Lakers Interested in $22 Million All-Star, $19 Million Wing & $13 Million Guard: Report

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka (left) and coach Darvin Ham

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka (left) and coach Darvin Ham

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly interested in trading for a $22 million All-Star, $19 million small forward and $13 million guard.

According to a September 2nd report from Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports, the Lakers “have some interest” in Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley, swingman Bojan Bogdanovic and scoring guard Jordan Clarkson.

The Jazz traded three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers on September 3rd, so they are anticipated to enter a complete rebuild since three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in July. Tony Jones of The Athletic reported on September 2nd that Utah is engaged in trade conversations around Bogdanovic, Conley and Clarkson.

The Lakers could trade Russell Westbrook and future draft picks to the Jazz for different packages. Conley, a one-time All-Star, will make $22.7 million next season. Meanwhile, Bogdanovic will earn $19.3 million and Clarkson will receive $13.3 million.

Exec: Lakers’ Future Draft Picks Are Powerful

A Western Conference executive who spoke to Heavy’s Sean Deveney believes the Lakers’ future draft picks are extremely powerful. The exec 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. Conley, Clarkson and Bogdanovic could fit well in Los Angeles since all three players can shoot from the perimeter. The purple and gold need more shooters around James and Anthony Davis if they want to compete in the rugged Western Conference next season.

Conley made 169 3-pointers in 2021-22, Clarkson hit 190 and Bogdanovic sank 181. Meanwhile, Westbrook drilled only 79. The one-time MVP had the sixth-worst effective field goal percentage in the league last season, making him a poor fit next to James and Davis.

Lakers Comfortable Not Trading Westbrook

It appears the Lakers won’t force a Westbrook trade just to get rid of the nine-time All-Star. According to a September 1st report from Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles is “comfortable” heading into training camp with Westbrook on the roster.

“Sources say the Lakers are comfortable heading into training camp with Westbrook on their roster, hoping new coach Darvin Ham can unlock increased intensity on defense while another season with James and Davis makes life easier on offense,” Woike wrote.

Westbrook started 78 games for the Lakers last season. He averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists while shooting 44.4% from the field, 29.8% from beyond the arc and 66.7% from the free-throw line.

The Lakers have been linked to the Jazz and Indiana Pacers in Westbrook trade talks. However, if no trade comes to fruition, new Los Angeles head coach Darvin Ham is determined to get the best out of Westbrook, who picked up his $47.1 million player option for next season.

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