant has won two championships in three seasons with the Warriors.
Seeing how James and Durant influence other stars to do the same with their decisions. In recent years, there have been blockbusters in the NBA that have increased teams’ chances of winning titles. This season’s Free Agency team is not as strong as previous years, but the change of scenery for these players could have an impact on the rest of the NBA. Let’s take a look at the NBA’s top free agents in 2021.
1. Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard has picked a player for the rest of the season. If things don’t work out in the Clippers’ favor next season, it’s possible Leonard will opt for a transfer in free agency. As many saw last year, Leonard is a star who is not afraid to speak his mind about where he wants to play.
Since signing Leonard in 2019, the Clippers have had high hopes of winning the championship. He made the decision to join Paul George in winning his third NBA title. Last season, the Clippers failed to reach the Conference semifinals after blowing a 3-1 lead in the series against the Denver Nuggets. After falling into the NBA bubble, Los Angeles has been more confident this season and has taken care of their new team.
Clippers home for Kawhi Leonard. While it’s hard to imagine him leaving, anything can happen. Leonard is 29 and wants to continue playing in a winning environment that can lead him to another NBA championship.
2. Chris Paul
After playing 17 seasons in the NBA, Chris Paul shows no signs of slowing down. The veteran point guard has become a leader over the years and wants to continue making others better. As Paul’s career winds down, his priority remains finding his first NBA championship ring.
Paul has contributed to winning in every organization he has played for. Last season, he led the young Oklahoma City Thunder to exceed expectations. The Thunder finished the season among the top five teams in the West, beating the Houston Rockets in seven games in the first round. This season, Paul has continued to play an important role for a Suns organization that hasn’t made the playoffs in a decade. Phoenix is one of the best teams in the NBA right now, and Paul wants to lead this team in the right direction in the playoffs.
Like Kawhi Leonard, Paul also has the option to take over a player after this season. If he likes working with Phoenix, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he stayed. But Chris Paul’s combative nature could allow him to explore his options and sign with a team with a better chance of winning a championship.
3. Kyle Lowry
Kyle Lowry has paid his dues to the city of Toronto. He elevated his game to stardom and even helped win the 2019 NBA Championship. With Toronto failing to find a spot for Lowry at the trade deadline, he has a chance to take the next step in his career.
To Raptors fans around the world, Lowry is known as the greatest Raptor of all time. He has stayed true to the franchise and has had great performances in the playoffs. Toronto failed to make the playoffs this season, which means it might be time for a fresh start. Lowry, 36, is expected to seek a new situation this season.
Lowry’s ability to play both sides will allow him to adapt to any opponents team. The beauty of his game is that he doesn’t have to be number one or two to succeed. Regardless of how his coach uses him, Lowry will make the necessary adjustments to help his team win.
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