Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reported on January 5 that the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the teams trying to acquire Detroit Pistons small forward Bojan Bogdanovic. Under CBA rules, Los Angeles can trade Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and a future draft pick to Detroit to Bogdanovic.
However, according to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Lakers believe that’s too steep of a price to pay for Bogdanovic.
“There has been little — yet — to indicate that the Lakers’ approach will change,” Stein wrote on January 9. “They decided in the offseason that packaging both of their available first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 is too steep a price to pay to trade for the Indiana duo of Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. And they also decided that trading one of those picks with no draft protections attached (along with the expiring contracts of Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn) was too high a price for Detroit’s Bojan Bogdanović. A case can be made that the Lakers should take the one-pick plunge for a better-than-ever Bogdanović — maybe even if the Pistons refuse to lower their price — given the promising form they’ve displayed in 2023 without the injured Anthony Davis to work their way back into the West’s play-in mix. The question, however, remains: How much would Bogdanović, as well as he’s playing, really raise this team’s ceiling?”
Beverley and Nunn are on expiring contracts. Meanwhile, Bogdanovic signed a two-year, $39 million extension with the Pistons in October. His salary for next season is fully guaranteed at $20 million, while the 2024-25 season is only partially guaranteed at $2 million.
Bogdanovic, 33, is making $19.3 million this season. He will have earned more than $142 million in his career once his contract ends after the 2024-25 campaign.
Bleacher Report Thinks the Lakers Need Bojan Bogdanovic
In a January 5 column called “Lakers Trade Targets with 2023 NBA Trade Deadline a Month Away,” Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley said the Lakers should trade for Bogdanovic, who is averaging 21.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists this season while shooting an impressive 41.6% from beyond the arc.
“The Lakers head into the heart of trade season with a bevy of trade needs,” Buckley wrote. “Bogdanovic, who clearly isn’t part of the rebuilding Pistons’ long-term plans, could scratch several of those itches. He could check the support-scoring box, for one, as he’s averaging better than 20 points for the second time in the last four seasons. The career 39.3 percent three-point shooter would also address this club’s lack of spacing. Entering Wednesday night, the Lakers sit 29th in made threes (10.4 per tilt) and 26th in accuracy (33.8 percent). He’s a serviceable defender, intelligent player and willing passer, too, so finding his niche in areas other than his top strengths shouldn’t be an issue.”
The Lakers are 19-21 on the season. If they trade Beverley and Nunn to the Pistons for Bogdanovic, they can start Dennis Schroder, Austin Reaves, Bogdanovic, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. That’s three players who can shoot 3-pointers and create shots off the dribble around James and Davis.
The Pistons May Keep Bojan Bogdanovic
The Pistons may keep Bogdanovic despite being in rebuild mode, according to a December 12 report from Stein. The Lakers have already struck out several times trying to acquire the veteran sharpshooter.
“They chased him during the offseason when Bogdanovic was still a member of the Utah Jazz and, according to league sources, continue to register trade interest in the 33-year-old Croatian,” Stein reported. “Sources say that the Lakers recently offered a trade package to Detroit for Bogdanovic centered around one future first-round pick with unspecified draft protections attached. The Pistons have to date declined those overtures, sources add, insisting on a fully unprotected future first from the Lakers to seriously entertain a Bogdanovic swap. Detroit, in fact, continues to tell interested teams (and there are several) that it wants to keep Bogdanovic.”
The NBA trade deadline is February 9. Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times reported on December 28 that the Lakers may not make a trade this season.