The Los Angeles Lakers‘ $19 million trade target has been predicted to be acquired for a “king’s ransom.”
In a February 3 column titled “1 Trade Deadline Prediction for Every NBA Team,” Bleacher Report’s Dan Vavale predicted that Detroit Pistons small forward Bojan Bogdanovic would get traded for a king’s ransom. The Lakers are one of the teams interested in acquiring Bogdanovic, league sources told Heavy Sports.
“Rebuffing offers that include unprotected first-round picks in exchange for Bogdanovic screams ‘Grade A posturing’ by the Detroit Pistons,” Favale wrote. “Except, what if it doesn’t? Detroit can carve out over $30 million in cap space this summer if it declines various team options. It will also be adding a top lottery pick and healthy Cade Cunningham to the mix next year, on top of more seasoned versions of Jalen Duren, Killian Hayes and Jaden Ivey. The temptation, if not pressure, to rejoin the playoff hunt will be real.
“Bogdanovic will be instrumental to any instant leaps for which the Pistons angle. His scoring is both critical and infinitely scalable. He is shooting 56.0 percent on drives and drilling 47.1 percent of his catch-and-fire threes, all while checking in as an above-average bucket-getter out of iso possessions. Having him under team control for another two years is massive. Other teams will think so, too. And that invariably works in Detroit’s favor—or at the very least against its idea of prioritizing next season over the larger picture. The Pistons don’t need to move Bogdanović, but the assumption here is they will end up getting over-the-top offers in a seller’s market that they just can’t refuse.”
Bogdanovic is making $19.3 million this season. He signed a four-year, $73.1 million contract with the Utah Jazz in July 2019. The Jazz traded Bogdanovic to the Pistons in October and Detroit gave the veteran a two-year, $39 million extension. Bogdanovic won’t become a free agent until 2025.
The Lakers May Miss Out On Bojan Bogdanovic
Favale doesn’t believe the Lakers will trade their 2027 or 2029 first-round picks this season. Since he thinks Bogdanovic will get traded for a “king’s ransom,” it sounds like Favale feels Los Angeles will miss out on the Pistons star.
“Just about every Lakers fan in existence wants the team to make a bigger move,” Favale wrote. “They are—*heavy eye roll—caretakers of LeBron James’ legacy, after all. Signing him to an extension ahead of his age-38 season only to not maximize his playing at an All-NBA level is franchise malpractice in its most egregious form. But the time for the Lakers to do something, anything, on the massive end of the spectrum was approximately forever ago. The star-trade market is nonexistent, and L.A.’s top shelf offer (salary, two firsts and two swaps) can be easily beaten unless someone (like Bradley Beal) is dead set on getting their way to Hollywood.”
Bogdanovic is averaging 21.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists this season while shooting 48.7% from the field, 41.6% from beyond the arc and 88.1% from the free-throw line. Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported on January 25 that the Lakers have ”long admired” Bogdanovic’s game.
1 NBA Analyst Thinks the Lakers Will Land Bojan Bogdanovic
In a February 2 piece called “Lakers’ Complete 2023 NBA Trade Deadline Preview, Predictions,” Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley predicted that Los Angeles would trade Patrick Beverley and a future draft pick to the Pistons for Bogdanovic.
“While the Detroit Pistons sound like they genuinely want to keep Bogdanovic, the fact remains that they’re rebuilding and he can’t really help with that, since his 34th birthday is coming in April,” Buckley wrote. “Look for the Lakers to eventually pry him loose with a package built around Beverley and one of those first-round picks, with minimal protection on the pick (top-five at the most).”
Bogdanovic, who turns 34 in April, will have earned more than $142 million in his career once his contract ends after the 2024-25 campaign.