Only two teams are left fighting for the Larry O'Brien trophy which means 28 teams are in their facilities, game planning all possible free agency and draft scenarios. This is the time when front offices earn their wage, so what have they been up to?
There is always one player that holds up all decisions, but this year we have several. The KD-Kyrie-Davis trio is in so many scenarios that it would be best if they coordinated in a WhatsApp group, and have a Decision 2.0 where all three let us and the league know at the same time. Well, back to reality.
There are at least four teams we know of (Boston, New York, both LA teams) that are in the mix and they won't make significant moves as long as there is a chance they get AD. That will hold up a lot of other decisions on the market. So what the situation?
Despite his confident approach, it seems winning Zion didn't help David Griffin convince AD to give the Pelicans a chance. As reported by Shams Charania, they had a "respectful and productive" meeting, Griffing let the league know he will start to accept calls on AD.
Davis made a list of the Lakers, Knicks, and Clippers as his desirable destinations; Boston is always lurking in the background. Don't discard a dark horse like the Raptors-Kawhi last year.
Stephen A. reported that Kyrie let the Nets know they are his preferred destination this offseason. The same day, a lot of chatter about D'Angelo Russell's future destination started to appear, with Utah, Orlando, Minnesota, and Indiana being talked about. It's not hard to put two and two together here, the Nets are planning for Kyrie.
Still, a glance through his IG profile lets you know Kyrie could change his mind 5 times in the meantime. Who knows.
Charlotte's front office named Kemba their 1st priority and Kemba did the same. Walker confirmed to Jared Weiss of The Athletic that the Hornets remain his “first priority” Kemba always expressed great fondness for the community in Charlotte and they can make him a supermax player. We're talking $221 million.
Despite being the richest basketball player ever, MJ is known for considering the tax a no-go in Charlotte. Signing Kemba to this deal and avoiding the luxury tax would be a path into oblivion for Charlotte's playoff chances.
There is still an outside chance an offer from NY or LA entices Kemba if Charlotte starts to negotiate on the supermax.
Reading the tea leaves
KD to the Knicks always sounded absurd when you considered Knicks ownership and roster situation. If Kyrie already told the Nets to get ready, and Kyrie and KD are buddies that want to join forces...
Think about it, it's still New York, they are in a new arena in Brooklyn, the roster is good, Sean Marks is a good GM and they will soon be owned by the first Chinese owner in the NBA. NBA players love to grow their brand in China.
Don't sleep on it.