$19 Million Lakers Trade Target Expects to Be Traded Soon: Report

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

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

A $19 million Los Angeles Lakers trade target reportedly expects to be traded soon.

According to a September 21st report from Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune, Bojan Bogdanovic believes he’ll be traded by the Utah Jazz before training camp starts. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix reported on September 8th that the Lakers are interested in acquiring Bogdanovic, who is one of the best shooters in the NBA.

In 69 games for the Jazz 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, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023, made 181 3-pointers.

Tony Jones of The Athletic reported on September 2nd that Utah is engaged in trade conversations around Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson. The Jazz are in rebuild mode after trading All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. Gobert was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Mitchell was dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

How Can the Lakers Get Bogdanovic from the Jazz?

The Lakers could send Russell Westbrook and his expiring contract worth $47.1 million and future draft picks to the Jazz for Bogdanovic. 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.”

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 Lakers, who missed the playoffs last season, need more shooters around superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis if they want to compete for a championship. Los Angeles ranked 22nd in the NBA in 3-point shooting in 2021-22, hitting only 34.7% of its team attempts.

Executives Expect Bogdanovic to Be Traded

NBA executives who spoke to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype expect Bogdanovic to be traded as well. Bogdanovic, who has played for the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers and Jazz, will make $19.3 million next season.

“The other team that stuck out to me may not be a winner to some people, but I thought the Utah Jazz starting a full rebuild by trading away their two best players was the right thing to do because they peaked. There are more moves to come from this team. A lot of executives around the league are expecting Bojan Bogdanovic to be the next guy for the Jazz to get moved,” Scotto wrote on September 19th. “They (rival executives) are keeping tabs on guys like Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley, but Bogdanovic is the next domino that most people think is going to fall for Utah.”

According to a September 16th report from Sam Amick and Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers discussed a four-team trade with the Jazz, New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets before the Jazz traded Mitchell to the Cavaliers. Los Angeles would have acquired Terry Rozier from Charlotte and Bogdanovic from Utah.

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