If the Lakers head into the summer of 2018 with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Jordan Clarkson and Luol Deng, they would have roughly $47.8 million of the necessary spending power.
Even letting Julius Randle, Brook Lopez and Caldwell-Pope walk as unrestricted free agents, the Lakers are well short of the space needed to sign two max free agents.
Perhaps Johnson and Pelinka’s confidence stems from conversations they’ve had with teams over the course of the past few months.
One person within the organization who isn’t permitted to speak publicly on the subject told Bleacher Report the team is confident it can move Clarkson if needed to open space.
The Lakers, sans Clarkson, project to have about $59.4 million, which is close to the numbers needed for George and Cousins together but not quite there to land one with either James or Westbrook.
Source: Eric Pincus via Bleacher Report
Sources: Jimmy Butler Prefers Trade to Clippers, Interested in Knicks, Nets
After registering a trade request with the Minnesota Timberwolves, All-Star Jimmy Butler is most interested in pursuing a future with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told ESPN.
Butler’s ability to partner on the Clippers with a second star player in a deep summer free agency market holds a strong appeal to Butler, league sources said.
The Clippers have two max contract slots available in July, and are emerging as a front-runner for Toronto’s All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard when he becomes a free agent in July, league sources said.
Butler told Minnesota president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau that he would like to be traded before reporting for Timberwolves media day on Monday and prefers the possibility of the Clippers — as well as the New York Knicks, league sources said. Butler told the Timberwolves that he planned to leave the franchise in free agency next summer, sources said.
The Brooklyn Nets’ ability to sign two max free agents in the summer will keep them in consideration for Butler, but he has prioritized the Clippers and Knicks over them, league sources said.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Sources: Brandon Knight Had ‘clean up’ Procedure on Left Knee
On @theathleticnba @watchstadium: Houston’s Brandon Knight underwent surgery on his left knee, considered a “clean up,” and will miss some time, per league sources.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 20, 2018
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
Report: Pelicans Waive Emeka Okafor
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has requested waivers on center Emeka Okafor.
Okafor, 6-10, 252, appeared in 26 regular season games last season with New Orleans after signing with the team on February 3, 2018 and finished the season with averages of 4.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.
Source: New Orleans Pelicans