Four months after the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans eventually came to an agreement on Anthony Davis by the 2019 NBA Draft.
Since the initial discussions, the front office changes and 2019 NBA Draft Lottery luck led to Davis finally being traded.
As the offseason has arrived, there are new details about the Davis trade and how it will impact the Lakers now.
Along with trading the young core except for Kyle Kuzma, Moritz Wagner, and Issac Bonga, the Lakers reportedly included these draft picks to the Pelicans, according to Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of Los Angeles Times:
The Pelicans will get the No. 4 pick in this week’s draft. They’ll get the Lakers’ first-rounder in 2021 if it’s in the top eight. If it isn’t, the Pelicans will get an unprotected first-rounder in 2022. The Pelicans will have the right to swap picks with the Lakers in 2023. The Pelicans will also get an unprotected first round pick in 2024, with a right to defer to 2025.
Ranging from $23.7-$32.5 million in salary cap space available for free agency, the timing of the Davis trade is crucial, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
If the Pelicans and Lakers had waited until July 30 to complete the trade, the Lakers could’ve had $32.5 million in cap space — enough to pursue a max-contract-level free agent. By waiting until July 30, Los Angeles would’ve been acting like a team over the cap and thus would be allowed to use the fourth overall pick in Thursday’s draft as salary. If the trade is finalized on July 6, that number shrinks to $27.7 million — a number lowered to $23.7 million with Davis’ trade kicker.
As it currently stands, the Lakers reportedly will make the trade on July 6, which would not be enough to sign a third All-Star player. While there are conflicting reports, this would drastically change the team’s plans in free agency.
If the Lakers can wait until July 30, they have already been linked to Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, and Jimmy Butler. If they do not, they can sign numerous role players to improve their depth with only five players currently under contract.
With new details emerging, the hope is general manager Rob Pelinka and company understand the situation.