Lakers not in play for Kawhi Leonard or Kyrie Irving even if they clear max space
Even if the Los Angeles Lakers manage to clear max cap space by changing the terms of the Anthony Davis trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, they reportedly won’t be in play for Kyrie Irving or Kawhi Leonard, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Irving is widely expected to sign with the Brooklyn Nets once free agency starts, while Leonard has been heavily linked to the other team in Los Angeles, the Clippers.
The Lakers, though, could sign Jimmy Butler, who has been rumored to be interested in playing with the Purple and Gold.
“When you have a max slot like that, you better have a player who reaches a standard of a max contract, and not overpaying somebody, especially when you have no depth,” Wojnarowski said. “They’re not getting Kawhi Leonard. They’re not getting Kyrie Irving. Klay Thompson’s injured, KD’s out the next year. They weren’t getting any of those players to begin with.”
Leonard just won his second title and Finals MVP. No one expects him to sign with the Lakers and play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis as a third wheel.
Irving, meanwhile, grew up in New Jersey and was a Nets fan as a kid. Uncle Drew probably doesn’t want to play with James again even though the two All-Stars are said to be on good terms again.