LeBron's surprise move clears the way for a much-needed Lakers trade

The Los Angeles Lakers have been uncharacteristically quiet this summer but a surprising move by LeBron James could result in them finally making a big move.
LeBron James
LeBron James / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The end of the NBA's moratorium means that we are finally getting to see the actual details of trades and signings that were made at the beginning of free agency. While it normally doesn't reveal much more than we already knew, one detail about Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James' contract is definitely surprising. 

Previously, James was expected to sign a two-year, $104 million max contract, which would have pushed the Lakers past the second apron and made it virtually impossible for them to make a big trade. Fortunately for the Lakers, James opted to take nearly $3 million less, giving them enough wiggle room under the second apron to be able to make a big deal. His giving back $3 million may not seem like a huge deal but it has big ramifications. 

After all, the Lakers have players on big contracts that they can trade, including Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, and D'Angelo Russell, as well as future first round picks. With those assets, they could be in the market for an impactful player to help them compete next season but which players will they target? 

Can the Los Angeles Lakers trade for with their newfound cap flexibility?

Players such as Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez, Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant, and possibly even Washington Wizards forward and former Laker Kyle Kuzma could be Lakers trade targets. Additionally, free agent guard Tyus Jones may also be a sign-and-trade option.

One potential trade scenario could see them sending Russell, Gabe Vincent and a first-round pick to the Wizards in a sign and trade for Jones, with Kuzma also coming back in the deal.

After failing to make any major moves other than drafting a 3-point sniper in Dalton Knect and Bronny James, whose big rookie contract was part of the reason why the Lakers were close to the second apron, they finally have room to maneuver. We'll have to wait and see what moves they'll make next, however.