Two days after the 2019 NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans finally agreed on an Anthony Davis trade nearly five months after initial discussions.
While the Lakers finally landed their second All-Star alongside LeBron James, all of the attention has shifted to the timing of the trade and how it impacts their cap space.
Depending on when the Davis trade is completed, the Lakers will have between $23.7-$32.5 million to pursue free agents.
Lakers are trying to expand Anthony Davis trade and create ability to open max salary slot on July 6, sources tell @BobbyMarks42 and me. Lakers offering contracts of Mo Wagner/Jemerrio Jones/Isaac Bonga to additional teams, so LA can satisfy CBA rules on creating $32M in space.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 19, 2019
In addition, the Lakers reportedly are discussing potential role players to sign, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN:
They also have begun discussing players expected to fetch somewhere in that $10 million-plus range, sources say.
Although the Lakers landed Davis via trade, it is important for general manager Rob Pelinka and company to maximize their options. The $8.8 million difference impacts the team’s ability to sign a third All-Star player or 2-3 role players.
As it is unclear if the Lakers overlooked this detail, it appears they still have an opportunity to maintain that max-contract slot. In addition, it could suggest the Lakers are confident in signing someone heading into June 30.
Following the Davis trade, the Lakers reportedly have been linked to Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker. Along with a potential third All-Star player, some players may be willing to take less for a chance to win in Los Angeles.
With the Lakers trying to expand on the Davis trade, it will be interesting to see if the Pelicans are willing to help.