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Rumor: Lakers confident they can sign Jimmy Butler or Kawhi Leonard in free agency

Lakers, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly confident they can sign Jimmy Butler or Kawhi Leonard in free agency this summer, according to David Lord of 247 Sports.

Both Leonard and Butler become unrestricted free agents this offseason once they decline their 2019-20 player options with their respective teams.

The Lakers could have a max slot this summer after the Anthony Davis trade if they revise the proposed deal with the New Orleans Pelicans (read Lord’s extensive piece on that here).

At the same time, however, I was hearing from a reliable league source that the Lakers already had the needed latitude in place to (a) pursue a max-caliber free agent in July with max money, (b) if successful, then get the trade with the Pelicans revised as needed, and (c) get Davis to waive some or all of his trade bonus as needed.

In other words, I was being told LA was already set to be in business with max cap room if they found a taker. And, I was told, the target will be Kawhi Leonard or Jimmy Butler, with the Lakers confident they can land one or the other.

Butler has been linked to the Lakers in free agency, while Leonard has been more connected with the Clippers.

We’ll see if Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka can get a third superstar in Los Angeles next to LeBron James and AD.