Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Lakers finally pulled off the long-awaited trade that had been rumored for months and month. As reported by The Inquisitr, Anthony Davis is heading to the west coast as the Lakers sent three players and three first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers still have some money to sped, though, and it’s time to check out their top five targets in NBA free agency.
Had the Pelicans waited until July 30, for the trade to become official, they would have helped out the Lakers. As reported by NOLA, the deal will actually be official on July 6, 2019, which actually takes about $10 million in cap space away from Los Angeles.
Due to that fact, it’s going to be a bit more difficult for the Lakers to round out their “Big 3,” but some options are there.
Jimmy Butler – 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are really hoping to keep their central team intact, but it certainly seems as if Butler would like to check out his options. NJ.com reports that Butler plans on declining his player option to become a free agent which has him already drawing interest from the Lakers and Rockets.
Kawhi Leonard – Raptors
Even before the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship, there was already talk of where Leonard would land in the offseason. Many analysts believe the Los Angeles Clippers are leading the pack, but Sporting News reports that the Lakers are still in the running for Leonard despite the salary cap problems.
Damon Jones said on ESPN’s Get Up on Monday morning that the Lakers are a “strong possibility” to land Leonard as said by “someone close to the situation.” It’s very likely that Jones was talking about his former teammate LeBron James.
Kemba Walker – Hornets
Sure, Walker may have already said that he has every intention of returning to Charlotte, but the Lakers have become a very viable option in the last few days. Yahoo Sports is reporting that Walker is actually a “top target” in the Lakers’ search for a third star to create their “Big 3.”
Kemba Walker will be a top target in free agency for the Lakers after they reached an agreement in principle to trade for Anthony Davis, according to league sources— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 15, 2019
Kyrie Irving – Celtics
If there was ever a case for “never saying never,” this would be it. Kyrie Irving has already had a major effect on the Lakers’ franchise in the Anthony Davis trade, and he’s still currently a member of the Boston Celtics. Still, The Athletic is reporting that all bad blood may be thing of the past if there are NBA Championships to be won.
D’Angelo Russell – Nets
Yes, the same D’Angelo Russell who was selected number two overall by the Lakers in the 2015 NBA Draft. Ever since being traded to Brooklyn, Russell has been playing at the top of his game and he would mesh well with LBJ and Anthony Davis. As reported by Bleacher Report, Brian Windhorst of ESPN believes the reunion is a real possibility.