LeBron James
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers stands for the national anthem prior to the game against the Washington Wizards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, March 26, 2019. Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers’ plans of signing one of the elite level free agents entering the market this summer has been put in doubt after they agreed a blockbuster trade for Anthony Davis. They gave up three players and multiple first-round draft picks to complete the deal but their max salary cap space has also taken a hit.

The likes of Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler will become unrestricted free agents on Sunday and the Lakers have shown interest in signing at least one of these players. But the Los Angeles franchise’s cap space which was $32 million before the Davis trade has now dropped to $23.8 million, making it difficult to land a free agent on a max contract.

The Lakers will still aim to land one of the top free agents as they still have the possibility of upping their cap space to $32 million but they do have a “Plan B” in place in case they fail to do so. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin claims the Lakers will look to split their $23.8 million cap space and focus on three areas the squad needs strengthening.

LeBron James, Davis and Kyle Kuzma are the three confirmed starters next season but they need to fill out the roster if they are to become genuine contenders. McMenamin reports that the Lakers will look to use their cap space to bring in “one big man, a shooter and a point guard”.

“Things go pretty quickly in free agency these days. They’ll know for sure if they’re going to have a shot at one of the big guys, and if they don’t, in short order they’ll look to split it up. The top three priorities, as explained to me, are big man, shooter and point guard,” McMenamin said, as quoted on Silver Screen and Roll.

“And a name to look at for point guard is Darren Collison. A couple names to look at for the shooter position are Danny Green, J.J. Redick and even Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who has been on a couple of one-year deals and is represented by Rich Paul, just like Anthony Davis and LeBron James,” he added. “And at center, it wouldn’t surprise me if you saw Tyson Chandler and/or JaVale McGee come back, but I think the big fish they’d like to reel in would be DeAndre Jordan .”

Another issue facing the Lakers this free agency was that most of the top free agents like Leonard, Durant, Thompson and even Irving did not have the Los Angeles franchise high on their list as it is almost certain that you will be playing in the shadow of three-time NBA champion James.