NBA Rumors: Trade Reports and Rumblings from Around the League

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2019

Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker (15) reacts after making a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

The Toronto Raptors finished off the Milwaukee Bucks over the weekend, meaning they'll face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

With only two teams left standing, the vast majority of the league has already turned its attention to the offseason. With the 2019 draft set for June 20 and free agency scheduled to kick off on July 1, there is plenty of player movement on the horizon.

Here's a look at some of the latest free-agency and trade buzz with the NBA conference finals in the books.


Kemba Walker Will Be Coveted

While Golden State's Kevin Durant is set to be the big prize in free agency this year, he is far from the only high-profile player on the market. Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker is already one drawing considerable interest.

According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, at least four teams—the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers—are interested in adding Walker:

Steve Kyler @stevekylerNBA

All things being equal -- Not sure there will be much of a market for DeMarcus... as for Kemba. I know the Magic, Pacers, Knicks, and Lakers have an interest... Charlotte still wants him and can now Supermax him. https://t.co/gi2sf4L3cw

Of course, the Hornets would like to retain the UConn product as well. However they'll likely have to overpay to keep him, as the 29-year-old is now eligible for a supermax contract.

Walker was named third-team All-NBA after nearly getting Charlotte to the postseason for the first time since the 2015-16 season. While the Hornets fell just short—they finished ninth in the Eastern Conference—he had a tremendous individual season. He averaged 25.6 points and 5.9 assists per game.

Thanks to the supermax, the Hornets can offer Walker the most lucrative deal, though there's certainly no guarantee that money will finalize his free-agency decision.


Lakers Would Likely Have to Deal Lonzo to Acquire Beal

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

While Walker earned his supermax eligibility this year, Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal did not.

Michael Sykes, II @MikeDSykes

The All-NBA teams and the other players receiving votes. Bradley Beal (34 votes) was just edged out by Kemba Walker (51 votes). https://t.co/ME3BCh1X2M

This means the 25-year-old—who has two years remaining on his current contract—won't be getting a pay bump from Washington this offseason. He could find himself dealt to another team, though.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst recently discussed how Beal would make sense for the Lakers.

"If you traded for Bradley Beal, you could potentially be a contender next year, maybe get into the playoffs, maybe have a chance to make a run," Windorst said on The Stephen A. Smith Show.

It would likely take the fourth overall pick in the draft plus a young player to pry Beal away from Washington. According to Hoop Central, Lonzo Ball is the young player the Wizards would prefer:

Hoop Central @TheHoopCentral

Lonzo Ball would likely have be included in any deal with the Lakers and Wizards revolving around Bradley Beal, per @NBCSWashington.

Ball has flashed potential in his young NBA career but has also dealt with numerous injuries. A fresh start could help him, while the Lakers would certainly benefit from adding Beal, who averaged 25.6 points per game and made 50 percent of his three-point attempts.


Re-Signing Lopez is a Priority for Milwaukee

Morry Gash/Associated Press

With Saturday's loss ending Milwaukee's seasons, the Bucks can now focus on building for 2019. Decisions will have to be made on several pending free agents, including center Brook Lopez.

According to Malika Andrews of ESPN.com, league sources indicate that retaining the 31-year-old is "a priority."

The good news is that Milwaukee should have a strong chance of bringing Lopez back. They should again be a title contender next season, and he seems to have enjoyed his first season with the franchise.

"I obviously love playing the game," Lopez told reporters early in the Eastern Conference Finals (h/t ASAP Sports). "But no question I've been having a great time here. It's just a fun group to be around, a fun coaching staff, fun teammates, great teammates, unselfish, just the best guys in the world."

Lopez averaged 12.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this past season. He was a quality role player for the Bucks and should be a valuable contributor if he does return.