The Los Angeles Lakers made their biggest move of the offseason when they traded for Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
However, in the aftermath of that, the front office came under some criticism. The deal ate into the team’s cap space, robbing them of the ability to sign a max player and there were some beliefs general manager Rob Pelinka completely overlooked this in constructing the deal.
It would later come out that there was still a way for the Lakers to get to a max-contract slot and they were reportedly confident they could do so if they could come to an agreement with one of the big names in free agency. With news that the Lakers agreed to deal their three smaller contracts to the Washington Wizards, they took the first step in creating that space and now Anthony Davis has helped them get all the way there.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Davis has agreed to waive his $4 million trade kicker, clearing out more cap room for the Lakers:
Anthony Davis is waiving his $4M trade kicker, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 27, 2019
This is a huge deal for the Lakers and shows that Davis is willing to sacrifice something for the betterment of the team as a whole. Clearing out that $4 million gives the Lakers about $32 million at the start of free agency and the ability to sign one of the biggest names in free agency.
The question now is who the Lakers are planning on bringing in with that max-contract slot. They have been linked to the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker, and Jimmy Butler and all would fall into that $32 million cap space.
The Lakers have also been linked to D’Angelo Russell who they could also choose to give a max contract, but his deal would be less than the others since he hasn’t been in the league as long.
Even if the Lakers strike out and don’t get any of the biggest names, they have cleared out more room to bring in multiple high-quality role players. Patrick Beverley has been mentioned and would be costly, but this could give the Lakers the leeway to pay him while also grabbing others they’ve been linked to such as Al Horford or Enes Kanter.
Regardless, the Lakers have set themselves up for big things with free agency quickly approaching.