Lakers Pushing to Land New $73 Million Starter Amid Career Year: Report

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

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

The Los Angeles Lakers are still exploring potential trades with the team targeting a move for Detroit Pistons sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanović. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Lakers are “prioritizing shooting” in any potential deal and have discussed a possible trade with the Pistons where L.A. sends a first-round selection as well as players to Detroit in exchange for Bogdanovic.

“The Lakers are prioritizing shooting in their conversations with teams, and have discussed packages including salaries and a protected first-round pick for Detroit’s Bojan Bogdanovic, league sources, who were granted anonymity so that they could speak freely, tell The Athletic,” Charania wrote on December 12, 2022.

Despite the Lakers’ interest in adding the promising shooter, there is no sense that the Pistons will move Bogdanovic just months after acquiring the forward from the Jazz via a September trade. According to Charania, “Detroit is showing no urgency” in trading Bogdanovic while adding that Pistons general manager Troy Weaver “does not want to move” the veteran.

“Bogdanovic, 33, is in the midst of a tremendous season for the Pistons, averaging 21 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 43.7 percent from 3-point range — including a 38-point outing in a loss to the Lakers on Sunday night,” Charania detailed. “While Bogdanovic is a target for the Lakers — they are among roughly a dozen teams to inquire about him, offering first- or second-rounders — Detroit is showing no urgency about moving him. In fact, the Pistons have expressed to rival teams a significant reluctance about moving Bogdanovic, sources said.

“As The Athletic’s James Edwards III wrote, Bogdanovic has become a leader for this young Pistons group, a productive catalyst on and off the floor, showing exactly why general manager Troy Weaver does not want to move him.”

The Lakers Are Looking for ‘Championship-Altering Players’: Report

Time will tell whether the Lakers are able to entice the Pistons into moving Bogdanovic, but the the forward is on pace to have a career season. Bogdanovic is averaging 21 points, 2.4 assists and shooting 43.7% from long range through his first 28 starts this season, all career highs for the Pistons veteran.

As for the Lakers, speculation continues to build regarding whether the team will move Russell Westbrook by the February 9 NBA trade deadline. The Lakers are looking for “championship-altering players” in order to move their two first-round picks in 2027 and 2029.

“Moving Westbrook to the sixth-man role has worked brilliantly for first-time head coach Darvin Ham,” Charania added. “In addition, the Lakers have made clear they’re prioritizing championship-altering players for their trade-eligible two first-round picks (2027, 2029). It remains to be seen who could become available as the season goes on.”

Woj: Lakers Are Watching the Bulls for a Potential Blockbuster Trade

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers continue to monitor a potential trade with the Bulls. DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso and Nikola Vucevic are all players who have been linked to Los Angeles in trade rumors.

“Like a lot of teams, I think the Lakers will watch Chicago, see if that is an organization that decides it might pivot before the trade deadline,” Wojnarowski detailed on a December 7 edition of “NBA Today.” “But I think what’s more realistic is expiring contracts and maybe one of those [future] picks in a deal. I don’t know that there’s a two-pick deal out there for the Lakers.”