The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t the only team that knows how to tamper, or maybe they are. On Monday, the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings agreed to a sign-and-trade involving Bogdan Bogdanovic. However, the trade quickly fell apart because Bogdanovic reportedly never agreed to the terms of the deal. On Friday, the trade was officially pronounced dead.
As The Athletic and The New York Times reported on Thursday, the league is indeed looking into the matter. Serious pressure is being applied to all parties, and sources told The Athletic midday Friday that the Bogdanovic-to-the-Bucks prospect is dead. Bogdanovic and his representation are expected to take meetings when it’s allowed this afternoon/evening, with Atlanta and the Lakers known to be among the suitors.
This isn’t the first time the Lakers have shown interest in Bogdanovic. In January, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that the Kings offered Nemanja Bjelica and a pick for Kyle Kuzma. According to the report, the Lakers denied that offer and countered by asking for Bogdanovic. The Kings said no at the time, but that was under a different regime, and under completely different circumstances. This time could be different.
It’s no secret that Kuzma had his best years under Luke Walton, who’s currently the Kings’ head coach. It’s also no secret that they have mutual respect for each other. Kuzma was one the first players to thank Walton when the Lakers parted ways with him last year.
Additionally, we have an idea of what type of package the Kings would accept for Bogdanovic. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Bucks planned on sending Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova and D.J. Wilson to the Kings in exchange for Bogdanovic. Is a package of Kuzma and JaVale McGee much worse than that? And if it is, could they expand it to a sign-and-trade that includes Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Nemanja Bjelica? It’s possible.
Whatever the case ends up being, it’s clear the Lakers are approaching the offseason with a “lack of complacency,” to steal a phrase from Rob Pelinka. They see the moves the rest of the NBA is making and they want to get better too. Landing Bogdanovic would certainly be one way to do that.