We want Kawhi. We want Kawhi. We want Kawhi.
The most mysterious man on planet earth continues to delay the biggest decision of this offseason, and in so doing has relegated the rest of the NBA free agency market to the role of who the hell cares.
Nothing really matters until the Klaw wraps his 30cm-long talons around a pen and signs with somebody, anybody. At this point we wouldn’t be overly shocked if he ended up playing in the Iceland-Dominos League for Breidablik Kopavogur (yes, real team, real league).
There are only so many times we can DM Woj on Twitter asking for rumours. He hasn’t even replied yet.
Before we completely lose the plot, here are our winners & losers from day 3 of 2019 NBA free agency.
Loser: DeMarcus Cousins
It wasn’t so long ago Boogie was a potential MVP-contender and likely top-10 NBA player on a horrendous Pelicans team.
Now, after a disastrous finish to his tenure in Golden State, Woj is reporting that the free-agent market for Cousins may have completely dissolved.
“Completely” and “dissolved” are rarely two words you hope to see lined up next to each other. Particularly if you’re a 28-year-old 4-time All Star looking for a decent-sized payday as you move towards the twilight of your career.
Word on the street seems to be that Cousins is unlikely to even be offered a mid-level exception deal (which is what he got last year). Unfortunately for the 6 foot 11 centre, the free-agent big-man market was absolutely stacked this offseason. Guys like Brook & Robin Lopez, Nicola Vucevic, Jonas Valancunias and even Kevon Looney seem to have garnered far more interest – hardly a surprise given Cousins’ oft-documented disciplinary issues and his penchant for lower-leg injuries.
Now, most teams (except for the Lakers and Clippers) have burnt through their cap space and simply don’t have the will or want to offer anything substantial to a guy who can be volatile on and off the court, in all the wrong ways.
Prepare your ego, Boogie. This upcoming offer may be tough to stomach.
Winner: Shake Milton
If you just went “Who?!”, trust me, you’re not alone.
While the specifics of the deal are currently unclear, it seems like the Philadelphia 76ers are preparing to sign the former SMU point guard to a 4-year deal for an undisclosed amount of money.
If you’re wondering why the hell Shake Milton’s name is Shake Milton unfortunately I don’t have any answers for you. The reason you’ve probably never heard of him is he played in just 20 games last year for Philadelphia, finishing with 268 total minutes, 87 total points, 18 total assists and 35 total rebounds. I’m fairly confident Russell Westbrook hit those numbers in a single game last year.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Milton is set to “take on a bigger role” in the NBA next season. You never know, one day he might become a household name. Probably not though.
Loser: Anyone who cares where Kawhi’s going
Yep, this is directed at all of us. After-all, we’re the schmucks spending 13 hours a day refreshing Twitter in the hope of seeing a grainy picture of Kawhi buying Tacos (yeah, that happened).
This is an actual photo someone posted on social media claiming to have seen the illusive Board Man in the San Francisco area:
Does this mean he’s signing with the Warriors?? Is San Fran close enough to LA that he’d be able to fit in a meeting with the Lakers in between getting tacos??
At this point Kawhi is pretty much a 2019 version of the Loch Ness Monster. He might be in Los Angeles. He might be knee-deep in a swamp in the highlands of Scotland. Who the hell knows. We’re all idiots for trying to figure it out while he presumably lies on a beach blissfully unaware of the existence of free agency.
Winner: the Utah Jazz. Again.
This has been an offseason of epic proportions for the team from Salt Lake City.
Long considered a league also-ran – even at the heights of the Gordon Hayward era (lol) – this finally feels like a series of moves geared towards returning to heights of the Stockton/Malone era.
Conley and Bogdanovic are the highlights, for obvious reasons. But even over the last couple of less-eventful days, Utah have continued to make shrewd, roster-rounding additions. From a team last year with a severe dearth in offensive scoring, they now seem to have buckets coming out of their behinds.
Young flawed talent Emmanuel Mudiay and experienced veteran Jeff Green both joined the Jazz today for a grand total of almost no money – Green is making just $2.5 million next year, and Mudiay will likely make in the vicinity of $1.7 million. Both (at their best) are worth infinitely than that.
If Utah can make a run next year we’ll know when to trace it back – this last couple of days.
Loser: the Western Conference
I’m confident the West breathed a collective sigh of relief when Jared Dudley moved from the Suns to the Nets at the end of the 2017-18 season.
Surely, they must have thought, that’s the last we’ll see of the portly, bald instigator of all things annoying. At 33 years of age and coming off a year averaging just 3 points and 14 minutes per game on an atrocious Phoenix team, there was no way he could keep his floundering career alive, right?
Right? Wrong. Jared Dudley will be pulling on a jersey for the championship-favourite Lakers next season. Just imagine how many games we’ll get to see him play in if the Lakers go all the way to the Finals.
Honourable Winning Mentions
Ryan Arcidiacono: A true win for grit and hustle today, with Bulls fan-favourite Archie cashing in to the tune of $9 million over three years. Well done young man.
Golden State Warriors: Willie Cauley-Stein – for all his flaws – is a great fit for this team. Think JaVale McGee from a couple of years ago, with all the inside game and no need to take any outside shots. Bargain basement too.
Honourable Losing Mentions
Boston Celtics: It’s not that Brad Wannamaker and Daniel Theis are bad, it’s just… They’re not very good. This team has lost Kyrie Irving and Al Horford and replaced them with Kemba Walker. And nothing else.
Jeff Green: It’s great for the Jazz that they got Green, but not so good for him. One year and $2.5 million is a terrible result financially for the 32-year-old forward.
Written and produced for Sportstips.com by Eddie Dadds