THIS LEAGUE!!!! 2019 was a unique and exciting summer for NBA free agency. With the season only about 1 month away, we’re here to catch you up or remind you about all the old faces in new places (or same places), and how much these changes will affect the sports betting picture of the upcoming season.
With a record number of transactions, trades and signing, the 2019-2020 season is already making history, and it’s not just on the court. This will be the first full season with legal sports betting across the nation. A total of 13 states have legalized sports gambling and, even better, some states have it online as sports betting sites in New Jersey are now legal as well as sports betting sites in Pennsylvania.
Now back to the NBA’s crazy summer. Kicking off the madness was a blockbuster trade sending Anthony Davis to join LeBron James in Los Angeles on the Lakers. The Lakers gave up quite a bit and are banking on the star duo to get them back in the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. Can they win the NBA title? At +425, the Lakers are the second favorite to win it all.
Then, Kawhi Leonard, the whopper of free agency, signed with the Los Angeles Clippers for a 3-year $103 million contract. It would be shocking not to see them in the finals. Additionally, the Clippers, making a historic move, traded a record FIVE 1st round draft picks to acquire Paul George, the Robin to Kawhi’s Batman, from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The result? The LA Clippers are the favorite (+325) to win the NBA Championship 2019/2020.
The crazy moves kept on coming. Next up was Kevin Durant signing a 4-year, $164 million with the Brooklyn Nets. Durant’s landing spot with the Nets was quite a surprise. Although he’ll likely miss all of the 2020 season with an Achilles injury, the Nets will be formidable without him. Why? The Nets acquired Kyrie Irving – 4 years $142 million. Now Durant landing in Brooklyn makes more sense!
A number of key signings continued to roll as pretty much every single team got busy. Here’s a list of other significant signings this offseason:
Kemba Walker – 4 years $141 million with the Boston Celtics. Terry Rozier heads to the Charlotte Hornets from Celtics. The deals were as part of a sign and trade.
Jimmy Butler – 4 years $142 million with the Miami Heat as a sign and trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. There was a ton involved in this deal. It also led to the 76ers getting SG Josh Richardson, and C Hassan Whiteside a fresh start with the Portland Trailblazers.
D’Angelo Russell 4 years $117 million with the Golden State Warriors as part of a sign and trade with the Brooklyn Nets. This sort of went under the radar due to the monster names movement above.
DeMarcus Cousins – 1 year $3.5 million with the Los Angeles Lakers. Unfortunately, Boogie tore his ACL in August and this could be close to the end of the road for him. Very sad.
Al Horford – 4 years $109 million with the Philadelphia 76ers. Horford moves inter-division to trust the process.
Klay Thompson – 5 years $190 million with the Golden State Warriors. This is an interesting re-signing for the Warriors, especially with bringing in D’Angelo Russell. Lot of similar skill set players.
Khris Middleton – years $178 million with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks re-sign Giannis Antetokounmpo’s partner in crime.
Danny Green – 2 years $30 million with the Los Angeles Lakers. A solid role player that the Lakers might desperately need after trading away their bench/depth pieces.
Kristaps Porzingis – 5 years $158 million with the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks are hoping the big man can stay healthy. He very well could be a perfect Dirk Nowitzki replacement.
Nikola Vucevic – 4 years $100 million with the Orlando Magic. The underrated center stays locked up in Orlando to lead a young team.
Marc Gasol – sticks with the Toronto Raptors after being traded there at last year’s deadline. $25.6 million player option.
JJ Redick – 2 years $26.5 million with the New Orleans Pelicans. Redick ditches The Process for a similar process-style rebuild in New Orleans.
DeAndre Jordan – 4 years $40 million with the Brooklyn Nets. Are the Nets the Warriors of the Eastern Conference?
Derrick Rose – 2 years $15 million with the Detroit Pistons. Everyone is rooting for him to stay healthy, especially Blake Griffin.
Malcolm Brogdon – 4 years $85 million with the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers sent a 1st round pick and two future 2nd round picks to Milwaukee.
TJ McConnell – 2 years $7 million with the Indiana Pacers.(Philadelphia and The Process thank TJ for his service).
When it was all said and done, all these signings mentioned above, plus some other relatively important moves, made the free agency summer of 2019 one to remember. Will the season be just as exciting? We are about to find out. Tipoff for the regular season is on October 22.