Of course, the Lakers weren't the only team looking to deal for Davis as the Boston Celtics had always been rumored as a potential landing spot. When the Davis trade is completed July 6, the Lakers will simply trade the rights to that player to the Pelicans. In order to open up around $32 million in cap space - enough for a max contract offer - Davis would have to waive his $4.1 million trade kicker, and the Lakers would have to trade the players now under contract for next season.
A frontcourt of Davis and Nikola Jokic would have been an absolutely scary sight but in the end, no team was willing to risk as much as the Lakers and with good reason.
The Lakers don't need to match salaries with the Pelicans in the Davis trade, because LA is far enough under the salary cap to absorb Davis' salary. Along with that, the Lakers also surrendered their draft pick privileges up till 2025.
Why July 6? National Basketball Association free agency begins June 30 at 6 p.m. ET, but deals can't be officially signed until July 6, when the league's moratorium on transactions lifts.
According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Lakers are preparing for this scenario. This includes options such as Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker, among others, although nothing official has been reported on the team's interest in them.
Lakers center Moritz Wagner could be on the move as part of the Anthony Davis trade. All these moves underline how highly the Lakers value Anthony Davis.
It has been a while since the Lakers were in the playoffs and even longer since they were champions. Those players are under contract for a total of around $5 million next season.
The Lakers would have a great core if they can add a third max player, but they would be really hurting for depth and would have a very hard time sustaining any sort of injury to their stars.
Why July 30? Per NBA rules, first-round draft picks can't be traded until 30 days after signing their contracts.