The LA Lakers’ latest move has sent shockwaves throughout the NBA despite many already anticipating it. The Lakers have agreed to trade Anthony Davis, and now hold two of the best NBA players on their roster in Davis and King James. And it is possible that a third top NBA player could join the Lakers before the summer is done.
Kawhi Leonard to the Lakers?
ESPN’s journalist and insider Damon Jones reported on “Get Up” this Monday that Kawhi Leonard moving to the Lakers remains a strong possibility. But for such a move to happen, the Lakers must first ensure that there is enough cap space to offer the All-Star a max contract.
"Kawhi Leonard is now in play for the Lakers."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) June 17, 2019
And if Kawhi Leonard does decide to stay with the Raptors, it will only be for a year, on a short term deal.
Clippers in for Kawhi Leonard as well
Fox Sports’ Cris Carter has conflicting reports, however. According to him, the Los Angeles Clippers are the most likely destination for Kawhi Leonard, not the Los Angeles Lakers. Both teams are in the running to sign the NBA All-Star, but it the Clippers who are in front at the moment, according to Cris Carter.
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) June 17, 2019
It is the details of the Anthony Davis trade that will be key in deciding where Kawhi Leonard heads off to. The Davis deal cannot be officially completed for a few more weeks. If the trade is announced formally on July 6, the Lakers will only have $23.7 million left in cap space. However, if they could somehow get the New Orleans Pelicans to delay the deal till July 30, that cap space would increase to $32.5 million. That would allow them to give Kyrie Irving a max contract, just like LeBron and Anthony Davis have one.
The current reports say that the Davis deal would be announced on July 6 only, putting the Lakers out of the race to sign Irving, as it is highly unlikely the All-Star would take a wage cut to join the Los Angeles outfit.
If Pelicans and Lakers waited until July 30 to complete trade, Lakers could’ve had $32.5M in cap space — enough to pursue a max level free agent. By waiting 30 days, Lakers would be acting like a team over the cap and thus allowed to use 4th overall pick in draft as salary. https://t.co/BdKtxFtvai
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 16, 2019