The Los Angeles Lakers are running out of time to strengthen the roster before the start of training camp on Sept. 27.
L.A. reportedly looked to add shooting through trades after managing to sign young, athletic defenders in free agency. But since then, the Lakers have only acquired Patrick Beverley, sending Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz.
Beverley shoots 37.8% from 3-point range in his career, making him a 3-and-D type of player L.A. badly needed last season. But the Purple and Gold still lack shooting on the roster almost exactly a month before their first preseason game tips off.
But ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Lakers could address their issues by calling the Jazz front office again as they show interest in Utah’s “spare part” veterans, via Evan Sidery of BasketballNews.com:
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) September 2, 2022
The Jazz are reportedly open to trading Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley, and former Laker Jordan Clarkson. And the Lakers seemed to have hoped to acquire at least one of them — while parting ways with Russell Westbrook — in a three-team deal that would send Donovan Mitchell to the New York Knicks.
But as negotiations between Utah and New York stalled, Mitchell landed on the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this week, eliminating one of L.A.’s opportunities to reshuffle the roster.
Now that Utah has traded both of its stars and are headed for a rebuild, their focus will shift towards trading some of their other veterans.
Reports indicate that if the Lakers want to trade Westbrook for multiple rotation players then it will likely require parting with both their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks. If the Lakers were to take back someone like Conley, who it set to make $22.7 million this season and $24.3 million ($14.3 million guaranteed) next season, then perhaps the draft capital going back to Utah would be less significant than two first-rounders.
If the Lakers were to add players like Conley and Bogdanovic to their roster then it would address their need for perimiter shooting alongside their stars duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Other Utah players who could be on the trade market include Clarkson, Malik Beasley and Rudy Gay so there are a number of different combinations that Rob Pelinka can come up with if he wants to complete another deal with the Jazz.
Johnson thanks Lakers after trade to Jazz
Johnson didn’t hide that playing for the Lakers was a childhood dream come true for him when the forward joined the team last year.
Although he won’t get to return to L.A. for another season, the Arizona alum thanked the organization and Lakers fans for “taking care of one of your own.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!