The Lakers are in an interesting situation.
Los Angeles reportedly agreed to terms on a blockbuster deal with New Orleans this weekend. It secured Anthony Davis by sending the Pelicans Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks, including the No. 4 selection in this year’s draft. However, the deal could limit their ability to add another star.
Acquiring Davis could leave the Lakers with just $23 million in cap space next year if he declines to waive his $4 million trade kicker, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. This would leave the Lakers with less than enough money to make max offers to coveted free agents. But, this scenario can be avoided if the agreement isn’t completed until late July, which would give Los Angeles space for a max slot.
New Orleans is willing to listen to the Lakers’ suggestions for a delay, but that compromise isn’t likely, according to the Times. The Pelicans are focused on making the No. 4 pick “as attractive as possible” to suitors looking to move up in the draft. So it appears like Los Angeles will have to get creative with free agency this offseason.
The Lakers are expected to pursue All-Star talents like Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard, amongst others.
Los Angeles is looking to bounce back from a 37-45 season in which it missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year.