Danny Green
Toronto Raptors guard Danny Green (14) passes the ball against Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) at Scotiabank Arena. Reuters/ John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are back among the big players on the free agent market after clearing the necessary $32 million in max salary cap space. They can now have a run at the likes of D’Angelo Russell, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler but they can also decide to split the cap space and sign multiple players on a lower salary.

The imminent arrival of Anthony Davis and their inability to shed the contracts of Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones had left the Lakers with just around $23 million in available cap space putting these free agents out of reach. But Rob Pelinka soldiered on and was adamant to have every available penny going into free agency and has now offloaded the trio to the Washington Wizards.

The Los Angeles franchise were also helped by new recruit Davis, who declined his $4 million trade bonus which helped the Lakers take their max salary cap space back to $32 million. They can now take meetings with max free agents but it remains to be seen which player is keen on joining LeBron James and Davis in Hollywood.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported the Lakers’ trade with the Wizards, revealed another scenario in the event that Rob Pelinka and the Lakers fail to land another big star during free agency. He believes they could decide to split the money and sign multiple players with strong shooting ability with Portland Trail Blazers’ Seth Curry and Toronto Raptors’ Danny Green among the targets.

“The Lakers are expected to pursue several scenarios in free agency, including Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell -- who is a restricted free agent -- and Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard, league sources said. If the Lakers decide to break up the money, they’re interested in several combinations of players, including Toronto’s Danny Green, Orlando Magic guard Terrence Ross, Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry and several other free agents with strong shooting ability,” Wojnarowski wrote on ESPN.

Russell and Butler seem the Lakers’ primary options at the moment with the likes of Leonard and Irving focusing their attention on other teams – namely the Clippers and Brooklyn Nets respectively. Pelinka is keen to add a third star, which will put the Lakers among the favorites for the 2020 NBA championship.