LeBron giving up his No. 23 to Anthony Davis

J.R. Smith

EditorialsWhy Wasn’t J.R. Smith Traded

Following his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2014-15 National Basketball Association season, James switched back to his original No. 23 after the number was not retired.

That opens up enough cap space for the Lakers to sign a third player to a max contract, a huge key to turning the team into a title contender.

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There has been plenty of debate regarding the Los Angeles Lakers' chances of signing Kawhi Leonard this summer.

The deal sending Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers now includes another team. Pelinka was able to trade Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards to clear up extra space. Jimmy Butler wouldn't fit alongside James and Davis, Kyrie Irving seems to be all but a guarantee to Brooklyn, Kemba Walker appears to be going to Boston, etc.

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Davis also agreed to waive his $4 million trade bonus, giving the team $32 million for the free agency period, which begins Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. As a result, the Lakers are apparently working on a contingency plan if they can't get any more big free agents.

The Pelicans traded Davis to the Lakers on June 15 in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks, but the deal isn't official until July 6.

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Should the Lakers miss on adding another superstar, ESPN reports they could split the money up and go after other free agents like Seth Curry, Danny Green, Terrence Ross, or "several other free agents with strong shooting ability". He's worn No. 23 during both his stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and previous year in Los Angeles.

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