By Diego Marquez
The Los Angeles Lakers finally completed one of the most anticipated trades that’s been lingering over the franchise’s head since about halfway into the season. They acquired All-Star power forward/center Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the majority of their “young core” that the Lakers had intended to groom, sending players: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart along with three first round picks, including this year’s No. 4 overall pick in tomorrow’s draft.
Signing Davis was a high priority for the Lakers front office, and now that it’s complete, they can turn their attention to thinning out the rest of the roster and the signing of another max free agent like Kawaii Leonard, Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker.
“Lakers are trying to expand Anthony Davis trade and create ability to open max salary slot on July 6, sources tell @BobbyMarks42 and me,” said ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski via Twitter. “Lakers offering contracts of Mo Wagner/Jemerrio Jones/Isaac Bonga to additional teams, so L.A. can satisfy CBA rules on creating $32M in space.”
In order to complete the third signing of a max player, Los Angeles’ General Manager Rob Pelinka must have Davis waive his $4 million trade kicker so that the Lakers can free up $32 million in cap space to offer potential free agents. Then the organization can turn its attention to filling out the rest of the roster with complementary role players, with names like Patrick Beverly, JJ Redick and other notable key free agent shooters.