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NBA free agency 2024 live updates: Donovan Mitchell commits to Cavaliers, Klay to Mavericks, latest news & rumors

NBA free agency 2024 live updates: Donovan Mitchell commits to Cavaliers, Klay to Mavericks, latest news & rumors

With Klay Thompson landing in Dallas, the Lakers have officially waived all three candidates that LeBron James was reportedly willing to take a pay cut for: Thompson, Jonas Valančiūnas and James Harden (which always seemed like a stretch and was proven when he signed with the LA Clippers for nearly triple the non-taxpaying midlevel exception). It’s a tall order for a franchise that prides itself on being the league’s best destination and most star-friendly organization.

After passing on Thompson, the Lakers quickly turned their attention to another James target: free-agent wing DeMar DeRozan. Like Thompson, DeRozan, 34, is both a potential non-taxpayer midlevel exception candidate and a sign-and-trade candidate for Los Angeles, according to league sources. He’s another player for whom James would be willing to accept less, league sources confirmed and ESPN was first to report.

DeRozan is a 15-year veteran and six-time All-Star who is likely to leave his current team, the Chicago Bulls. He has deep ties to Southern California as a Los Angeles native and USC alum, and has spoken fondly about the possibility of playing for the Lakers in recent years. The Lakers reached out to him in the summer of 2021 before deciding to trade Russell Westbrook instead.

Similar to the Thompson sign-and-trade talks, one of the current holdups in a potential DeRozan deal is what the Bulls would receive from the Lakers, according to league sources. Beyond DeRozan, it’s unclear which players would meet the threshold to prompt James to take a significant pay cut. And if the Lakers can’t add a notable player under their exception, James is expected to sign for the max, starting at more than $49 million for 2024-25.

At that point, the Lakers’ only move would be to make a deal. (They could also technically dump a player or players and then sign a player, depending on how much salary is spent.) James re-signing for the cap seems the most likely outcome Tuesday morning.

Read more here.

CONTINUE

The Lakers have been quiet in free agency thus far. Could DeMar DeRozan change that?