Leonard has been deciding between the Toronto Raptors, Lakers and LA Clippers. If the best available free agent doesn’t make his decision by noon Eastern on Saturday, the Lakers would need New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards to cooperate on pushing back the July 6 date — the earliest the trade can be made official — agreed upon on the Davis deal.
League sources told ESPN’s Bobby Marks that the Pelicans, Hawks and Wizards are expected to cooperate with the Lakers if Leonard is still undecided by noon on Saturday. The July 6 date was agreed upon initially in the Lakers’ and Pelicans’ deal sending Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks for Davis. The deal was based on the Lakers using the $32 million in cap space created on a max free agent like Leonard or on multiple free agents.
If the Pelicans, Hawks and Wizards do not agree to delay the date to make the trade official past July 6 should Leonard remain undecided, the Lakers’ cap space would shrink to $30 million and Los Angeles would only be able to offer Leonard a four-year deal worth $127 million compared to the four-year, $138-million contract they can offer with $32 million available in cap space.
After agreeing to terms with the Lakers to deal Davis, New Orleans agreed to send the fourth overall pick (De’Andre Hunter) from the Lakers and the 57th pick (Jordan Bone) in last month’s draft along with Solomon Hill to Atlanta for the eighth pick (Jaxson Hayes), the 17th pick (Nickeil Alexander-Walker), the 35th pick (Marcos Louzada Silva) and a 2020 first-round pick.
The Lakers created $32 million in cap space with help from Davis waiving his $4 million trade bonus and by also agreeing to trade Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones and a 2022 second-round pick to Washington, which sent cash to New Orleans.
The Lakers have been mostly in a holding pattern as Leonard makes his decision. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers agreed to sign Troy Daniels to a one-year, $2.1 million deal and Jared Dudley to a one-year, $2.6 million deal. The Lakers still have fill out the majority of their roster around LeBron James, Davis and Kyle Kuzma.
The Pelicans cannot sign JJ Redick until Hill is traded to Atlanta, which later agreed to trade Hill and Miles Plumlee in a deal to Memphis for Chandler Parsons, league sources told Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon. Atlanta’s Hunter, New Orleans’ Alexander-Walker and Hayes and Washington’s Wagner, Bonga and Jones cannot play in the Las Vegas Summer League until the Davis trade is made official.