With free agency quickly approaching on June 30, all of the attention is naturally on the Los Angeles Lakers in perhaps one of the most important offseasons in team history.
Although the Anthony Davis trade with the New Orleans Pelicans is expected to be completed on July 6, there are still questions on how much cap space the Lakers have.
As it currently stands, the Lakers will have at least $23.7 million in cap space available if they do not expand on the Davis trade and if he does not waive his trade kicker.
Based on the $23.7 million, the Lakers reportedly are interested in D’Angelo Russell — their former No. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN:
There is at least a kernel of truth to the Lakers’ interest in a reunion, sources say, but L.A. has a lot to sort out.
Depending on what the Brooklyn Nets ultimately do, there appears to be mutual interest in a reunion between Russell and the Lakers, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report:
Russell’s breakup with the Lakers wasn’t pretty, but it’s difficult to hold grudges in this league. With Johnson gone, some close to Russell have indicated he may be open to the idea if Brooklyn isn’t in the picture.
Although Russell made his first All-Star appearance and led the Nets to their first playoff appearance since the 2014-15 NBA season, the Nets reportedly think they can sign both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving heading into June 30.
Based on this scenario of signing Durant and Irving, the Nets would have to make Russell an unrestricted free agent.
While Russell’s two seasons in Los Angeles did not end well, he would be a good fit alongside Davis and LeBron James. At just 23-years-old, he has fulfilled his All-Star potential with the Nets and it appears he has matured over the last two seasons.
If the Lakers and Russell ultimately reunite, it would be a story of redemption. With three All-Star players and role players who complement them well, the Lakers would be an instant championship contender for many seasons to come.