Lakers Notes: Davis, Kuzma, LeBron, Free Agents

The Lakers would have benefited by waiting longer, but it appears their deal with the Pelicans for Anthony Davis will be completed when the moratorium ends July 6, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He adds that there’s still a chance it won’t be finalized until July 30, which would enable L.A. to operate over the cap and count its No. 4 pick, which is headed to New Orleans, as salary. As Wojnarowski explains in a full story, the Lakers would have $32.5MM in cap room to chase free agents under that scenario, but only $27.8MM if the trade becomes official earlier.

That figure would be reduced even further if Davis insists on a $4MM trade kicker, which he has the option to waive. Accepting it would leave L.A. with just $23.8MM, not nearly enough to compete for an elite free agent. Wojnarowski notes that delaying the deal wouldn’t benefit the Pelicans, who would have $19MM in cap space if the trade becomes official July 6, but only $15MM if they have to wait until July 30.

There’s more Lakers news to pass along:

  • The Pelicans wanted Kyle Kuzma to be included in the deal, but the Lakers opted to part with future first-round picks so they could keep him, according to Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Kuzma, who posted an 18.7/5.5/2.5 line in his second NBA season, was among the players rumored to be on the table when the teams negotiated in February.
  • Lakers GM Rob Pelinka had to make four phone calls yesterday before Pelicans executive David Griffin responded, Turner tweets. Pelinka’s willingness to include three first-round picks turned out to be too enticing for New Orleans to pass up.
  • The Lakers’ last attempt to combine two stars failed because of a personality conflict between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, but Ben Golliver of The Washington Post doesn’t believe that will happen this time. Davis already has a good relationship with LeBron James, appearing on his HBO show “The Shop,” and James has an added incentive to make the partnership work because they share the same agent in Rich Paul.
  • The Lakers will be seeking low-cost veterans to round out their roster, which might be good news for Reggie Bullock, observes Kevin Pelton of ESPN. Bullock, who was acquired from the Pistons at the trade deadline, has a cap hold of just $4.8MM. L.A. holds his full Bird rights and can exceed the cap to re-sign him.
  • If the Lakers don’t land a third star in free agency, they will likely pursue another shooter such as J.J. Redick, Seth Curry or Bojan Bogdanovic, suggests Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.
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30 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Davis, Kuzma, LeBron, Free Agents

  1. goldenmisfit

    As a Lakers fan I will admit I thought giving up three first round picks was pretty steep but now hearing that was the price to keep Kyle Kuzma I will definitely give those three picks up.

    • You will regret it in a few years. LeBron will be old and not the player he is. All the money to leBron and Davis big max contract next years means no money for future. Kuzma if he keeps getting better another max contract. The lakers will be Davis and a bunch of role players.

      • dugdog83

        Have you watched bball lately? You need two studs to even think of competing. The Pelicans just got 3 late 20’s 1st Rd picks. That is useless in the NBA. Lakers mixing and matching role players will be effective.

        • CubsHope5

          3 late 20’s picks? I guess pick #4 is all the sudden in the late 20’s????

        • Luckylefty2

          Ahah funny how the guy that Lakers wanted to keep the most(kuzma) was a late first round pick. This whole narrative late firsts are not valuable is so silly smh. The raptors won a a championship without a top 10 pick.

      • Mikel Grady

        But we will enjoy the next 3 years. Win 2 or 3 championships will be nice while PelicAns deal with Lavar wind bag Ball

    • hiflew

      But they didn’t just give up three first round picks. They gave up 3 out of the next 5, but they gave up the ability to swap picks in the other 2 years as well. That can be big as well. Boston jumped from 27 to 3 (with the Brown or Tatum pick don’t remember which) with a swap like that. Coincidentally enough, that 27 pick turned into Kyle Kuzma for the Lakers.

      Anyway, the point is that LA is not guaranteed to be a late 20s team in those years because Lebron will be 40 and probably long gone by 2023, if not 2021 and without getting another star LA will look a lot like New Orleans with Anthony Davis surrounded by a lot of role players. NO did much better here.

      • Swapping 27 for 3 was a lost for Boston as Kuzma is better than either JB or JT, right? So what’s your point?

  2. Skip, Tampa

    Bet if Pelinka called and ask real nice, that Griffin would give them till July 30th to seal the deal. Granted it’ll probably cost the Lakers Wagner.
    At this point what’s worth more, Wagner or a Max player ?

  3. adamsessler

    Re. the 3 picks… People talk about how giving up the 3 picks to get Nash was terrible for LA. And while LA got nothing out of Nash, PHO didn’t get much for those 3 picks either…

    • specialfriedrice

      That’s true but the only reason they got nothing is because of utter BS lottery protection that those picks had…

    • whoneedsfacts

      So did a lot of players, it’s sports buddy players get injured regardless of age and ability.

  4. john9977

    Well hopefully everyone will stay healthy and it will be a good trade for both

  5. Reflect

    I think the real reason the Dwight trade failed is that he was bad at basketball. Shaq and Kobe literally wanted to kill each other but they were both good at basketball so they won anyway.

    The fact that Kobe was already in his later years didn’t help either.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Ya, Howard wasn’t satisfied being a rim protector and roll man. He had to post up all the time, and he was awful. He had limited moves, and a double would force him into a bad pass. I think I read he was one of the worst post up players in the league when he got to LA, but still posted up a lot.

      SVG isn’t the be all end all of coaching, but he rode Howard and got great production out of him. They damn near won it all too – that 2009 finals was a lot closer than the record says.

  6. Z-A

    Lakers will be fine. If LBJ plays beyond this contract you still have an elite passing forward who can shoot.

    AD is in his prime. Kuzma hasnt hit his prime yet. They should really be targeting Russell or Brogdon. Their 3rd/4th fiddle needs to be younger. Kemba and Jimmy r too old to bridge past LBJs prime.

  7. Thronson5

    I love how people have a reason complain or tell crap no matter what the move is. Like you guys are general managers. Like you’re the one on the phones. Like to know what a team will or won’t take. You think a team is going to give away a start for these made up trades you come up with lol. Get real! Every team wants more than what they are giving so you have to give to get! Of course the Lakers gave up a lot but they got the player they wanted and can still either get another start or build a really solid team around the guys they have!

  8. x%sure

    A fulltime 24yo PF who averages 5.5 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, & 2.5 assists pg; shoots 30% from 3; net minus 6, PER below average, weak defense: This is the guy for whom Pelinka gave up multiple unprotected firsts past the prime of his well-paid stars.

    The dirty details beyond the happy headline.
    Woj called this BRK/BOS redux and I have to agree.
    Pelinka has to get another elite player because that’s what the rush is all about.

    Furthermore I think Kuzma is somewhat out for himself and is not the right type between James and Davis. Indeed he makes Davis play center when he prefers PF.
    Trade him now or trade him later.

    • x%sure

      Cesc now that Kuzma is on my doomwatch you’re going to start cheering him on!
      Lebron haters, the Lakers FO will be listening to Davis now that they need him to sign. AD will run Kuzma out.

      • No worries my friend, I do like more Ball & Ingram than Kuzma, wish they had kept one of them instead of Kuzma.
        I think is a good player but not an all-star calibre player like the other 2, personally I’d rather more Randle than him, I am not a fan of Kuzma so far, don’t see him fitting with LBJ & AD.

        • x%sure

          Strange how I kind of forgot Randle existed. His day is coming though! His paycheck will be big enough that his bosses can’t look past him to some other.

  9. JonnyLucas

    Let Kuzma be the third guy! Sheesh! Use that cap space to fill out this roster. Shooters and scrappers, they have three guys who can score.

  10. Luckylefty2

    Ahah funny how the guy that Lakers wanted to keep the most(kuzma) was a late first round pick. This whole narrative late firsts are not valuable is so silly smh. The raptors won a a championship without a top 10 pick.

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