Update: The New Orleans Pelicans move the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft — one of the assets they received from the Lakers in the Anthony Davis trade — to the Atlanta Hawks:
Atlanta has acquired New Orleans No. 4 pick in the draft for No. 8 and 17 and 35, league sources tell ESPN. Pelicans are sending Solomon Hill, No. 57 pick and a future second-round pick.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 20, 2019
Atlanta is also sending a Cleveland heavily protected first-round pick in 2020 to the Pelicans, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 20, 2019
The biggest impact here for the Lakers would be that this makes it all but certain the Davis deal gets done on July 6, which could potentially make it more difficult for the team to acquire max cap space, depending on if this deal becomes a three-way trade, or if it’s separate, and if the Lakers can send Moe Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones elsewhere. Currently, it is not a multi-team trade:
As of now, the Anthony Davis trade is not one big trade between- Atlanta, Brooklyn, LA Lakers and New Orleans. Pick no. 17 going to New Orleans is part of the Brooklyn/Atlanta trade.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 20, 2019
But we may have found an incentive for the Pelicans to make it one:
If the Pelicans choose to fold their Anthony Davis trade with the Lakers and their trade of Solomon Hill with the Hawks into one, they can create a $27.1M trade exception, which they could bypass in favor of $30M+ cap room.— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) June 20, 2019
We’ll see how exactly all this shakes out, but maybe this is significant.
Original story — and how this could or couldn’t impact the Lakers’ cap if it’s part of the deal — follows.
We already knew that the Minnesota Timberwolves were trying to acquire the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft from the New Orleans Pelicans, meaning that they could potentially join into the Anthony Davis trade with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now, according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium, we know one possible package the Timberwolves and Pelicans have discussed for No. 4:
New Orleans boss David Griffin trying to get another first-rounder and also a player on a good contract for the No. 4 pick. Told there have been discussions between Pels No. 4 pick and Minnesota involving No. 11 and Robert Covington.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) June 20, 2019
And that wasn’t the only development on Thursday morning that would potentially affect the now possibly multi-team deal, because according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, there are also at least a couple other potential suitors for the pick — and by extension, candidates to join the trade:
The Pelicans are considering the possibility of trading the No. 4 pick to Atlanta for Nos. 8 and 10, per sources. The Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls are three more teams that are looking at the possibility of trading up to the No. 4 pick, with Garland in mind.
Now I know what you’re going to say: Why does this matter for the Lakers? That pick is already gone, isn’t it? The short answer is yes, it is gone, but it could affect the Lakers in a few ways.
For one thing, we know the Lakers are trying to expand the Davis trade in order to open up enough cap space to afford another max contract — space that it seems they weren’t totally aware wouldn’t exist if they did the deal as constructed with the Pelicans on July 6 — so if another team joins the fray, it could make it potentially more difficult to delay the deal, as the team getting the No. 4 pick would presumably want them to play in summer league.
However, the Lakers can get max cap room on July 6 if they also send out Moe Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones’ contracts to another team, who also has to send something to the Pelicans to satisfy the “touching rule” of multi-team trades, meaning that “each team must ‘touch’ at least two other teams in the trade,” according to Larry Coon’s invaluable CBA FAQ.
What does that mean? Coon outlines what each team must give and receive to at least two other teams as follows:
— An active player contract
— At least $1.1 million cash
— A future pick that will actually be conveyed (for example, a team can’t meet the touching requirement by sending a top-55 protected pick, that switches to $100,000 cash if it falls within the top 55)
— The draft rights to an actual NBA prospect (same description as above)
Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report — another cap expert — outlined how that could potentially complicate the Minnesota transaction last night:
And so a team needing to trade for Bonga would either need a trade exception for his $1.4 mil salary - or they would need to send a player.— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) June 20, 2019
The problem for the Lakers, they can't take players back if they want cap room - so that would either fall on the Pelicans or another team altogether https://t.co/OgxVhEykcT— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) June 20, 2019
And above all else, it would mean that the Pelicans — and the other team — would have to consent to altering the deal to allow the Lakers to potentially assemble a superteam, something the Pelicans especially would appear to have little incentive to do given that they own a few Lakers draft picks down the line now.
Still, the fact that New Orleans is wheeling and dealing at least leaves the possibility open that the Lakers could negotiate their way to extra cap space. We’ll see if any of these teams can manage to get a deal done — or if others join the fray for the No. 4 pick — as draft day continues.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. An updating list of every player the Lakers have worked out so far can be found here. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.