Jemerrio Jones

Lakers Officially Acquire Anthony Davis In Three-Team Trade

The Lakers, Pelicans, and Wizards have officially completed the three-team trade that makes Anthony Davis a Laker. All three teams issued press releases tonight to announce the deal. The structure of the trade is as follows:

  • Lakers acquire Anthony Davis.
  • Pelicans acquire Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter (No. 4 pick), the Lakers’ 2021 first-round pick (9-30 protected; unprotected in 2022), the Lakers’ 2024 first-round pick (unprotected), the right to swap 2023 first-round picks with the Lakers, and cash ($1.1MM; from Wizards).
    • Note: The Pelicans will also have the option to defer the 2024 first-round pick to 2025.
  • Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones, and the Lakers’ 2022 second-round pick.

The long-awaited deal was held up slightly today as the Lakers officially finalized a series of signings using their cap room. In order to maximize its cap space, the club had to sign free agents first before acquiring Davis. Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Quinn Cook, and JaVale McGee all signed their contracts with the Lakers since the July moratorium ended this afternoon.

The Pelicans, meanwhile, will now flip the rights to Hunter to the Hawks in a separate deal, putting the No. 4 pick on track to join his new team for Summer League action. Once the deal is done, Atlanta will also be able to complete its trade with the Sixers involving Bruno Fernando and Jordan Bone, then Philadelphia will be able to flip Bone to the Pistons.

For more details on one of the summer’s biggest trades, be sure to check out our previous stories on the Lakers/Pelicans aspect of the deal, as well as the Lakers/Wizards part of the swap.

Davis Deal Could Be Delayed If Leonard Remains Undecided

The Anthony Davis trade could be delayed if Kawhi Leonard doesn’t choose a team by noon ET on Saturday, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and Bobby Marks report.

The complex, four-way series of deals involving the Lakers, Pelicans, Hawks and Wizards can become official Saturday. The Lakers would lose their ability to give Leonard a max contract if any of the other teams involved decline to delay the trade. However, those teams are expected to cooperate, according to Marks.

The Lakers and Pelicans agreed on the initial trade in which Los Angeles sent Lonzo BallBrandon IngramJosh Hart and three first-round picks to New Orleans for Davis. Los Angeles opened up a $32MM salary slot by agreeing to ship Moritz WagnerIsaac BongaJemerrio Jones and a 2022 second-round pick to Washington, which sent cash to New Orleans. Davis also agreed to waive his $4MM trade kicker.

New Orleans and Atlanta made a big draft-night swap as an offshoot of the Davis trade. New Orleans agreed to move the No. 4 overall pick, forward De’Andre Hunter, they received from the Lakers as well as a late second-rounder along with Solomon Hill‘s contract to the Hawks for two first-rounders, center Jaxson Hayes and guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, an early second-round pick and a first-rounder next year.

Without the delay, the Lakers could only offer Leonard a four-year, $127MM contract — $11MM less than the max over the life of the deal.

Leonard’s indecision also may cause some other delays.

The Pelicans won’t be able to sign free agent guard J.J. Redick until the Hill trade is finished. Hill is ticketed to the Grizzlies in another trade once the Davis deal is completed. The rookies involved in those proposed transactions, as well as the three young players headed to the Wizards, aren’t allowed to play summer league ball until everything is finalized.

Lakers Trading Wagner, Bonga, Jones To Wizards; AD Waiving Trade Kicker

The Lakers have found a way to maximize their projected cap room for free agency, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is sending Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones to the Wizards as part of the Anthony Davis trade. Additionally, Davis has agreed to waive his $4MM trade kicker, per Wojnarowski.

As a result of those developments, the Lakers will be able to generate just over $32MM in cap room based on the projected $109MM cap. That’s more than enough space for a maximum salary for a player with less than seven years of NBA experience ($27.25MM), and puts them in the ballpark of the max for a player in the 7-9 year range ($32.7MM).

[RELATED: NBA Maximum Salary Projections For 2019/20]

Here’s how the Lakers’ moves will work once the July moratorium lifts on July 6:

Prior to completing the Davis deal, the Lakers will have approximately $32MM in cap room after accounting for eight players, the cap hold for the No. 4 pick, and three empty roster charges. The team will use that room in free agency, with ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweeting that L.A. is still considering whether it will commit all that money to a single star or split it up among two or three players.

If the Lakers go after a single star, D’Angelo Russell and Kawhi Leonard are among the presumed targets. According to Wojnarowski, players like Danny Green, Terrence Ross, and Seth Curry could be among the club’s targets if it breaks up its cap space.

Once that space is used up, the Lakers will complete its agreements with the Pelicans and Wizards as part of a single three-way trade. In order to acquire Davis, whose salary is $27,093,018, the Lakers will have to send out at least $21,594,415 in total to meet salary-matching requirements as an over-the-cap team. They’ll do so with the following contracts:

Jones’ salary is non-guaranteed, which means it currently counts for $0 for salary-matching purposes. Without it, the Lakers would fall just under $200K shy of the salary they need, since the unsigned No. 4 pick would also count for $0 for matching purposes (draftees who sign rookie contracts can be used for salary matching, but can’t be traded for 30 days). As such, according to Marks (via Twitter), Jones’ salary will be partially guaranteed for $199K, allowing the Lakers to meet the necessary outgoing-salary threshold.

The Wizards, who will use trade exceptions to take on the incoming players, will also receive the Lakers’ 2022 second-round pick, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. In order to officially make it a three-team deal – and to incentivize the Pelicans to sign off – Washington will send $1.1MM in cash to New Orleans, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. That’s the minimum amount necessary to satisfy the “touch” rules in a three-team trade, tweets Marks.

While the Lakers’ motivation for the deal is obvious, it’s not a bad arrangement for the Wizards either. As an over-the-cap team, Washington didn’t have many other avenues to add talent this offseason, and have several rotation players facing free agency.

The Wizards will now get a chance to take fliers on Wagner and Bonga while also picking up a future second-round pick. They had interest in Wagner leading up to the 2018 draft, according to Wojnarowski, who tweets that the big man will get an opportunity in D.C.

In other Davis-related news, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that LeBron James has agreed to give up his uniform number (No. 23) to AD in an effort to make the big man as comfortable as possible in Los Angeles. Davis is “extremely grateful,” Haynes adds. It’s not clear yet which number James will wear in 2019/20, but he was No. 6 during his years with the Heat.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mannix’s Latest: Celtics, Brogdon, Lakers, Favors, Ross

With Kyrie Irving and Al Horford expected to sign elsewhere and Aron Baynes having been re-routed to Phoenix, the Celtics have the ability to create about $25.8MM — or up to $34MM-ish if they renounce Terry Rozier.

As Chris Mannix of SI.com notes in his latest look at free agency, Kemba Walker has been linked to the Celtics this week, but he’s not the only free agent the club is considering. According to Mannix, Boston has internally discussed the possibility of pursuing Bucks RFA-to-be Malcolm Brogdon.

There has also been speculation about Bradley Beal as a potential trade target for the Celtics, but that probably won’t be an option, according to Mannix, who notes that Beal (a favorite of team owner Ted Leonsis) has been told by the Wizards that he won’t be dealt. Even if Beal were available, there’s a feeling in Boston that it might take Jayson Tatum to acquire him, Mannix adds.

Here’s more from Mannix:

  • The Lakers have shopped their “spare parts” in trade discussions, but talks have gone nowhere so far, league sources tell Mannix. Presumably, Mannix is referring to Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, who would have to be rolled into the Lakers’ Anthony Davis blockbuster for the club to maximize its cap room.
  • While it seems likely that he’ll be back, the Jazz haven’t necessarily locked in on retaining Derrick Favors, who has a non-guaranteed $17.65MM contract. Mannix suggests that Nikola Mirotic could be a name worth keeping an eye for Utah on if Favors is released to create cap room.
  • The Magic have been “steadfast” in their desire to re-sign top free agents Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross, and some within the organization are anxious to see what their market value will be, writes Mannix. Ross may be a candidate to receive a big contract offer from a team in need of a three-and-D wing, according to Mannix, who speculates that the sharpshooter could command $15MM per year.

Lakers Notes: Irving, Russell, Horton-Tucker, Adams

Kyrie Irving or D’Angelo Russell? The Lakers may wind up chasing whichever free agent point guard doesn’t sign with the Nets, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Rumors have had Irving headed to Brooklyn for a few weeks, but there were rumblings recently that the Nets’ front office isn’t sold on Irving without Kevin Durant.

If Brooklyn adds Irving, that means Russell, a restricted free agent, will likely be renounced. If Irving goes elsewhere, the Nets are expected to work out a new deal with Russell. Either way, that puts a talented guard on the market for the Lakers, who are looking for someone to pair in a Big Three with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Russell had a checkered history during the two years he spent in L.A., but Nick Young is gone, along with the other former teammates he feuded with.

Irving has championship experience and has played with LeBron before. However, at 27, he’s four year’s older than Russell and probably much more expensive. He won’t take less than a max deal, while Pincus suggests the Lakers may be able to land Russell for about $80MM over four seasons.

There’s also a sense that Irving is more difficult to handle, with a rival executive telling Pincus, “They’re both divas, but Irving takes it to another level. Russell may be high-maintenance, but he’s no Kyrie.”

There’s more from L.A.:
  • The Lakers are trying to convince the Hawks to become part of the Davis trade, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin said on Sports Center (video clip tweeted by Lakers Outsider). Lakers GM Rob Pelinka wants to open more cap room by sending Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones to Atlanta in a three-team deal. The Hawks agreed to a trade with New Orleans for the No. 4 pick on draft night, so it’s possible those moves will turn into a single transaction.
  • L.A. sent $2.2MM to the Magic for the rights to the rights to the 46th pick, McMenamin tweets. They used that selection to take Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker.
  • The Lakers received permission from the Warriors today to talk to assistant coach Ron Adams, according to Ohm Youngmisuk and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. There’s no indication that Adams is interested in leaving Golden State, but L.A. could change his mind by making a large offer.

Lakers Looking To Move Additional Players In Anthony Davis Deal

The Lakers are trying to expand the Anthony Davis trade in order to carve out maximum salary room, sources tell ESPN duo Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Los Angeles is offering the contracts of Moritz Wagner, Jemerrio Jones, and Isaac Bonga to teams as part of the Davis deal in order to make cap room.

The Lakers would likely still need Davis to waive most or all of his trade bonus, something that he’s not necessarily expected to do. In a scenario where the Lakers get Davis to agree and find a taker for each of the three aforementioned players as part of a larger AD deal, Los Angeles would be looking at roughly $32MM in cap space. The Lakers would use the cap space before officially completing the Davis deal.

Players like Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker are eligible to receive a projected $32.7MM starting annual salary on a max deal. Under the projected $109MM salary cap, the Lakers will likely need a third star to make a slight financial sacrifice regardless of any additional moves, as I previously detailed.

Lakers Notes: Walton, Lue, Pelinka, Caruso

Luke Walton‘s fatal mistake with the Lakers was not insisting that everyone else defer to LeBron James, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Tyronn Lue, who won a title with LeBron in Cleveland and is considered among the top candidates to replace Walton in L.A., established a clear order when he took over for David Blatt in 2016. Lue demanded that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love set aside any individual agendas and let James run the show.

Walton never made similar demands after LeBron came to the Lakers, according to Vardon. He was fine with several players serving as the primary ball-handler and didn’t adjust the offense much to feature his new weapon.

“We had our system coming into training camp, and it was similar to the last few years,” former Lakers center Ivica Zubac said after being traded in February. “We all knew LeBron was the guy, but no, that’s not how it was. Luke wants to play fast and he said it right after camp started. I think we played the right way until LeBron got hurt, and then we just didn’t have enough to win.”

There’s more news from Los Angeles:

  • The Lakers haven’t contacted Lue about their coaching job yet, but he is in much better health now than when he had to take a leave of absence last season, Vardon adds. Lue has lost 35 pounds, changed his diet and works out twice a day.
  • GM Rob Pelinka will be in charge of the search for a new coach, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. That’s one more sign that Pelinka’s position with the organization is secure after the departure of team president Magic Johnson. The front office talked briefly to Walton’s representatives to see if they could work out an agreement to retain him as coach, Shelburne adds (Twitter link). However, discussions didn’t go very far.
  • Alex Caruso, Johnathan Williams and Jemerrio Jones may not return next season, but they provided an inspiring effort after the Lakers’ playoff hopes were extinguished, relays Kevin Ding of NBA.com. After making his NBA debut March 31, Jones thanked Walton after each game for giving him a chance to play. Caruso expressed similar gratitude to Walton and Pelinka in his exit interview on Wednesday. Caruso also credits South Bay Lakers president Joey Buss for helping him to land a two-way contract last season. “Might not be here now,” Caruso said. “It’s all butterfly effect getting to this point.”

Lakers Sign Jemerrio Jones To Two-Year Deal

MARCH 31: The signing is official, according to a tweet from the Lakers.

MARCH 30: The Lakers will sign Jemerrio Jones to a two-year deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The second-year of the pact contains a team option.

Jones will have six games to further make his case for a roster spot next season. The combo forward most recently played for the Lakers’ G League affiliate, leading the team in rebounds per game.

Jones will take over the roster spot currently held by Scott Machado, who will see his 10-day deal with Los Angeles expire on Sunday. Machado appeared in four games for the Lakers, seeing a total of 19 minutes.

Draft Notes: Ponds, Lakers, Grizzlies, Cavaliers

The NBA draft lottery is still a week away, but teams have already started bringing in prospects for pre-draft workouts. Those workouts are especially important for early entrants who are still testing the waters, since they’re a great opportunity for those players to find out where they stand with NBA teams.

One of those players is St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds, who entered the draft process this spring as a sophomore, and will have until May 30 to decide whether to withdraw and return to school for his junior year. According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link), Ponds has already worked out for the Celtics, and has auditions for the Nets and Cavaliers lined up this weekend.

Here are a few more draft-related updates, with a focus on workouts: