It would appear — as most should probably have known — that the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans are still ironing out the final details of the Anthony Davis trade.
Following a series of updates on the Boston Celtics completely imploding, Adrian Wojnarowski dropped this very important detail on where things stand as the Lakers try to surround Davis and LeBron James with an optimized roster, while later adding that the team is also trying to buy a second-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft:
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
Under this scenario, Davis would need to waive all of his $4M trade bonus to make the money work. If there is a taker(s), LAL could sign 1 or multiple players with $32.5M in room on 7/6 and still make the AD trade on the same day. As of now, Los Angels will have $23.8M in room. https://t.co/uGcfasjGFo— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 19, 2019
If the Lakers are able to figure out such a deal that would shed the remainder last year’s rookie class’ salaries, the Lakers would be that much closer to having opened enough space to add a max-level free agent to a roster already featuring two of the league’s top five or six players.
Pelinka has his work cut out for him, seeing as neither Bonga nor Wagner played much at all last season, so it will be purely on their upside that someone agrees to acquire them.
There are a couple ways to take this news:
Either, A) the major aspects of this trade was agreed to but not divulged as part of the original leak because the minutiae weren’t hammered out quite yet, or weren’t considered important enough to include in a trade of this magnitude, or, B) David Griffin wasn’t willing to include an execution date that would allow the Lakers this kind of cap space once it went through, or, C) Pelinka just overlooked this aspect of the trade and is now forced to figure all this out on the fly.
Let’s hope for either A or B, as C would mean this front office is just as inept as it’s seemed while it bungled the Tyronn Lue hiring and paid vastly more than any other team was willing to offer for Davis in the first place.
For a quick idea of what the Lakers might be trying to do, here’s a version of their attempt to now apparently include Wagner, Bonga and Jones into the previously agreed-to trade.
.@wojespn is not referring to Lakers clearing Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones. He’s referring to adding them to the Anthony Davis trade so they can execute it as an over-cap team, and sending the three players to a third team. That’s what gets Lakers to $32M cap room.— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) June 19, 2019
As evidenced by these latest reports, this situation is far from fully reconciled and will continue to evolve over the course of, well, what feels like forever. As those updates come, though, we will keep you as informed as we possibly can. But the biggest takeaway here is that the Lakers just might be able to add a third star alongside Davis and James after all.
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