Lakers Rumors: Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thomspon And Kawhi Leonard Top Targets In 2019 NBA Free Agency
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka methodically created salary cap space for max-contract free agents this summer, and the duo has already gotten a jump for the 2019 NBA free agency class.

SHOP NOW: CHECK OUT THE LATEST MERCH 🔥🔥🔥

That occurred with one fell swoop over the weekend, as the Lakers and Luol Deng came to terms on a buyout. Deng reportedly agreed to give back $7.5 million of his remaining salary in order to be waived via the stretch provision.

Deng will be eligible to sign with any team once he clear waivers, and could find a home and reunion with Tom Thibodeau on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Meanwhile, the Lakers now have just over $38 million in salary cap space for 2019 free agency.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the team has their sights set on Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson:

The Lakers are targeting the top players in a potentially starry 2019 marketplace, including Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard, Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson and Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler

The Lakers have long been linked to Thompson because his father, Mychal, was a member of the Showtime Era and currently works as one of the team’s radio broadcasters. However, Thompson has been adamant in his desire to remain with the Golden State Warriors.

Leonard was mentioned as a potential option for the Lakers ever since his reported trade request this summer. Butler was recently said to be open to playing in L.A., amid reports of unrest in Minnesota.

Durant might be the longest shot for the Lakers, as he reportedly rejected an overture from LeBron James to join forces this summer. However, the Lakers nonetheless will have the requisite salary cap space to extend Durant (and any player with 10 years of service time) a max-contract offer.

That is due to the front office’s wizardry and awareness to wait until Sept. 1 to formally waive Deng. By doing so, his 2018-19 salary became fully committed. Therefore, the Lakers only stretched Deng’s 2019-20 salary for three years, at $5 million in dead cap each year.

You May Also Like

D’Angelo Russell: Lakers ‘Have Trouble Communicating For A Full Possession’

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their seventh consecutive loss on Wednesday night and it came as Kobe Bryant made his final appearance in Memphis…

Lakers News: Team Waives Vander Blue, Briante Weber, Travis Wear

Now that the preseason is officially over, the Los Angeles Lakers still have a few moves to make as they trim down their roster to the maximum 15 players…

NBA Playoffs- Results and Schedule

NBA Playoffs- Results for April 26th, 2011 Orlando Magic-101 Atlanta Hawks-76-F (Atlanta…

Lakers News: Tyson Chandler Hopes To Take ‘Pressure’ Off LeBron James

When the season started, the Los Angeles Lakers had a glaring hole to fill at backup center. It felt as though any time JaVale McGee would step off the court, the…