Where are the top NBA free agents going? Our experts predict

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If Kemba replaces Kyrie, how would Celtics roster look? (1:31)

Bobby Marks breaks down how the Celtics could distribute their available cap space if Kyrie Irving leaves and is replaced by Kemba Walker. (1:31)

Where are Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson heading in NBA free agency? Will the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets or LA Clippers be able to land two max stars?

The signings can officially begin at 6 p.m. ET Sunday, and so far there's little certainty about how this potentially league-altering offseason will shake out.

Our ESPN Forecast panel predicts the destinations for the top players and which franchise will be the title favorite when the summer is over.

More: Latest NBA free-agency buzz


On which team's roster will Kevin Durant be next season?

Durant is likely to miss most or all of next season after suffering a ruptured right Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, making his offseason move even more unpredictable.

In the February edition of these predictions, the Knicks were clear favorites. Now it's a toss-up, with the Golden State Warriors having a slight edge.

MORE: Warriors to talk future with KD, Klay this week

On which team's roster will Klay Thompson be next season?

Like Durant, Thompson is expected to miss a large chunk of 2019-20 after tearing the ACL in his left knee during the NBA Finals. Both players are still projected to command max offers in free agency despite the injuries, and our panel is unanimous in predicting Thompson will return to Golden State.

MORE: Ten free-agency and trade targets for Warriors Insider

Where will Kawhi Leonard play next season?

The NBA Finals MVP is tough to read, but our panel now predicts a Toronto Raptors return as most likely. In February, the Clippers got 66.7% of the vote.

Wherever he ends up, pay attention to the number of years on Leonard's next contract. A two-year deal (maybe with a player option) would let him hit the market again with 10 years of service, and he then would be able to earn significantly more long-term money.

MORE: Which NBA teams can chase superstar free agents? Insider

Where will Kyrie Irving play next season?

The Boston Celtics have gone from favorites to keep Irving in February to out of the running in these predictions following a disappointing season.

Now Brooklyn is the front-runner for the All-Star point guard.

MORE: 'Busy week' ahead for Ainge, recalibrating Celtics

Where will Kemba Walker play next season?

Update (June 27): After these predictions were made, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the the Celtics have emerged as the frontrunner to sign Walker once free agency opens on Sunday.

Walker has said that the Charlotte Hornets are his first priority in free agency and he would consider taking less money if it helped build out the rest of the roster.

Walker will receive interest from plenty of other teams with point guard needs, though no clear favorite has emerged to recruit him away from Charlotte.

MORE: Biggest NBA free-agency and trade decisions for all 30 teams Insider

Where will Al Horford play next season?

Horford is expected to leave Boston after talks on a long-term deal fell apart, according to a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Dallas Mavericks are the favorites here, with Horford joining the dynamic core of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis (if he returns in restricted free agency).

Others receiving votes: Brooklyn Nets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz

MORE: How the NBA draft sets up a league-altering free agency

Will the 76ers re-sign their big midseason additions?

In February, keeping Tobias Harris but losing Jimmy Butler was the top choice at 63.9%. Since then, Butler's clutch showing in the postseason has made him look crucial to the Philadelphia 76ers' offense.

The Houston Rockets will make a run at recruiting Butler for a sign-and-trade, according to a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, though even if Butler is interested the cap mechanics there are complex.

MORE: The latest intel on this loaded free-agent market

Who is the next best free-agent target?

Khris Middleton and D'Angelo Russell get the nod here.

Middleton was essential to the Milwaukee Bucks' earning the league's best regular-season record, and the Bucks won't have many ways to replace him if he walks. Russell enters restricted free agency, but Brooklyn will need to renounce his rights to add two max players.

Others receiving votes: Julius Randle, Nikola Vucevic

MORE: 2019 NBA free-agent rankings: Top 30 players and potential fits Insider

How many max-contract players will the Knicks add in the offseason?

The Knicks cleared room for two stars in the Porzingis trade, with Durant pegged as the favorite to take at least one of those max slots prior to his injury. Now the Knicks appear to be total wild cards.

If New York can't land the top free agents, all indications are that the team will pursue short-term deals, according to a report by ESPN's Zach Lowe.

MORE: The NBA draft's best, riskiest and most surprising moves Insider

How many max-contract players will the Nets add in the offseason?

The Nets have telegraphed their intention to pair Irving with a second superstar, and Durant has been widely assumed to be that star, according to Lowe's report.

Our panel predicts Brooklyn gets at least one star -- and maybe two.

MORE: Kyrie or D'Angelo? How Brooklyn might handle a difficult decision

How many max-contract players will the Clippers add in the offseason?

The Raptors winning the title -- seemingly increasing their odds to keep Leonard in Toronto -- likely shifted these L.A. predictions.

The Clippers were projected in February to have an 86.1% chance to land at least one star, but that's down to 66.7% now. Still, those are strong odds at improvement for a team that took a healthy Warriors squad to six games in the playoffs.

MORE: How the Clippers can make their anti-pitch to Kawhi Leonard

Which team will be the 2019-20 NBA title favorite when the season begins?

With Kawhi expected to return, the Raptors take this one. Their Eastern Conference finals foes from Milwaukee are a close second.

MORE: NBA free agents: Team-by-team lists for 2019 and 2020

Image credits (in order of appearance): Ezra Shaw/Getty Images; Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images; Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images; David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images; Greg M. Cooper/USA Today; Michael Reaves/Getty Images; Paul Sancya/AP Photo; Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images; Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports; Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images; Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images