Kawhi Leonard

With many high-caliber players moving around the NBA, Kansan sports columnist Logan Fricks argues this free agency period will open the NBA wide open for any team to make a run at the championship.

NBA free agency is underway, and the rumors and hypothetical combinations are finally becoming true. Free agency is arguably the most exciting time of the year because of the fantasies turning into realities.

This year, free agency has been exciting due to the number of superstars changing locations. Through all the craziness, one thing has become apparent: the NBA is wide open.

For quite some time, rumors have been circulating on where Kevin Durant would go, would he become a Knick? Would he join Brooklyn? Would he return to the Warriors?

All the rumors were answered on the first day of free agency when Durant announced his decision to join the Brooklyn Nets, along with Kyrie Irving.

The moment Durant made his decision, the NBA world was rocked because at that point, it was apparent the Golden State dynasty was ending, and no single team will run the league.

Although Durant will miss the 2019-20 season, Brooklyn still has a chance to be one of the better teams in the NBA. Even after losing one of the best players in the league, Golden State will keep relevancy with the addition of D’Angelo Russell.

Despite losing Irving and Al Horford, the Boston Celtics could be even better with Kemba Walker running the show. Horford’s addition to the Philadelphia 76ers could be a massive improvement for championship aspirations on the young team.

Jimmy Butler moving to Miami gives the Heat a chance to return to relevancy and will help make the East just as competitive as the West.

Teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs did not lose much this offseason and will likely make the playoffs once again in the upcoming season.

The difference between last season and this next season is the fact all four of those teams will be in the discussion for title contenders and each could realistically win a title.

Free agent Kawhi Leonard could also change the dynamic of the NBA with his decision. If he were to return to Toronto, the Raptors would be the favorite to win a second straight title. However, if he were to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles, the Lakers would be the new Warriors as expectations would be high.

However, balance in the NBA is restored. No one franchise will run the league and with how teams are shaping out, there could be an argument made for championship aspirations for numerous squads.