Top free agents may not seriously consider signing with the Lakers if the team doesn’t trade for Anthony Davis, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said on the network’s Mock Draft Special (h/t the Showtime Forum).
“The Lakers are not a frontrunner or even really a major consideration among any of the elite free agents,” Wojnarowski said of a scenario where the team doesn’t trade for Davis.
Los Angeles plans to use the No. 4 overall pick as part of a trade package in an attempt to entice the Pelicans. That selection is among the highest-valued assets among presumed Davis contenders, as we previously detailed. Woj believes that if the Lakers are picking at that spot on draft night, the franchise will be “in trouble.”
The Lakers are expected attempt to sign Kevin Durant regardless of how long they expect the former MVP to be sidelined. Other marquee free agents that the club is expected to pursue include Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Jimmy Butler.
Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin had initially hoped to convince Davis to remain in New Orleans. The franchise has reportedly softened its stance on fulfilling Davis’ trade request and Griffin has reportedly named his terms: An All-Star player, a young player with the potential to be an All-Star, and multiple first-round picks.
The Lakers don’t have an All-Star caliber player on the roster outside of LeBron James. They have an assortment of intriguing prospects and may need to bring in a third team willing to part with a player of that caliber in order to get a deal done.