How the 2019 Finals Changed the Landscape of the NBA

Not even a full 24 hours removed from the last shot of the 2019 NBA Finals between the

Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors, the effects of the performance on the court are still

being felt as the league prepares for free agency.


However, with all the questions that still remain, many have been answered, and fans everywhere can begin to speculate as to what the landscape of the 2019-2020 season will look like.


In a series riddled with injuries, there is a lot to be excited about for the Toronto Raptors. A team that many never took seriously, ascended atop the East to face the machine that was the Golden State Warriors. Attempting to become the second team ever to three-peat, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and the rest of the Golden State Warriors seemed to be unstoppable in their journey.


Six Games later, the NBA has a new champion, and many are shouting the death of the dynasty that is the Golden State Warriors.


Now with the season in the rearview mirror, it is time to speculate and attempt to put together the puzzle that is free agency. If you asked any of the league’s experts three weeks ago, the story of the 2019-2020 season was all but written. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to New York, Kawhi Leonard returning home to Los Angeles, Klay Thompson facing the decision to spread his wings and break up the Splash Bros. or return to Dubnation and continue the success, but oh what a difference six games can make.


In a script you could not write in Hollywood, seemingly all the tables have turned. Kawhi Leonard is again an NBA Champion and looks to have found the recipe for success in Toronto with no signs of a desire to leave. Ultimately injury will be the biggest wild card in the deck, especially since Durant and Thompson will miss the majority of next season as they recover from serious injuries.


We can hear the Knicks’ front office from any part of the globe collectively losing their mind. What seemed so close is now so far away for a franchise that is desperate for relevancy.


Kyrie Irving, whom many speculated would choose to join forces with Durant rather than attempt to replicate past success in Los Angeles with LeBron James, faces a crossroads.


Does he stick to the plan or sign with the Brooklyn Nets, who are the new favorite to land the All-Star, according to the Boston Globe?


Also to be considered, is what will the injuries to Durant and Thompson do for the value of stars like Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, and Anthony Davis?


Davis, locked in a stalemate with the New Orleans Pelicans, has narrowed his options to the Lakers and Knicks, but what does Davis do now with that dream pairing of Durant, Irving, and himself disappearing like a snap from Thanos himself?


Many of these questions will be answered soon as free agency opens July 1, 2019. In the era of the super team, one can only imagine what your favorite team will look like come opening day.

As we look back on this year's phenomenal playoff run, we will be able to say that 2019 was the year that broke the mold for the NBA.


In the words of Drake, “Nothing was the Same.”


Check out Episode 26 of the BLS Podcast




*preview photo credited to The Ringer


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