Lakers miss out on Kawhi Leonard but will sign Danny Green, KCP
The Lakers will go into the 2019-20 season with just two superstars instead of three.
Two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard chose the Clippers and he will be joined by Paul George after a blockbuster trade was agreed to Friday night.
As soon as Leonard’s news broke, the Lakers secured former Raptors wing Danny Green on a two-year deal worth $30 million and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a two-year deal worth $16 million.
They’ll join LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Troy Daniels, Jared Dudley and second-round draft pick Talen Horton-Tucker on the Lakers’ roster.
The Lakers still have more work to do to fill out their roster.
On June 29 at 3 p.m., the Lakers were allowed to set up meetings with free agents. By the end of the day, some agreed-upon deals began to leak. On June 30 at 3 p.m., teams were allowed to begin agreeing to deals. By the end of that day, all of the league’s marquee free agents had found homes. Players can sign contracts starting at 3 p.m. PDT Saturday.
Leonard took his time. After meeting with him on Tuesday, the Lakers spent the week waiting for his answer, agreeing to deals with only two veterans on minimum contracts — Daniels and Dudley — in the meantime.
With only just enough salary cap space to offer a maximum contract, they couldn’t agree to anything other than minimum deals until they knew Leonard’s plan.
As they waited several other free agents found other homes.
They had interest in D’Angelo Russell, Patrick Beverley, Seth Curry and Terrence Ross among available guards.
Seven-foot centers Brook and Robin Lopez piqued the Lakers’ interest too, but Brook always figured to be too pricey and Robin joined his brother in Milwaukee.
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli
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