Lakers Predicted to Acquire $142 Million Star in Blockbuster Trade

Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic and Alex Caruso guard Bojan Bogdanovic

Getty Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic and Alex Caruso guard Bojan Bogdanovic

The Los Angeles Lakers have been predicted to acquire a $142 million star.

In a February 2 article called “Lakers’ Complete 2023 NBA Trade Deadline Preview, Predictions,” Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley foreshadowed that Los Angeles would trade Patrick Beverley and a future draft pick to the Detroit Pistons for Bojan Bogdanovic. The Lakers are interested in trading for Bogdanovic and have had several discussions with the Pistons, league sources told Heavy Sports.

“While the Detroit Pistons sound like they genuinely want to keep Bogdanovic, the fact remains that they’re rebuilding and he can’t really help with that, since his 34th birthday is coming in April,” Buckley wrote. “Look for the Lakers to eventually pry him loose with a package built around Beverley and one of those first-round picks, with minimal protection on the pick (top-five at the most).”

The Lakers tried to trade for Bogdanovic last summer when he was on the Utah Jazz. However, the Pistons acquired the veteran swingman and gave him a two-year, $39 million extension. Bogdanovic, who turns 34 in April, is making $19.3 million this season. He will have accumulated more than $142 million in his career once his contract ends after the 2024-25 campaign.

The Lakers Have Long Admired Bojan Bogdanovic’s Game

Jovan Buha of The Athletic wrote on January 25 that the Lakers have “long admired” Bogdanovic’s game. The Bosnia and Herzegovina native is averaging 21.4 points this season while shooting 41.6% from beyond the arc.

“The Lakers have long admired Bogdanovic’s game and tried to trade for him last offseason before Detroit did,” Buha wrote. “Bogdanovic would immediately become the Lakers’ best shooter and third-best player, boosting an offense in desperate need of an elite floor spacer. He’s an ideal fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as he moves well without the ball, has good size for his position and is a solid defender within the confines of a strong team scheme. As for the Pistons, they clear long-term salary off their cap sheet and add one of the more valuable draft picks on the trade market. The Lakers would prefer to make this a lottery-protected pick, but I think they’d consider including an unprotected first for Bogdanovic when up against the deadline clock.”

Under CBA rules, the Lakers can trade Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV and a future draft pick to the Pistons for Bogdanovic, who is a career 39.4% shooter on 3-pointers.

The Lakers Need More Shooters

The Lakers need more shooters around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, which is why so many pundits believe vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka should acquire Bogdanovic.

“You could make a decent argument that if any basketball need exists, the Lakers probably have it,” Buckley wrote. “Still, there are a few glaring weaknesses that rise above the rest. Shooting might top that list. L.A. is dead last in threes (10.5 per game) and 26th in accuracy (33.7 percent). Given the need to keep optimal spacing around James and Davis, it’s jarring to see how little shooting this club has.”

Bogdanovic has made 121 3s this season in 49 games. That’s 31 more than the Lakers’ leaders in 3-pointers (James, 90). The NBA trade deadline is February 9 and multiple teams are trying to acquire Bogdanovic. Pelinka would be wise to do whatever it takes to acquire the Pistons star.

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