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The Questions We Weren’t Expecting to Ask Before Kawhi-to-L.A. Rumors Heated Up

Free agency, especially LeBron’s, creates plenty of ripple effects for the rest of the league. But no one could’ve predicted we’d be mulling over the following three before July 1.

Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma Getty Images/Ringer illustration

Questions like “Where is LeBron James signing next?” and “Will Kawhi Leonard get traded?” lead only to more questions that can’t wait until the start of free agency to be addressed. Here are three we weren’t expecting to ask ahead of July 1.

Did you ever think you’d be trying to decipher Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma tweets to determine the future of the NBA?

No team is being watched this week like the Lakers. Luckily for the general public, Kuzma and Hart are live-tweeting it. On Monday, Hart posed this question to Paul George: “What’s up with these duos @Yg_Trece ? ?”

About 97 percent of me is convinced that by “duos,” Hart is referencing Fortnite. But he’s also jumping at the chance to get George’s attention. Note that George doesn’t follow Hart on Twitter. George does, however, follow LeBron. But then again, it’s LeBron. Who doesn’t?

Next, right after Austin Rivers was traded to Washington for Marcin Gortat, Kuzma tweeted, “First domino.” This one isn’t that hard to read, and also doesn’t seem Lakers-adjacent.

Then, on Wednesday night, this:

By this time, Kawhi-to-L.A. reports were flooding Twitter. So thoughtful of Hart to give Lakers nation the exclusive. They’ll miss you in L.A., but I’ve heard Texas is wonderful in the summer.

Is LeBron really texting Kevin Durant?

And more importantly, what is KD saved as in LeBron’s phone? On the Thursday broadcast of ESPN’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith said that LeBron “reached out to Kevin Durant via text, from what I’m being told, about coming to Los Angeles.” His source implies that (1) LeBron doesn’t have Durant blocked on iMessage and (2) James is both seriously considering signing with Los Angeles and trying to find a superstar teammate to come with him.

The Lakers can create enough cap space to sign two maximum contracts this summer. L.A. rumors have more refills than a 7/11 Coke machine—LeBron and Paul George, or LeBron and Kawhi, or LeBron and DeMarcus Cousins pairings. But Durant is a new name, and an unlikely one; he’s already said that he’ll re-sign with the Warriors.

Durant reportedly told the Warriors he will enter free agency. Doing so will allow him to sign a max deal, rather than take a discount like he did last season.

So I’m going with no, they aren’t texting. Next question: Do either have their read receipts turned on?

Would you rather have Jaylen Brown or Brandon Ingram?

This is probably the question San Antonio is asking itself right now. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Spurs are in Kawhi trade talks with L.A. and Boston. “Boston has long had the assets that the Spurs most covet in a potential Leonard trade,” Woj tacked onto the end of his scoop.

Gregg Popovich’s roster is full of male pattern baldness and orthopedic Skechers. Without Leonard, the Spurs will most likely pivot from building around a superstar in his prime to going young. Brown and Ingram are both prototypical, full-of-potential Pop projects.

Brown made the larger sophomore leap, though his playing time also doubled as a result of Gordon Hayward’s injury. His shooting and confidence improved, and he was the more consistent of the two. But I lean toward preferring Ingram because of what he does in flashes. His 7-foot-3 wingspan gives him the scoring ability to finish over defenders—with that slender frame, he’s not going through them—and give them trouble on the other end. You have to listen when the words “point forward” are mentioned, especially when the same player can also shoot; that possibility gives Ingram the higher ceiling.