While the Los Angeles Lakers have arguably already made significant improvements to a roster that just won a championship in October, they may not be finished. Some big name free agents still remain on the market, specifically Sacramento Kings wing Bogdan Bogdanovic.
The Lakers added Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews and Montrezl Harrell to their team and have only lost Danny Green and Dwight Howard in the process.
Given the fact that L.A. went into the offseason with only a mid-level and bi-annual exception, these are remarkable upgrades by vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka.
Despite that, they still want to add more and have reported interest in Bogdanovic, who would need a sign-and-trade deal to wind up on the Lakers, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer:
In January, I reported that the Lakers had trade talks with the Kings, who offered Nemanja Bjelica and a pick to the Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, and Los Angeles countered by asking for Bogdan Bogdanovic. L.A.’s pursuit hasn’t stopped. On Friday, The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Eric Nehm reported that the Lakers are pursuing a sign-and-trade for Bogdanovic, who’s sign-and-trade deal to the Bucks fell apart. League sources confirmed the report: The Lakers are indeed pursuing Bogdanovic, though the Hawks are considered the favorites.
This deal may work if Kentavious Caldwell-Pope wants more than the $10-12 million the Lakers can legally offer but doesn’t want to go to the Atlanta Hawks or New York Knicks. Bogdanovic’s market value is likely somewhere between $15-18 million, meaning the Lakers can sign Caldwell-Pope to his desired salary, and package him with Kyle Kuzma to the Kings in exchange for the fourth-year guard.
Likely the biggest reason the Lakers have remained in talks for Bogdanovic is because the Hawks can sign him to an offer sheet without a sign and trade. If that were to happen, the Kings would then either need to match a deal that could be worth upwards of $20 million, or let him walk for nothing.
Lakers expected to meet with Bogdanovic
It was reported just before the official opening of free agency that the Lakers had plans to meet with Bogdanovic. While L.A. has made some considerable moves since then, it’s possible that they already met with him in the process, or are meeting with him soon.
Either way, this shows Pelinka’s desire to improve and not be complacent after winning the championship.
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