AP source: Lakers trading 3 to Wizards, clear cap space

National Sports

FILE – In this March 16, 2019, file photo, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis brings the ball up during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in New Orleans. Two people familiar with the situation say the Pelicans have agreed to trade Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers for point guard Lonzo Ball, forward Brandon Ingram, shooting guard Josh Hart and three first-round draft choices. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade cannot become official until the new league year begins July 6. ESPN first reported the trade.(AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman, File)

The Los Angeles Lakers’ price tag for Anthony Davis got a little steeper on Thursday, with the tradeoff being that the team now has the flexibility to bring another max-contract star to play alongside him and LeBron James next season.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press that the Lakers will send Moritz Wagner, Issac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones and a future second-round pick to the Washington Wizards as part of the deal that will bring Davis to Los Angeles. The Wizards will send cash to the New Orleans Pelicans in the deal, said the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement cannot be finalized until July 6.

The trade was first reported by ESPN, and the cash element was first reported by The Washington Post.

Shedding those contracts — along with Davis waiving his $4 million trade kicker, as ESPN reported — will give the Lakers enough cap space to sign a max player, if they are so inclined.

They could also spread that cap space out among multiple players, which could be the more prudent move considering the Lakers have virtually an entire roster to fill. Once this trade is executed, the Lakers will have only James, Davis and Kyle Kuzma under contract for next season, not counting a pair of restricted free agents.

The Lakers agreed earlier this month to acquire Davis from New Orleans for Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and three first-round draft picks — one of them being De’Andre Hunter, who was chosen by the Lakers on draft night and will then be traded to New Orleans and flipped from there to the Atlanta Hawks.

Thursday’s agreement means six players and four picks were the price the Lakers paid for Davis. It technically is not a 10-for-1 move, because the newfound cap space will bring at least one other player to Los Angeles.

Wagner, Jones and Bonga were rookies last season. Wagner averaged 4.8 points in 43 games, Jones scored a total of 27 points in six games and Bonga scored 19 points in 22 appearances with the Lakers.

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