The Los Angeles Lakers, with LeBron James in place and Anthony Davis on the way, reportedly are attempting to clear enough salary-cap space to make a run at a third star player this summer.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks, the Lakers are looking to expand the agreed-upon trade that would bring in Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, hoping to add other teams who might take fringe players off their hands.
It’s all part of the Lakers’ efforts to boost their available money from the current $23.8 million up to $32.5 million.
Those who could be on their way out of Los Angeles, according to the report, are Moritz Wagner, Jemerrio Jones and Isaac Bonga. The Lakers also would need Davis to waive the $4 million trade bonus that he is contractually due to receive in order for his new team to reach its desired salary-cap level.
—Kawhi Leonard is ready to head home and is reportedly focusing on signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dispelled reports that Leonard might be interested in joining the Lakers, who will add Anthony Davis when trades can become official next month. Per Wojnarowski’s report, it’s the Clippers that Leonard wants to join.
Leonard attended San Diego State and is an L.A. native. He had almost an entire section of Oracle Arena filled with family in Oakland to watch the Toronto Raptors claim Game 6 against the Warriors and win the NBA Finals last week.
—Boston forward Al Horford will turn down his 2018-19 option of $30.1 million and no longer intends to re-sign with the Celtics, multiple media outlets reported.
After he opts out, the 33-year-old will be able to discuss contracts with other teams starting June 30. Players can sign or re-sign contracts beginning July 6.
Horford has spent the last three years in Boston since arriving on a free agent deal from Atlanta, where he played the first nine seasons of his career. The nine-time All-Star averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 68 games for the Celtics last season.
—Rockets All-Star point guard Chris Paul wants out of Houston, and his relationship with MVP candidate James Harden is “unsalvageable.”
According to Yahoo Sports, Paul approached management to demand a trade following the season-ending loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals.
Moving Paul and his three-year, $124 million contract will not be easy, though general manager Daryl Morey has been open about having trade discussions involving all of his players other than Harden this offseason.
—Should you know the whereabouts of Kyrie Irving, the Celtics would like a word.
Irving, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent June 30, has reportedly gone silent and given president Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens no choice but to assume he will move on to another team.
Reports last week indicated Irving was “preparing to sign” with the Brooklyn Nets not long after splitting from his only professional agent to join the stable of Roc Nation. Because Irving has no active agent — his change from Jeff Wechsler cannot be official until June 29 — the Celtics have no conduit to the six-time All-Star.
—The Pelicans picked up the 2020-21 option for head coach Alvin Gentry, who is now under contract for the next two seasons.
“We couldn’t be happier to extend our relationship with Alvin,” executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said in a statement.
Gentry, 64, has spent the past four seasons coaching the Pelicans, going 145-183.
—Harrison Barnes is set to opt out of his contract with the Sacramento Kings and become an unrestricted free agent.
Barnes’ agent, Jeff Schwartz, told ESPN of the pending move that will allow the 27-year-old to pursue his fourth NBA team since entering the league with the Golden State Warriors in 2012.
Traded from the Dallas Mavericks to the Kings in February, Barnes averaged 16.4 points per game between the two clubs.
—A sheriff’s deputy sustained serious injuries and is considering a lawsuit against Masai Ujiri after an altercation with the Raptors president following Thursday’s title-clinching victory in Oakland, the deputy’s attorney said.
David Mastagni, the deputy’s attorney, told Bay Area CBS affiliate KPIX late Monday that his client has a “serious concussion” and a “serious jaw injury” after an “unprovoked, significant hit to the jaw” caused by Ujiri.
“No options are being ruled out as to how to rectify the situation,” Mastagni added.
—Field Level Media