The Los Angeles Lakers have been urged to trade for a $142 million star.
In a December 8 column called “Lakers Trade Targets with 2023 Trade Deadline 2 Months Away,” Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley listed Detroit Pistons small forward Bojan Bogdanovic as a player the Lakers should try to acquire.
“Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka might consider making a weekend trip to the Motor City, because the Pistons have several useful veterans win-now shoppers are sure to prioritize. Bojan Bogdanovic tops that list,” Buckley wrote. “The 33-year-old is a super-skilled scorer who could thrive as L.A.’s third option. The 39.4 percent career three-point shooter can feast on catch-and-fire looks, but when he needs to create, he can find looks for himself (20.4 points per game this season) or for his teammates (2.5 assists). He isn’t an elite athlete by any stretch, but his smarts and toughness usually help him hold his own defensively. If the Lakers are realistic about their trade budget, Bogndaovic has to rank prominently among their priority targets.”
The Lakers tried to trade for Bogdanovic from the Utah Jazz over the summer before the swingman was dealt to the Pistons. Bogdanovic is making $19.3 million this season and will have earned more than $142 million in NBA money when his current contract expires after the 2024-25 campaign.
How Can the Lakers Get Bogndaovic?
Bogdanovic is averaging 20.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists this season while shooting 51.0% from the field, 43.6% from beyond the arc and 87.9% from the free-throw line. Under CBA rules, the Lakers can trade guards Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn to the Pistons for Bogdanovic. Detroit would probably ask Los Angeles to throw in future draft picks as well.
Another way for the Lakers to get Bogdanovic is by trading All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook and future picks to the Pistons for Bogdanovic, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel. Los Angeles was interested in acquiring Burks from the New York Knicks at last year’s trade deadline, league sources told Heavy.com.
The Lakers desperately need more shooters around superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as they are shooting only 31.7% on 3s as a team. Bogdanovic is a career 39.4% shooter from beyond the arc. He’s the perfect floor spacer to pair next to James and Davis.
Report: The Lakers Are Expected to Make a Deal by Mid-January
On Episode 8 of “That’s OD” with Ohm Youngmisuk, Dave McMenamin of ESPN said the Lakers are expected to make a trade by mid-January. Los Angeles is 10-14 on the season, good for only 13th place in the Western Conference standings.
“Talking to people around the Lakers organization the last week or so, I am convinced that the Lakers will make a trade or trades to improve this team,” McMenamin said. “I think the figuring out period, prove it to us period has passed. They have proven it. They’ve seen Anthony Davis playing at this bubble level. They’ve seen LeBron James’ commitment on the court and off the court. And they’ve also seen some of these younger pieces have started to fit around those stars that it is worth it to trade. They’d prefer to only trade one of those two picks, but certainly, it’s worth it to trade some of the current salary that they have, attach a pick or two picks to it and get this team better. I certainly anticipate by mid-January, if not sooner, we’re talking about an imminent trade.”
Bogdanovic has career averages of 15.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists with the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers, Jazz and Pistons. Among active players, he’s ranked 20th in career 3-point field goal percentage.