3 NBA Rumors and How They Impact the 76ers

June 18, 2019 - 8:50 pm

(WIP) -- With NBA free agency set to begin on July 1st, here are three of the latest--and biggest--rumors that all could have an impact on the Sixers:

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Lakers to go after Kawhi?

The Lakers had a busy weekend, agreeing to trade three players and three first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis. They might not be done. According to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, the Lakers are expected to pursue Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard this offseason and might end up having enough salary cap space to offer him a max contract. How the roster would fill out from there remains to be seen, but a trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard would instantly make the Lakers the favorites to win it all next year, especially with the injuries the Golden State Warriors are currently dealing with.

From the Sixers' perspective both Leonard and Davis ending up in Los Angeles would be a massive break. Davis was rumored to be going to Boston, but now instead of playing in the Sixers' division he is out west. Leonard is a big reason the Sixers were eliminated last season and would be a major roadblock in the Eastern Conference if he stays. Seeing both on the Lakers would be a huge boost to the Sixers chances of reaching the NBA Finals.

Jimmy Butler, Lakers have mutual interest?

After news broke that Davis was going to Los Angeles, ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that while the team is now expected to go after Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker, they could move on to Sixers guard Jimmy Butler if Walker doesn't come to Los Angeles. According to Wojnarowski there is "mutual" interest between Butler and the Lakers.

At this point Butler joining the Lakers would make a ton of sense. He would be joining arguably two of the top 10 players in the league, including arguably the best player, LeBron James. Financially, however, the Sixers would still have the edge. The Sixers can offer Butler a five-year max contract, while the Lakers can offer him only four years. At 29-years old, this is likely Butler's final max contract, and getting that extra year of security could be a huge difference maker for the free agent guard.

Kyrie to Brooklyn?

One of the worst kept secrets in the NBA right now seems to be that Kyrie Irving is going to leave the Boston Celtics and sign with the Brooklyn Nets, as multiple outlets are reporting there is strong interest between the team and the free agent guard.

This would impact the Sixers in two ways: First, it would be a blow to the Celtics, who would go from dreaming of pairing Irving with Davis next season to having neither on the roster. The Celtics have played well without Irving, but losing him would still be a blow.

Second, Irving would improve the Nets, the team the Sixers knocked out of the playoffs last season, but had trouble with. Irving is a considerably better player than D'Angelo Russell, and the Nets have a solid group of role players to put around Irving. The Sixers would still have a better roster than the Nets, but Irving going to Brooklyn would make a potential playoff rematch next season seem much more difficult.

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!