Catch up on the latest NBA free agency and rumors leading up to Thursday's draft.

By Scooby Axson
June 18, 2019

The Raptors have been crowned NBA champions after a six-game Finals triumph over the Warriors, so now the business of the offseason takes center stage.

Thursday's draft is up first, where the Pelicans are expected to select national player of the year and Duke forward Zion Williamson at No. 1.

The Pelicans also have the No. 4 pick thanks to a trade agreed to last week that will send Anthony Davis to the Lakers, dramatically shaking up the balance of power in the Western Conference.

This year's free agency frenzy starts June 30 at 6 p.m., and features injured superstars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson as well as NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and guard Kyrie Irving.

But those who have player and team options have until June 29 to exercise them, with potential restricted free agents having a June 24 deadline.

News and Rumors

• The Lakers are offering the contract of Mo Wagner, Jemerrio Jones and Isaac Bonga to additional teams in order to create $32M in space. The team is also aggressively pursuing the purchase of second-round picks in Thursday's NBA Draft. (Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN)

• Last week, SI's Chris Mannix reported that Kawhi Leonard is likely to sign with the Raptors or Clippers this offseason. That remains the case, according to ESPN. (Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN/Get Up!)

• Harrison Barnes will not exercise the $25.1 million option on his 2019-20 contract and become an unrestricted free agent. (Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN)

• Darius Garland will conduct a last-minute workout with the Knicks on Wednesday. Garland is in consideration for the No. 3 pick, with Minnesota, Boston and Chicago looking to trade up to get Garland. (Jonathan Givony, ESPN)

• Celtics center Al Horford will not exercise the $30.1 million option on his 2019-20 contract and become an unrestricted free agent. Boston and Horford are interested in working on a new deal in July. (Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN)

• The Pelicans are exploring ways to move up in the draft to land the No. 2 pick in order to draft Duke guard R.J. Barrett and pair him up with Williamson, his college teammate. (Marc Berman, New York Post)

• New Orleans also has its sights on a possible deal concerning Wizards guard Bradley Beal. Beal is owed $55 million over the next two seasons. (Shams Charania, The Athletic)

• The No. 4 pick the Pelicans acquired from the Anthony Davis trade was also in play in their conversations about a trade for Beal. (Ben Standig, NBC Sports Washington)

• Phoenix Suns forward TJ Warren, guard/forward Josh Jackson and No. 6 pick aren't up for trade. (Duane Rankin, Arizona Republic)

• The Brooklyn Nets will decline the qualifying offer for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to make him an unrestricted free agent and give themselves $46 million in cap space. (Adrian Wojnarowski,

• Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley is set to meet with five different teams during the free agency period. (Sean Deveney, Sporting News)

• The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to provide draft compensation for teams willing to take on the contract of either Tony Snell or Ersan Ilyasova as they try to create roster flexibility. (Marc Stein, New York Times)

• The Celtics were open to discussing Jayson Tatum and the future Memphis first-round pick for Anthony Davis, but not in the same offer. (Shams Charania, The Athletic)

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