Durant, Paul to stay with their teams

Paul George Dwyane Wade

This year there are some big names that are always in the hunt for a new team.

George could have left, gone to the Lakers to join LeBron James, and no one would have complained. By the time he arrived around midday - after his flight plan was tracked online - reporters and at least one news helicopter were waiting for the Cleveland Cavaliers star, who chose to become an unrestricted free agent and not opt-in to a $35.6 million deal for this coming season. LeBron didn't waste any time before he showed up at LAX on a private Jet to meet with the Lakers front office. He would likely take a short-term max contract and could play a huge role next to James, especially if Oklahoma City Thunder wing Paul George does not sign with the Lakers. That deal would save the Thunder more than $30 million in salary and taxes this season, but add about $20 million in 2019-20 salary.

He can win championships with the team in the next three years and lauded, but as many die-hard Lakers fans (my hand's up) will tell you, he's not Magic Johnson or Kobe Bryant, career-long Lakers who each won five titles with the franchise.

But the big fish was reeled in nearly immediately after the free agency gun went off late Saturday night. Trae Young, just acquired by the Hawks in a major draft-day deal with the Mavericks, had a more clearly stunned reaction, saying, "Whaaaaaaaat", with a flushed-face emoji. Barring an extension, which is possible, he could exercise his option to become a free agent again in the summer of 2021 - and even then he'll just be 31.

CLEVELAND LeBron James flew back to Los Angeles from a family vacation in the Caribbean. After bolting from Cleveland in 2010, he returned in an emotional homecoming four years later, determined to make the Cavs champions.

More news: Toni Kroos left feeling sad and angry after "black day"

Durant's move means the Warriors not only got to keep the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals MVP, but they also get some financial flexibility in the deal since he could have gotten more money had the deal been structured differently.

But he agreed quickly this time to a one-year, $24.1 million deal and will finally be part of the Mavs.

And the worst-kept secret in the league may be the mutual infatuation between Jordan and the Dallas Mavericks, who secured a verbal agreement from him in the summer of 2015, only for the big man to renege and stay with the Clippers. It's a one-year rental.

If you're going to follow the National Basketball Association in depth, you're going to have to get used to a coterie of expert witnesses, because there's just too many moving parts to consider, too much to understand, too many plates to keep in the air.

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