There will be something of a point guard roulette that takes place this summer, with Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and D’Angelo Russell all about to hit NBA free agency. There are also several other top guards around the league that make sense as trade chips as well, so nothing is really off the board right now.
At the heart of all of this PG drama are the Celtics, Knicks, Lakers and Nets as all of those teams will be in the market for Kyrie. Where Kyrie lands will immediately trigger the next destination for Kemba, though as The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor and Bill Simmons discussed on Simmons’ podcast late last week there remains a legitimate chance that Kemba stays in Charlotte with the Hornets.
Reading the tea leaves, it looks like the Celtics are low on Kyrie’s list and a move to the Lakers or Knicks seems much more likely by the day.
So where does that leave the Celtics at point guard?
Terry Rozier was as much of a locker room disruptor as Kyrie was in Boston last season and based on buzz around the league both of them will likely be in different locales when the 2019-20 season opens up in October.
Boston won’t have much money to play with in order to attempt to sign Kemba in free agency to replace Kyrie, unless they were able to facilitate a few money-clearing trades involving either Gordon Hayward or Al Horford (who has a player option). One possible solution lies in Memphis, as Mike Conley could be had for a relative bargain.
As for the Knicks, there is legit worry within the front office that Kevin Durant could land with the Clippers and Kyrie could wind up with LeBron and the Lakers, or with Russell and the Nets. Brooklyn is not ruling out pairing Kyrie and Russell together as Sean Marks saw what has worked with James Harden and Chris Paul in Houston. Though the Rockets came up short the past two seasons, they are widely regarded as the second best team in the NBA. If not for the Golden State juggernaut, Harden and Paul would likely have a ring by now.
In other words, what Houston has done this decade works. Two elite “point guards” can not only play together in today’s league, but thrive.
With all that said, here is where the arrow is pointing on all of these key players and teams as we inch closer to the June 30th madness.
Kemba Walker to Knicks
Kevin Durant to Knicks
Kyrie Irving to Nets
D’Angelo Russell to Nets
Mike Conley to Celtics