NBA FREE AGENCY 2019: Follow SN’s live rumors trackerKawhi Leonard is still on the board, of course, though his decision is reportedly down to the Clippers, Lakers and Raptors. The rest of the free agents are largely role players searching for an opportunity rather than a huge payday.So with that in mind, let’s roll through the early winners and losers from free agency. (The winners and losers are subject to change. We’re working with what we’ve got so far.)NBA free agency winnersBrooklyn NetsWhat an incredible turnaround. In three years, Nets general manager Sean Marks somehow took a franchise with no significant assets and rebuilt it from the ashes — and he didn’t go full “Trust the Process” to pull it off. Brooklyn is in position to be a contender over the next few seasons.There is a certain amount of risk in signing KD and Kyrie. Durant may never be the same player again after rupturing his Achilles. Irving has unceremoniously left his last two teams. How will this sudden shift impact the mentality of their new teammates?But this is a swing for the fences any front office would take. The 2018-19 Nets capped out as a fun playoff team. This new group has championship potential. DeAndre JordanFour years and $40 million? With Jarrett Allen already on the Nets? In this economy?It helps to be friends with Durant and Irving.Indiana PacersThe Pacers lost Bojan Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young in free agency, two key contributors who helped keep Indiana afloat when Victor Oladipo went down with a quad injury.However, the Pacers recovered nicely by snagging Malcolm Brogdon from the Bucks and adding Jeremy Lamb on a team-friendly contract (three years, $31 million). Brogdon and Lamb offer some much-needed offense next to Oladipo. And with Brogdon and Lamb at 26 and 27 years old, respectively, there is potential for improvement in the right environment.They didn’t acquire a superstar, but the Pacers may have improved after a 48-win season.Utah JazzDon’t look now, but the Jazz could be the team to beat in the Western Conference next season.Trading for Grizzlies guard Mike Conley was huge considering how much weight had been put on Donovan Mitchell’s shoulders the past two years, but Utah didn’t stop there. The Jazz signed Bogdanovic, Ed Davis, Jeff Green and Emmanuel Mudiay, providing some depth at multiple positions.Ahead of opening night, the Jazz could be looking at a starting five of Conley, Mitchell, Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert. Good luck trying to score against that.And so it begins….— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) June 30, 2019New Orleans PelicansPresident of basketball operations David Griffin accepted the challenge of flipping the page on the Anthony Davis era and leading the Pelicans into the future. He’s pretty much nailed it every step of the way.New Orleans got young prospects (Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram), a pile of picks and a partridge in a pear tree from the Lakers in the Davis trade. The Pels selected Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the draft. Then they got Derrick Favors and JJ Redick in free agency.Favors can play center if Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry prefers to slide Hayes and Williamson away from traditional NBA bigs in their rookie seasons. Redick is one of the NBA’s elite 3-point threats and will create spacing as penetrators like Jrue Holiday and Ball attempt to create offense.This might not be a playoff team in the West immediately, but the pieces are coming together.Klay ThompsonMax money from the Warriors (five years, $190 million) and an outstanding Instagram announcement. Klay wins. View this post on Instagram The NBA free agency period began only a few days ago, but a large portion of the 2019 free agent class has already found landing spots.Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are heading to Brooklyn. Jimmy Butler is taking his talents to South Beach. Kemba Walker will replace Irving in Boston. Tobias Harris and Al Horford both chose Philadelphia, helping to form one of the biggest teams in league history. The BoardroomFollow The Boardroom Instagram account for the Durant decision!Source: Kevin Durant will announce his free agent decision tonight on his company owned sports business network: https://t.co/ovJCDTOEMz— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019WOJ AIN’T GOT TIME FOR THAT.Kevin Durant is planning to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019To be determined . . .The Kawhi Leonard suitorsThe Clippers, Laker and Raptors are all-in on Leonard. Much like the Highlander, there can only be one! Mood (there was never a doubt) #warrior4lifeA post shared by Klay Thompson (@klaythompson) on Jul 1, 2019 at 12:27pm PDTNBA free agency losersNew York KnicksAn annual reminder New York missed its targets in free agency. Sorry, Knicks fans.It stings a little bit more this time knowing Durant and Irving are choosing the other team in New York City. It appeared the Knicks were in the lead for both free agents the entire season, but clearly creating a culture and identity mattered more than “The Garden” and a championship history most current players weren’t alive to see. Go figure!The Knicks switched gears and signed Julius Randle, a defensible contract on its own (three years, $63 million). After that, though? Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Reggie Bullock, Elfrid Payton and Wayne Ellington. Instead of utilizing their cap space to take on bad contracts and picks as sweeteners, the Knicks offered deals for the sake of… offering deals.New York is stuck in a cycle of incompetence. As long as James Dolan is at the top of the organizational chart, it doesn’t feel like that will change.Orlando MagicThe Magic finished as the East’s No. 7 seed under coach Steve Clifford in 2018-19, reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12. It was a surprising success.That doesn’t mean Orlando should have essentially run this team back. The Magic are hoarding frontcourt players in a bunker big enough for all of their arms. They’ve got Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, Mo Bamba, Al-Farouq Aminu and first-round pick Chuma Okeke. Plus, Khem Birch is a restricted free agent.Will the Magic stack all of these guys up in front of the rim? This is confusing.Charlotte HornetsThe Hornets lost their top two scorers in Walker and Lamb. They gave Terry Rozier a three-year, $58 million contract.So rather than giving Walker a supermax or traditional max — or even trading him at last year’s deadline — Charlotte felt it was best to let him walk and sign an unproven gunner as his replacement.To any Hornets fans wondering how to handle this, just go outside. Take a walk. Read a book. Enjoy a taco. It’s all bad news at the Spectrum Center.Minnesota TimberwolvesMarc Stein of The New York Times reported Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns had met with D’Angelo Russell ahead of free agency with Minnesota figuring out what trades would be necessary in order to sign the 23-year-old point guard. A one-two punch of Towns and Russell would have given the Timberwolves a chance to both make a playoff push and build a strong foundation.Then the Warriors swooped in and stole Russell away from the Timberwolves. Just like that, Minnesota is back to Towns and not much else.Hey, maybe this is the year Andrew Wiggins finally… nope, nevermind.
On Monday, officials announced that a retired Florida police officer was found dead in his jail cell, less than two weeks after being sentenced to life in prison for sexual offenses against children under the age of 12.According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, 67-year-old James Michael Trejbal was found unresponsive in his isolation cell at the Duval County jail.Homicide detectives stated that there didn’t immediately appear to be signs of foul play.Trejbal pleaded guilty Feb. 27 to sexual battery of a child younger than 12 and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, according to court records.Trejbal was a former K9 officer, and he retired from the Jacksonville’s Sheriff’s Office in 1999.He was arrested in January, but authorities were alerted in December of possible sexual offenses from years earlier, and additional victims were discovered as recent sexual offenses were identified, police said. Some of the offenses were against victims younger than 12, investigators said. Some victims involved custodial authority, but the gender and circumstances were not released.