While the general expectation was the Los Angeles Lakers would pursue or find a second All-Star during free agency, that changed with Anthony Davis informing the New Orleans Pelicans he would not sign a contract extension this summer and sought a trade before Thursday’s deadline.
Davis was long presumed to be an eventual target for the Lakers, which was speculation that ramped up last year when he signed on with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, thus sharing an agent with LeBron James. The 16-year veteran then went on record to openly embrace potentially playing with Davis.
With the clock ticking before the deadline, the Lakers have aggressively pursued a trade for Davis. They presented the Pelicans with five different proposals and have since revised their offer to include Lonzo Ball, Michael Beasley, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and multiple draft picks.
With that also came a willingness from the Lakers to take on Solomon Hill so as to satisfy the Pelicans’ desire for salary relief. Hill possibly wouldn’t be with the Lakers long, however, as one option is to waive him via the stretch provision, per Tania Ganguli and Brad Turner of the L.A. Times:
If the Lakers acquire Hill, they would waive him and stretch his contract in the summer so that the salary cap hit lasts over three years.
While that appears to be a tentative option, the Lakers could also look to trade Hill’s expiring contract. Although using the stretch provision would help free up salary cap space for the Lakers to chase a third All-Star in free agency, it would add to the dead money on their books.
Stretching Hill’s contract would call for the Lakers to pay him the remainder of his salary for the next three years and leave them with a pathway to roughly $26 million in cap space for 2019 free agency.
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