LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers, with LeBron James in place and Anthony Davis on the way, reportedly are attempting to clear enough salary-cap space to make a run at a third star player this summer.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks, the Lakers are looking to expand the agreed-upon trade that would bring in Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, hoping to add other teams who might take fringe players off their hands.
It’s all part of the Lakers’ efforts to boost their available money from the current $23.8 million up to $32.5 million.
Those who could be on their way out of Los Angeles, according to the report, are Moritz Wagner, who made $1.76 million last season and is due to make $2.06 million in 2019-20; Jemerrio Jones, who made $52,170 last season and is due to make $1.42 million next season; and Isaac Bonga, who received $1 million last season and is set to get $1.66 million in the upcoming season.
The Lakers also would need Davis to waive the $4 million trade bonus that he is contractually due to receive in order for his new team to reach its desired salary-cap level.
Moritz, a 22-year-old who was a first-round pick last year, averaged 4.8 points and two rebounds per game as a rookie. Jones, 24, appeared in just six games last season, producing 4.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Bonga, 19, averaged 0.9 points and 1.1 rebounds in 22 games for the Lakers.
Last weekend, the Lakers agreed to send Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks to the Pelicans in exchange for Davis.
The New York Times reported that Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker is expected to be a top target in free agency for the Lakers in the wake of the Davis deal. The Lakers also managed to keep forward Kyle Kuzma, one of the players mentioned earlier in a possible deal. — Reuters