The NBA’s free agency period has started and after just a week, the player movements have been fast and many. Among the many players who will be wearing new uniforms next season, there are 10 who stand out as those that will definitely shake the competitive balance in the league, good or bad,

Here they are:

1. Kawhi Leonard- Los Angeles Clippers

Kawhi Leonard had the best 2019 of any NBA player so far. After missing most of last season with a controversial quad injury, Leonard got his wish to be traded from San Antonio and found his way to Toronto. He would lead the Raptors to the second record during the regular season and help Toronto win its first ever NBA title by dethroning the injury-riddled Golden State Warriors. Despite winning the title, Leonard was rumored to be heading home, either to the Lakers or Clippers. Up until the final hours, the Lakers were the favorites to land him. In the end, Leonard engineered a transfer to the Clippers that included Steve Ballmer’s team trading for Paul George as part of Leonard’s signing.

2. Anthony Davis- Los Angeles Lakers

Before Kawhi Leonard decided to bolt Toronto, Anthony Davis was supposed to be the biggest prize this summer, literally. The Brow had already signified his decision to be traded before last season’s trade deadline but the Pelicans held him for a better deal. In the end, the Pelicans accepted a trade from the Lakers that netted them Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball and the 4th pick of the 2019 NBA draft. Davis will team up with LeBron James in Tinseltown but they will feel a little incomplete knowing Leonard almost joined them in what would have been the next super team in the NBA after the Warriors breakup.

3. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving- Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets were the big winner of Day One of free agency. Not only did they land Boston Celtics’ point guard Kyrie Irving but they were able to forge a sign-and-trade deal that sent their own free agent All-Star D’Angelo Russell in exchange for two time Finals MVP Kevin Durant. Durant is out with an Achilles injury and will miss the entirety of next season. Despite that, the Nets ( and KD’s other suitors ) are so certain that Durant is going to return to peak form after his recovery period. Meanwhile, Irving is going to ply his trade and try to put the Nets in playoff mode this season while waiting for KDs debut.

4. Kemba Walker-Boston Celtics

The Celtics lost Kyrie Irving without getting anyone in return. But the Celtics were able to manufacture a deal after a sign and trade deal that sent their disgruntled free agent guard

Terry Rozier to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Hornets franchise player Kemba Walker. Walker had been in the trade rumors since last season but it seemed that he was willing to forego the max contract so Charlotte can build a contender around him. That didn’ happen. Instead, Walker will be playing under Brad Stevens next season, joining forces with Jayson Tatum. Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward.

5. Jimmy Butler-Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler has been on the move in recent years. From Chicago, he went to Minnesota. After having differences with Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, he asked to be traded and he was moved to Philadelphia. After the Sixers lost to the Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Butler was rumored to be on the move again. The initial rumors were that he was going to Los Angeles or Houston. But in the end, the Heat engaged the Sixers in a sign and trade deal with Josh Richardson. Now Butler is playing for a team he once vowed never to play for.

6. Klay Thompson- Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors had two problems this summer because not only KD was going to be a free agent but Klay Thompson as well. KD left but Klay decided to stay once the Dubs offered him the max sheet. Thompson tore his ACL in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals which was really the final nail on the coffin for the Warriors. He is expected to miss this season but the Dubs will have another guard in town in the person of D’Angelo Russell who should play with Steph Curry in the backcourt while Thompson recuperates. It will be interesting though what happens to D-Lo when Klay returns to claim his spot on the team.

7. Al Horford-Philadelphia 76ers

Al Horford went from being the Joel Embiid stopper during the 2018 playoffs to Joel Embiid’s new frontcourt partner in Philadelphia. Horford’s numbers have gone down since going to Boston. Remember that this guy was an All-Star in Atlanta and was supposed to be Boston’s main guy. That didn’t happen. In fairness, Horford always played big for the Celtics and came up big during crucial games, especially during the playoffs. His experience should be a huge boost to the Sixers’ young duo of Embiid and Ben Simmons who lost the veteran leadership of J.J. Redick to free agency.

8. Julius Randle- New York Knicks

The Knicks went from targeting Kevin Durant, to picking Zion Williamson but ended up signing Julius Randle. Nothing against Randle, he had a breakout 20-10 season with New Orleans last year but he is no Kevin Durant or Zion Williamson. Randle has moved from the Lakers to the Pelicans to the Knicks in three seasons. Randle showed a more mature game in 2018-19 and he looks to be among the veterans in a young New York squad which hopes to finally get out of the bottom of the league.

9. Malcolm Brogdon-Indiana Pacers

The Milwaukee Bucks had a good run last season. Giannis Antetokounmpo led them to the best record in the league during the 2018-19 season while winning his first NBA MVP honors. But Giannis didn’t do it alone. He had the help of Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez and of course Malcolm Brogdon. The former rookie of the year winner was a key contributor off the Bucks bench and he was a steady presence during the postseason. He goes to Indiana on another sign and trade deal that saw the Pacers give up one first round pick and two second-round picks in return.

10. DeMarcus Cousins- Los Angeles Lakers

Many thought the Lakers world would fall apart if Kawhi Leonard didn’t sign with them. They were wrong. Less than 24 hours after Kawhi signed with the Clippers, their cross-town rivals were quick to announce multiple signings including Quin Cook, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo among others. Then the purple and gold closed out their weekend by announcing that they had signed DeMarcus Cousins. A former All-Star, Cousins spent last season toiling at the Golden State bench. With his championship hopes gone in the Bay Area, Boogie joins LeBron and the Brow. Interestingly. Cousins, Davis and Rondo led the New Orleans Pelicans to an impressive playoff run two seasons ago.

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