Storyline: Derrick Walton Free Agency

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What the last year amounted to is a crash course in the real world. “It opened my eyes to the business side of the game,” Walton confessed earlier this week. “Going into it, it’s all about the love of the game. Obviously, I love basketball, I love what I do. I remember at the beginning, I walked into agency meetings and I was like, ‘Look, I don’t really care about none of the other stuff. I just want to make sure I’m in the best position to perform.’ I mean, how dumb does that sound? That’s how naive I was and that’s how I approached it.” Walton, 23, says he knows where he’ll play next season. An agreement is in place, but his agent, Mark Bartelstein, is requiring him to sit on the news until next week. All Walton can put out publicly is this: “Long story short, I’m good. I’m going to a great situation. All I can say.” Having that settled makes it easier to decompress and process his rookie season and the lessons learned.
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October 16, 2018 | 8:46 am EDT Update
Tim Bontemps: If today was July 1, I think Durant would leave. I think it’s most likely he signs with the Knicks, and if not the Knicks I could see he and Kawhi Leonard teaming up with the Clippers. I would be surprised if he was with anyone but the Knicks, Clippers or Warriors next season, though. And I also won’t be surprised if he changes his mind plenty of times between now and when he makes that decision.
There are whispers around the league that neither Jimmy Butler nor Kawhi Leonard wants to play with LeBron, and sources I’ve talked to would be shocked if Klay Thompson left Golden State. That might leave the Lakers with Walker or Middleton as their top remaining free-agent targets. If I’m the Hornets, that possibility would have me worried.