Lakers Interested in Trading for $19 Million Small Forward: Report

Lakers coach Darvin Ham (left) and GM Rob Pelinka

Getty Lakers coach Darvin Ham (left) and GM Rob Pelinka

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly interested in trading for a $19 million small forward.

According to a September 8th report from John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix, the Lakers would like to acquire Bojan Bogdanovic from the Utah Jazz, who are in rebuild mode after trading All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.

The New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks are also interested in Bogdanovic. Tony Jones of The Athletic reported on September 2nd that Utah is engaged in trade conversations around Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson. Bogdanovic will make $19.3 million next season. The swingman becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023. He signed a four-year, $73.1 million contract with the Jazz in July 2019.

In 69 games last season, Bogdanovic averaged 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 45.5% from the field, 38.7% from beyond the arc and 85.8% from the free-throw line. The 33-year-old made 181 3-pointers.

How Can Lakers Get Bogdanovic?

The Lakers could send All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook and future draft picks to the Jazz for different trade packages. A Western Conference executive who spoke to Heavy’s Sean Deveney believes the Lakers’ future draft picks are “powerful.” The executive proposed two trades Los Angeles could make with Utah involving Westbrook and draft picks.

“The two Lakers picks are the most powerful thing as far as picks go in the league right now,” the exec told Deveney. “Everyone expects them to be top picks, and if you can get them unprotected, everybody wants those. The Lakers only want to give up one and now you have to be thinking, if you’re the Lakers, OK, (Malik) Beasley, Bogdanovic and Jarred Vanderbilt for one of these picks and Russ? Or, you know, Clarkson or Conley in there? You’re going to want three of those five players, give up Westbrook and only deal off one of the picks. Danny (Ainge) might get more picks if he sells those off individually but he is not going to get better picks, and that is the thing the Lakers have as an advantage.”

According to an August 18th report from Marc Stein of Substack, LeBron James has been assured that the Lakers are willing to trade both of their available future first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to improve the roster. Bogdanovic could fit well in Los Angeles since he can shoot from the perimeter. He’s a career 39.2% shooter from beyond the arc.

The purple and gold need more shooters around James and Anthony Davis if they want to compete in the Western Conference next season. Los Angeles ranked 22nd in the NBA in 3-point shooting in 2021-22, hitting only 34.7% of its team attempts.

NBA Source: Strange Lakers & Jazz Did Patrick Beverley Deal When They Did

Deveney spoke to an NBA source who said it was “a little strange” that the Lakers and Jazz did the Patrick Beverley trade when they did. Los Angeles acquired Beverley from Utah on August 25th.

“It was a little strange that the Lakers and Jazz did the Beverley deal when they did because you knew they’d have more to talk about down the line,” the source told Deveney. “They (LA) had interest in Mitchell and that was something Danny (Ainge) was keeping on the back burner, but there were other offers ahead of where the Lakers were. Danny always knew he could go back to them. There is no question that the Lakers would have made the move for Mitchell if they could and the Jazz wanted those two picks (2027 and 2029).”

Beverley was acquired by the Lakers from the Jazz for forwards Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson. Los Angeles could have traded for Beverley and Bogdanovic in the same deal.

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