Nearly a full week has flown by and the world still does not know the fate of Kawhi Leonard. The Los Angeles Lakers technically don’t have Anthony Davis on their roster either. July 6th marked the official date that their trade with the New Orleans Pelicans could become official.
The deal features many intricacies spanning across multiple teams that’s also gridlocked by Leonard’s pending decision. As the wait continues, the Lakers have reached out to all of their partners. ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk reported along with Bobby Marks about the recent request.
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 Saturday. The 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, such as Leonard or on other players available.
More details on the transaction revealed its effects on the Lakers cap space:
If the Pelicans, Hawks and Wizards do not agree to delay the date to make the trade official past Saturday should Leonard remain undecided, the Lakers’ cap space would shrink to $30 million and Los Angeles would be able to offer Leonard only 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.
If Leonard makes the Lakers his free agent choice by 12 PM EST on July 6th, then he will receive the available max cap room that they have to offer. The statement is a huge “if” that Lakers fans hope to add haste to the deliberation. For now, all fans amongst the bidding teams can do is wait as the basketball world looks to turn upside down.