How (and when) the Lakers can add two superstars after a big trade

Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers started their free-agent frenzy five months early at the trade deadline.

The decision to shed the $26 million remaining on Jordan Clarkson's contract in a trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers now sets the Lakers up to have multiple options with how they build their roster. They can chase the two big free agents, in LeBron James and Paul George, this summer or shift focus to 2019, which will feature Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler.

It's certain that Los Angeles will be a major player in free agency. The only question: Which year?

Let's look at all the potential maneuvers and decisions the Lakers will face.