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Recapping A Wild Start To NBA Free Agency And Exploring How LA Teams Now Fit Into The Kawhi Leonard Sweepstakes

 Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena.
Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

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The NBA’s free agency period began on Sunday and basketball fans didn’t have to wait long for the fireworks to begin.

One of the biggest questions heading into NBA free agency would be whether Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant would stay in the Bay Area or take his talents elsewhere. That question was answered almost immediately when Durant announced on his Instagram page that he would be signing a max contract with the Brooklyn Nets worth $164 million over four years. The Nets also announced on Sunday that they would be signing former Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving, another highly sought-after free agency, who inked a 4 year, $141 million dollar deal. The Nets also added former Los Angeles Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan on Sunday to round out a big night. But when free agency giveth, it also taketh away, and this was the case for the Nets as they welcomed in three new big names but said goodbye to another -- star guard De’Angelo Russell, who signed a 4-year, $117 million deal with the Golden State Warriors. But it wasn’t just the Nets making a big splash on the first day of free agency. Charlotte Hornets star guard Kemba Walker announced he’d be joining the Boston Celtics on a 4-year, $141 million deal and Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler will go to the Miami Heat as part of a sign-and-trade deal.

The Lakers already landed a big offseason fish when they executed a trade that sent former New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis to L.A. in exchange for a couple players and a slew of draft picks, but many around the league still see them as a possible contender in the sweepstakes for Toronto Raptors star and newly-minted NBA Champion and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers, however, also remain in the hunt for Leonard, who many believe wants to come to Los Angeles.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll recap the big movies that shook up the NBA landscape and explain where, if anywhere, Los Angeles basketball fits in with the remaining big free agency targets.



A Martinez, host of KPCC’s “Take Two” and former Lakers host with ESPN L.A. 710; he tweets @amartinezla


Dan Woike, national NBA writer for the Los Angeles Times; he tweets @DanWoikeSports