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Season of Rumors: Medina Predicts Where Players Land

Talks Free Agency, Trade Circuit, And Warriors Dynasty

July 21, 2018 - 4:00 pm
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Mark Medina, Warriors reporter for The Mercury joined The Zach Gelb Show early Friday morning to give his two cents on the Warriors dynasty, Lebron James, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard, among other topics.

Gelb calls it the season of rumors, referring to the constant talk about where players will sign during free agency and what’s happening on the trade circuit. Lebron James called Kevin Durant to talk about their plans, and Gelb wondered how Medina thought that conversation went.

"He’s been on record I think 4 times this season that there's no question, no if and or buts, he's going back to the Warriors.” Medina said about Durant.

Medina doesn’t see the Warriors' stars leaving any time soon.

"If I had to guess, they'll stay on board. Now the devil is going to be in the details, but Klay Thompson has told me over and over again that it's his priority first and foremost to stay with the Warriors for his career." Medina added, "I think Draymond Green sentiment is that he wants to stay as well."

The current landscape of the NBA essentially places the Warriors sitting as king, with every other team fighting for  chance to dethrone them. The rest of the league is scrambling to keep up with contracts and trades. A huge factor in this is where Kawhi Leonard lands.

"I guess that he winds up not playing with the Spurs, so as far as what team, I don't know if the Spurs really need to be in a rush to do this.” Medina said. “If I had to guess, I don't think he'll be there but I think he has to give it a few more days before they pull the trigger.”

Other growing teams, like the 76ers, Celtics, or Lakers might be able to offer a sufficient trade package for Kawhi as well. Gelb asked if the two Eastern Conference teams might have strong enough rosters to keep Kawhi long term.

"It's not just the Lakers or bust.” Medina explains. “That's why I think for the Lakers, there's a lot of pressure because it's not just knowing that there's other teams involved ...they do have the urgency because no one knows what Lebron James is going to do. But if you have Kawhi Leonard, I think you have an even bigger selling point. Right now, the Lakers have that cap space.”

“So, if I'm the Lakers, I go all in, because I know that if they get Kawhi, I don't want to say that it's inevitable that Lebron goes to the Lakers but it would be very hard for him to turn down if that were the case."

Medina also predicts that Paul George joins the Lakers, but says it’s not a done deal because of some of the sentiments he has expressed throughout the process.

Gelb also asked Medina if they thought that the mistakes that Lebron’s teammates made in the 2018 Finals forced him to question staying in Cleveland.

"It doesn't help certainly.” Medina said. Referring to J.R. Smith's mishap in Game 1, “But it's a huge stretch to say that that play is going to decide his free agency when it didn't even decide the game.”