As the February 9 trade deadline continues to draw closer, the Los Angeles Lakers will be involved in numerous trade discussions to improve their flailing roster.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Howard Beck, the Lakers recently ‘held discussions’ surrounding a potential deal that would land them both Bojan Bogdanovic and Nerlens Noel from the Detroit Pistons.
“I’ve heard the Lakers and Pistons have discussed a deal that would include both Bogdanović and Nerlens Noel. Since the Pistons are demanding draft assets in any deal for Bogdanović, it’s sort of a given that the Lakers would have to surrender a first-round pick to make a deal,” Beck said.
Bogdanovic is currently in the final year of a $73 million contract but is set to begin the first year of a two-year $39 million extension next season, while Noel is in the second season of a $27 million deal, with the final year being a team option.
More importantly, Bogdanovic would drastically improve the Lakers’ floor spacing while also giving them another guy who can create their own shot. In 43 games for Detroit this season, Bogdanovic is averaging 21.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 48.7% from the field, 42.2% from deep, and 89.2% from the free-throw line.
Furthermore, Noel would give Los Angeles a genuine rim protector, which could allow them to slide Anthony Davis into his preferred position of power forward.
LeBron James Could Retire With The Lakers
According to ESPN’S Zach Lowe, who was speaking on a January 10 episode of The Lowe Post podcast, LeBron James could remain with the Lakers for the remainder of his career, assuming the front office continues to make efforts to re-tool their current roster.
“I keep hearing he wants to stay with the Lakers. He wants to finish his career with the Lakers. His comments, though, should be interpreted as his patience is not infinite, and if this is just a continued morass of losing, maybe that changes. But if you force me to bet, I’d still bet on him finishing his career with the Lakers. And I’d feel pretty confident in that,” Lowe said.
LeBron, 38, is in the final few years of his legendary career and would undoubtedly like to continue competing for championships, so the onus is very much on Los Angeles’ front office to make the necessary moves to maximize the superstar’s twilight years.
LeBron James ‘Has No Intention’ Of Leaving Lakers
On January 9, ESPN’S Brian Windhorst shared a similar outlook to that of Lowe, noting how LeBron’s recent contract extension indicates he’s unlikely to force his way out of the Lakers at the end of the current season.
“His contract extension that he did last year. … That was the actions of somebody who has no intention of leaving the Lakers. So, really, his weapon is to make the Lakers uncomfortable. It’s not a threat he’s going to walk on them. I think the Lakers are fully aware of that,” Windhorst said via his The Hoop Collective podcast.
LeBron has participated in 32 games for the Lakers this season and is currently averaging 29 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 50.3% from the field and 28.5% from deep, but it’s clear that at this stage in his career, he needs additional help around him, which is why a potential deal for Bogdanovic and Noel makes sense.