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L.A. trying to move more players, acquire second-round picks to create max salary space

Adrian Wojnarowski, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t finished hunting for superstars. After already agreeing to a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Pelicans for six-time All-Star Anthony Davis, the Lakers have begun “aggressively “exploring ways to expand the parameters of the trade to create as much cap space as possible, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Lakers agreed last week to send Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, and two future first-rounders to the Pelicans in exchange for Davis. The trade can’t be officially completed until June 6, the end of the moratorium period on player movement. However, Los Angeles could have created additional space below the salary cap used to sign free agents if New Orleans agreed to wait to officially consummate the trade until June 30 and Davis waived his trade bonus.

The Lakers are now reportedly attempting to send the contracts of young players Mo Wagner, Jemerrio Jones, and Isaac Bonga to other teams in the existing Davis trade with the goal of creating additional cap room. Wojnarowski also reports they are trying to acquire second-round picks in advance of the draft, thus allowing them to exceed the salary cap to fill out the roster.

According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Los Angeles could have as much as $32.5 million in salary cap space in this scenario on July 6, just less than a week after teams are allowed to begin negotiating with free agents. As the Davis trade stands on Tuesday, general manager Rob Pelinka and his front office will have $23.8 million in cap room, not enough to sign a max-level player of any experience level.

Previous reporting indicated the likes of Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving could be interested in joining LeBron James and Davis with the Lakers.