NBA free agency is less than two days away and the rumor mill already is in overdrive with rumors and speculation on the top players available, highlighted by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard and Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving.
More than 40 percent of the league's players are unrestricted or restricted free agents this summer, so the balance of power could shift dramatically depending on where the top-tier free agents decide to sign.
Keep it right here for the latest rumors and news involving trades and free agency Friday.
11:11 p.m.: Indiana Pacers guard Darren Collison has decided to retire at 31, Marc Spears of ESPN's The Undefeated reports. His ESPN colleague, Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Collison is walking away from a $10 million to $12 million annual deal.
Darren Collison was on target to secure a $10M-$12M annual salary in free agency. He retires at 31. https://t.co/456Y67RUva— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2019
9:26 p.m.: The Durant Derby appears to be down to four teams, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and a return to Golden State Warriors. The Nets are the long-rumored destination of an Irving-Durant pairing.
Story filed to ESPN: Golden State’s Kevin Durant is planning to engage four teams in discussions upon the opening of NBA free agency on Sunday – the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Warriors, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2019
5:15 p.m.: The Nets have made a qualifying offer to point guard D'Angelo Russell, making him a restricted free agent, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Sources: Brooklyn has extended a qualifying offer to All-Star free agent D’Angelo Russell, making him a restricted free agent.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 28, 2019
4:53 p.m.: Kawhi Leonard will meet with the Lakers next week, with Lakers legend Magic Johnson, who resigned as team president in May, in on the meeting, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Sources. Kawhi Leonard’s people plan on meeting with Lakers president Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson next week when free agency starts. Will most likely be in LA— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) June 28, 2019
And from ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, via Marc Stein of the New York Times, comes word that the request for Magic and Jeanie Buss at the meeting is from Leonard himself.
According to my guy @stephenasmith ... Kawhi made a personal request to the Lakers that their free-agent meeting include only owner Jeanie Buss and their former team president Magic Johnson pic.twitter.com/E4ZQX3Rntr— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 28, 2019
...And still more on Magic's participation in Lakers free-agent discussions:
Magic Johnson says he will help the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency in any way he can, but he is not permitted by NBA rules to be part of official team meetings with prospective free agents. Johnson said he has not been asked by the Lakers or owner Jeanie Buss to participate.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 28, 2019
4:20 p.m.: Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic appear to be working on a potential deal that would be in the neighborhood of four years, $90 million, per Mark Stein of The New York Times. Vucevic was a first-time All-Star last season and averaged 20.8 points and 12.0 rebounds for the Magic last season.
The Orlando Magic are preparing a four-year offer believed to be in excess of $90 million to their All-Star center Nikola Vucevic in hopes of completing a deal shortly after Sunday's opening bell in free agency, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 28, 2019
3:55 p.m.: It's looking like the Golden State Warriors are going to offer Klay Thompson a max contract. This decision would have been a no-brainer but after Thompson suffered a torn ACL in the NBA Finals, there were some questions about whether or not he would get one. The second "Splash Brother" averaged 21.5 points per game last season and has made 41.9 percent of his career 3-point shots.
Sources: Golden State is planning to offer All-Star Klay Thompson a 5-year, $190M maximum contract when free agency opens Sunday at 6 PM ET --- which is expected to accelerate process of GM Bob Myers and Thompson’s agent, Greg Lawrence, quickly reaching formal agreement.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 28, 2019
3:15 p.m.: Could Houston Rockets center Clint Capela be on the move in the near future? Here's the latest on the 25-year-old star.
The Rockets believe they have a trade partner for Clint Capela but do not intend to deal Capela unless they are sure they can acquire marquee Sixers free agent Jimmy Butler, according to a source briefed on Houston's thinking— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 28, 2019
1:33 p.m.: Veteran forward Harrison Barnes could be returning to the Sacramento Kings on a four-year deal.
The Sacramento Kings are working towards an agreement with Harrison Barnes in the 4 year, 88 million dollar range.......— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) June 28, 2019
1 p.m.: The Warriors' plan to re-sign Durant, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney could balloon the team's 2019-20 payroll to more than $375 million, per ESPN's Bobby Marks (h/t Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne). This enormous payroll figure includes around $200 million in luxury taxes.
10:40 a.m.: Al Horford should have no shortage of suitors in free agency after reportedly declining the 2019-20 player option in his contract with the Boston Celtics. ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne reported Friday an update on Horford's potential suitors.
In addition to teams like the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans, who instantly emerged as possible landing spots, league sources say there are a few surprise bidders who are trying to land the veteran big man. These include the Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers.
10:30 a.m.: Recent reports (and the latest betting odds) pegged the Brooklyn Nets as the most likely landing spot for Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant. SNY's Ian Begley reported Friday, however, that the Nets are not the favorite for KD.
"Sources familiar with the matter told SNY that the Nets are not the front runners or favorites to sign Durant at the moment," Begley wrote.
This is quite an interesting turn with free agency almost 48 hours away. Durant should have no shortage of suitors despite suffering a ruptured Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals, but any team that signs him likely won't compete for a championship next season because it's hard to envision KD coming back from his injury before the 2020-21 campaign.
10:15 a.m.: Could Kawhi Leonard join LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers? Here's what ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said on Friday's episode of "Get Up."
SAS on Kawhi Leonard: "I have received word that he is seriously considering the Los Angeles Lakers." pic.twitter.com/HU7rpomJgu— Chris Montano (@gswchris) June 28, 2019
10 a.m. ET: The Los Angeles Lakers opened up almost enough salary cap space to sign a max free agent as a result of their reported trade with the Washington Wizards on Thursday. The New York Times' Marc Stein reported Thursday night that Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving is among the Purple and Gold's targets, in addition to Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard.
Kyrie Irving remains as much a target for the Lakers as Kawhi Leonard, league sources say, now that the Lakers are sure they can open maximum cap space. They are swinging for the fences despite all of the signals that have pointed Irving to Brooklyn ...— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 28, 2019
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