The result is that the team, who was once reportedly chasing max free agent DeMarcus Cousins, has likely been ruled out as a result.
— Lakers Outsiders (@LakersOutsiders) July 2, 2018
Cousins is obviously coming off a serious injury and could take a lesser deal to prove he’s recovered and back to his old self. However, the Lakers only have roughly $12 million in cap space available if they stretch Luol Deng. That would, however, result in the Lakers paying Deng just over $7 million for the next three years.
The curveball in the scenario, though, is that the Pelicans quickly grabbed Randle on a 2-year, $18-million deal, one that might be capable if the Pelicans renounce the rights to Cousins. In that case, Cousins loses his most favorable suitor and may be more willing to take a lesser deal with the Lakers.
However, the Pelicans do have some non-guaranteed and partially-guaranteed contracts they could waive and open up cap space for Randle.
Either way, with Sunday and Monday’s flurry of moves, it appears the Lakers are content with just LeBron James surrounded by role players instead of a two-max plan.