Sitting at 25-30 and 13th place in the Western Conference, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka knew he needed to make some moves ahead of Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline.
He got to work early, acquiring Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards for Kendrick Nunn and second-round picks. Pelinka then finally parted with one of the Lakers’ coveted first-round picks, reportedly sending a 2027 second-rounder along with Russell Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones to the Utah Jazz as a part of a blockbuster deal that netted the Lakers three players in D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt.
Both moves have been solid for the Lakers, helping them build a more balanced lineup that includes some size on the wing and shooting. The reunion with Russell also helps replace the playmaking that L.A. will be losing with the departure of Westbrook.
With the Lakers only using one of their first-round picks though, there are still some possibilities for Pelinka and the front office ahead of the deadline. According to Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, the Lakers are looking to deal away from their guard depth and remain interested in Bojan Bogdanovic of the Detroit Pistons as well as other wings:
The Lakers are expected to explore more deals that could consolidate their guard-heavy roster ahead of Thursday’s noon PST trade deadline. Among the possible targets is Detroit’s Bojan Bogdanovic, though people with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly say the asking price for the veteran shooter remains high.
Three hours to the trade deadline. Obviously, influx of rotation players that could be available from Brooklyn is the latest thing teams like the Lakers are weighing. Toronto's plans still a bit of a mystery to teams, too.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) February 9, 2023
Bogdanovic is a player the Lakers have been linked to for a while now and would make a lot of sense as a wing that can shoot well. Bogdanovic is in the midst of a career year with the Pistons, averaging 21.3 points while shooting 41.6% from 3-point range.
The 33-year-old recently signed a two-year, $39 million extension so will be under contract for two more seasons at a reasonable rate, which fits the Lakers’ timeline.
Whether or not the Pistons want to trade him remains to be seen, but the Lakers do have their 2029 first-round pick to offer along with the expiring salaries of Patrick Beverley and Lonnie Walker IV. If Detroit hangs onto Bogdanovic or trades him elsewhere then L.A. does have some other options on the wing market such as Jae Crowder, Gary Trent Jr., Royce O’Neal and Dorian Finney-Smith.
Westbrook drawing interest from Clippers and Bulls after expected buyout from Jazz
Now that Westbrook’s tenure with the Lakers is over, it looks like he will have the power to pick his next destination as the expectation is he will get bought out by the Utah Jazz.
If that happens, Westbrook already has a couple of reported suitors in the L.A. Clippers and Chicago Bulls.
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