Report: Lakers won’t sign max free agent to play with LeBron James, Anthony Davis
The Los Angeles Lakers likely won’t be able to pair the newly assembled duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James with a max-level free agent like Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker or anyone else for that matter, despite the recent wave of rumors.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dispelled the recent hearsay, noting the Lakers’ completion date for the Davis trade is set for July 6, which would put them short of the money needed for a max deal:
“They needed a July 30 completion of this deal with that No. 4 pick in it to be able to have around $32-33 million in cap space — enough for a max deal,” Wojnarowski told Keith Olbermann on Monday night. “Right now they’re closer to $24 million and there’s no A-list star who is going to take that kind of discount, really not even a B-list big star.
“So right now it looks like they might want to break up that $23-24 million to bring in multiple players. And given how barren the rest of their roster is, they don’t even have a starting five. That’s probably the better route for the Lakers to go.”
The Lakers’ roster, as it currently sits, would have G League talent starting in October, with the likes of Alex Caruso at point guard and Isaac Bonga at shooting guard.
This is a direct result of the myriad assets the Lakers traded to get Davis, along with the long list of one-year free agents they dedicated to sign last offseason, now putting themselves in the position of signing a brand new team from the bones.
Los Angeles was able to salvage some talent, though, keeping Kyle Kuzma in the deal. But it is certain that the front office mortgaged the future of this team to milk the next three years of LeBron James’ career and make a run at a title.
How successful that gambit will be remains to be seen.