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Free agency is on the clock

Now on the clock: Chaos.

The NBA offseason is about to kick into high gear.

A draft that had good bits of intrigue — at least after New Orleans’ Zion Williamson, Memphis’ Ja Morant and New York’s R.J. Barrett were chosen first, second and third in moves that were widely expected for weeks — is now done. Up next is free agency, which will be much more unpredictable when it begins on June 30.

Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving all were All-Star starters this past season and may soon change addresses. So might fellow All-Stars Khris Middleton, Nikola Vucevic and Klay Thompson. Al Horford has apparently decided to leave Boston. Anthony Davis has already been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, or at least will be traded when the new league year begins July 6.

“We’ll have more answers then,” Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge said.

In the meantime, questions abound.

More than 200 players are free agents. The available salary cap space around the league for next season alone exceeds $500 million. Add up the value of every deal that’s going to be signed starting on July 6, and it’s conceivable that teams will combine to commit more than $2 billion in new salaries over the next four or five years.

“I feel like I’m going to need every dollar,” Philadelphia 76ers general manager Elton Brand said.

He’s not alone. It is going to be a spending frenzy.

Luxury real estate agents in the New York area might be drooling at the thought of the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks having well over $100 million in cap space to play with this summer. That sort of available cash means both the Nets and Knicks could conceivably lure two max-salary players to their clubs, and both franchises are certain to pursue the big names like Leonard, Durant, Walker and Irving.

“I don’t know what they’re going to be interested in, but when they look at Brooklyn from afar we’ve got to give them some credit because the guys that are free agents, all of them have spent the last year or two surveying the league,” Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters early Friday. “They know where they want to go and what they want to be a part of.”

Walker could command $221 million from Charlotte, though he has said he will take less. Durant could get the same from Golden State, and he hasn’t said he would take less. Leonard is probably the biggest mystery case that needs solving; the now two-time NBA Finals MVP could end up with the Los Angeles Clippers, he could stay with the NBA champion Toronto Raptors, or look to New York. And as is almost always the case with Leonard, there have been no real hints.

Some oddsmakers in Las Vegas already say the Lakers — with Davis teaming alongside LeBron James and potentially a third star player — are the favorites to win the 2020 NBA title. Those odds could swing big-time in the next few weeks.

“If you’re asking now, with the way the Western Conference looks or the league looks in general, I couldn’t even venture a guess kind of how that stacks up because we’re so far from the off-season really ending,” Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti said. “Every team is going to do what they can to come back better.”

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