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Los Angeles Lakers reworking Anthony Davis trade to create max space

By
Connor Grott
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) will be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on July 6 as part of a three-team trade. File Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) will be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on July 6 as part of a three-team trade. File Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE

June 27 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Lakers have created a maximum salary slot of $32 million in free agency after the team reworked the terms of the Anthony Davis trade, league sources told ESPN and the Los Angeles Times on Thursday.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka agreed to unload the contracts of Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards to make the Davis deal a three-team trade, according to ESPN.

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As part of the agreement, Davis will waive his $4 million trade kicker, according to ESPN. The extra cap space will allow the Lakers to pursue a max-contract free agent, or divide the money among multiple role players.

The Lakers are also trading a second-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft to the Wizards in the pending deal. According to ESPN, the Wizards will send the New Orleans Pelicans cash.

The Lakers originally agreed to trade Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks to the Pelicans for Davis on June 15. The trade can be officially finalized July 6.

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According to ESPN, Los Angeles is expected to court several high-level players in free agency, including Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell and Toronto Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard.

If the Lakers split up the money to build their roster, they're interested in Raptors guard Danny Green, Orlando Magic guard Terrence Ross, Portland Trail Blazers sharpshooter Seth Curry, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and multiple other free agents with shooting ability, according to ESPN.

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