With the Los Angeles Lakers set to trade for Anthony Davis, they will still be aggressive in free agency beginning on June 30 in hopes of signing a third All-Star player.
While there have been conflicting reports about the Lakers as a desirable free agency destination, they will have at least $23.7 million in cap space to pursue free agents.
If Kyrie Irving ultimately signs with the Brooklyn Nets, there is a scenario where they could renounce D’Angelo Russell, which would make him an unrestricted free agent.
As a result, the Lakers are reportedly ‘rooting’ for Irving to sign with the Nets in order to pursue Russell heading into free agency, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“The Lakers now at this point are rooting for Kyrie Irving to go to Brooklyn because then Brooklyn renounces D’Angelo Russell — who is a restricted free agent. He becomes unrestricted and then the Lakers could sign Russell as their third star in L.A.”
Although Russell’s two seasons with the Lakers did not end well, he reportedly is open to the idea if the Nets do not re-sign him, 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.
Originally the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Russell was traded to the Nets to create cap space in former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson’s first major move.
Although Johnson questioned Russell’s leadership at the time of the trade, he is no longer around and is actually in favor of the Lakers potentially signing him now.
While the Lakers are reportedly confident about clearing more cap space if necessary, Russell would be a solid fit alongside Davis and LeBron James. In addition, they may be able to sign him for a little less depending on what happens.
For general manager Rob Pelinka and the Lakers, it is good to have options and Russell could be an unexpected one.