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Lakers create max cap space for free agency by sending Jemerrio Jones, Moe Wagner and Isaac Bonga to Wizards, Anthony Davis waiving trade kicker


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NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Pelinka did it. After weeks of speculation surrounding their financial flexibility, the Los Angeles Lakers have opened up the cap space necessary to sign a max-level free agent by sending Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Lakers will send a 2022 second-round pick to sweeten the deal, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

So, to recap, the Lakers gave up Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Wagner, Bonga Jones, the No. 4 pick, two future first-round picks, two pick swaps and second-rounder for Anthony Davis and $32 million in cap space. Was it all worth it? We’ll find out within the next few weeks.

With $32 million in cap space, the Lakers have enough money to offer D’Angelo Russell is full max starting at $27.3 million annually. That’s not to say they will give Russell the full max, but now they can.

They will also have the opportunity to try and lure a 30 percent max free agent like Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard to the Lakers. Granted, they’re a few thousand dollars short of offering them their $32.7 million max, but that shouldn’t be a deal breaker for someone that really wants to team up with Davis and James in Los Angeles.

It may have come at a steep price, but the Lakers accomplished their goal of creating max cap space and general manager Rob Pelinka deserves a ton of credit for that. Time will tell what they do with all of their money, but it’s hard to argue the front office hasn’t done everything they can to put the team in the best position to succeed going into the offseason.

As a fan, that’s really all you can ask for.

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