The Los Angeles Lakers may have agreed to buy Anthony Davis pelicans from New Orleans, but they have not done so yet. According to several reports, the team still has large free agency projects, which could include names such as Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker or Jimmy Butler.
There is obviously no scenario where the Lakers can acquire all three, but they seem to intend to pursue them all and see who comes, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports being the latest to link LA to Butler and Walker :
With James and Davis as the cornerstone of the franchise, the Lakers still have room to add one more star to the free agency.
The guard of Charlotte Kemba Walker and Philadelphia striker Jimmy Butler are the top priority, sources said.
This is not the first time we've heard of Laker's interest in Walker in the aftermath of the Davis deal, as he was almost immediately declared a prime target for the team. The team's interest in Butler was also rumored, and the smoke from Kyrie Irving also increased. It's almost as if the Lakers – a basketball team – wanted to recruit good basketball players! Or something.
In fact, they may want one of the best basketball players in the world, because according to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, the team also plans to look for new NBA champion, Kawhi Leonard:
Even to try their luck against Walker – or any other expensive free agent – the Lakers will have to wait to officially finalize this deal. If it were to pass before July 6, the Lakers could not create the $ 32.7 million needed to sign Walker or another free agent, such as Kawhi Leonard, who, according to sources from the league, will continue.
Before we move on, we should say that it's two different journalists who say it, so saying that Walker and Butler are "top priorities" does not mean that Leonard is not at the top just because another reporter did not use the same phrasing. Common sense dictates that the Lakers want to sign Leonard at least as much as the other two, and probably more.
The limit cape, says O'Connor, is a real factor. Depending on when the Lakers enter into this deal, they could have a cap of $ 32.5 million (just enough to offer a maximum deal to any player) to $ 23.7 million, which is well below the maximum . If the team waits until the end of July to finalize the transaction, it could have the old number. If the deal for Davis is finalized on July 6 (the first day, legally), it would then move closer to the last digit – with a chance to win about $ 27 million if Davis gave up his trade.
The problem? It seems that none of this will happen, because according to reports, it is unlikely that Davis will give up the kicker – which could theoretically change if the Lakers show him that they can sign someone with this money – while the Pelicans do not plan to wait until the end of the deal, leaving the Lakers away from the maximum in free agencies, both of which are expert in the matter, Jeff Siegel, of earlybirdrights.com, and me have long discussed in the last episode of the Silver Screen and Roll Podcast.
The Lakers have none of the categories listed above for $ 23.7 million, and probably not even for the $ 27 million they could have gotten if Davis gave up his bonus. They just are not.
If the team manages to convince the pelicans not to become the official of the trade, which would probably cost them an additional asset, because David Griffin, head of the pelicans, will probably not help the Lakers to create a permanent group that influences the value of the future chooses he just received from them freemaybe not at all – so maybe the Lakers will still be able to woo one of those guys. Maybe LeBron James will give them enough money to be able to play in "Space Jam 2" and agree to get a haircut. But for now, all this seems unlikely, and in the current state of affairs, the Lakers are likely to look much lower than the star names of this title that will surround James and Davis as an independent agency.
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