Lakers News: Latest Buzz on Space Jam 2 and Trade Rumors to Aquire Cap Space

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 20, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right, New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis share a light moment during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The 2019 NBA draft could end up being a quiet night for the Los Angeles Lakers, but that doesn't mean there is a lack of news involving the organization that's preparing for a crucial free-agent period starting next week. 

Los Angeles will still be on the clock at No. 4 overall during Thursday's draft, but that pick is slated to be traded to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis deal when the two teams finalize that agreement. 

It turns out that pending trade is having deeper ramifications on the Lakers than they initially realized. 

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported on Wednesday's episode of The Jump that general manager Rob Pelinka didn't take into account the salary-cap implications when working out the deal with New Orleans for Davis:

“It's all so unnecessary, too. Like, the way this trade was constructed, this should have been first and foremost on their minds as they were talking to the Pelicans in a way where they set themselves up. If this was really their plan—that they want to have a third star—this should have been central to the conversations with the Pelicans, and my understanding is that it was not. They went all the way down the road and it’s been described to me as a, 'The Lakers called back,' after everything had been discussed about this—the timing.”

Per ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks, the Lakers are "scrambling to reshape the parameters" of the Davis trade in an attempt to create $32 million in cap space, and the only untouchable players are LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma. 

Wojnarowski and Marks previously reported Davis intends to accept his $4 million trade bonus when the deal is finalized, leaving the Lakers with $23.7 million to spend on free agents starting next week. 

Free agents like Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and Kemba Walker are all expected to command max salaries next season. Leonard has yet to announce if he will opt out of his deal with the Toronto Raptors

Per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, Walker and Butler are expected to be Los Angeles' top targets in free agency. 

Unless the Lakers find a way to create more cap space, Walker or Butler would have to take a below-market deal to sign with the team. 


"Space Jam 2" Cast Takes Shape

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

While Pelinka keeps exploring ways to fill out the Lakers' roster, LeBron James' supporting cast for Space Jam 2 will reportedly feature superstars from the NBA and WNBA. 

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Davis, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, Diana Taurasi, Nneka Ogwumike are expected to be featured in key roles in the movie. 

James announced during All-Star week in Charlotte the movie was going to start filming this summer with a July 16, 2021, release date. 

The Crossover @TheCrossover

LeBron got the kids in Charlotte excited about Space Jam 2, which starts filming this summer https://t.co/qqJwCNy1b8

The long-awaited sequel to Michael Jordan's 1996 hit has the credentials to become a blockbuster when its released.

Despite last season's struggles with the Lakers, James is still the biggest star in the sport. He brought in Ryan Coogler, who directed Black Panther to massive financial and critical success, on as an executive producer. 

Director Terence Nance's first feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, featured a blend of live-action and animation. 

Even though it will be 25 years between the original and sequel, at least we can all rest easy knowing there will be a new Space Jam in our lives soon.