Things could have certainly gone better for the Lakers to start this season as Friday’s loss to the Kings has dropped them to a seemingly incomprehensible 2-10 record. After practicing patience this summer and preaching the same message to start the year, the Lakers are facing the very real likelihood that they’ve waited too long to save their season.
Before the Lakers chose not to deal Russell Westbrook this offseason, one of the trades that felt closest to completion involved the Utah Jazz and sharpshooting wing Bojan Bogdanovic. The Lakers ultimately did not come to an agreement with Utah or work their way into a Donovan Mitchell trade and the Jazz eventually deal Bogdanovic to Detroit.
While that may have seemingly ruled out a trade to the Lakers in the moment, it has not ruled it out indefinitely. In fact, the Lakers could move back in on Bogdanovic despite him having recently signed an extension — more on that later — according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports on his “Please Don’t Aggregate This” podcast:
“He’s a player that I think a lot of winning teams, a team looking to get to the second round that’s never gotten there or a team that wants to push their way to really be a title threat (would want)... Phoenix was at the top of everyone’s list in terms of suitors that have capital to pay in addition to talent and the salaries that made sense... The Lakers were obviously involved. I got a list of other teams that I think have called and contacted, but nothing too crazy at this point in terms of actual conversations that are still ongoing. I do know Detroit is getting calls on him just like any team (when) we’re getting close to the Dec. 15 area where a lot of players who signed (in free agency last summer) are going to be eligible (to be traded). That’s kind of the unofficial start of the trade window. But also he’s playing really well for this team right now.”
Bogdanovic has had a hell of a start to the season in Detroit, averaging 20.3 points per game while shooting 43% from the 3-point line in 14 games. In many ways, he’d be exactly what the Lakers need from their roster.
Upon being dealt to the Pistons, Bogdanovic signed an extension through the 2024-25 season. However, as explained by Bobby Marks of ESPN, that doesn’t rule him out as a potential trade target for the Lakers.
Here are the cap hits on the Bojan Bogdanovic extension in Detroit:— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) October 31, 2022
$2M is guaranteed in the 2nd year. The full amount becomes fully protected in late June 2024.
There are no trade restrictions on the extension.
While the Pistons do have the contracts to make a trade work, trying to figure out a deal that makes sense is a different task. Bogdanovic paired with Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks makes sense financially, but the latter two are hardly serviceable role players.
Marvin Bagley III is also within the salary range to make things work. However, Bagley suffered a knee injury in the opening game of the season and hasn’t played since.
Because of all of that, it would then seem like perhaps this could be a half-measures trade that sees the Lakers ship out one first-round pick in a deal. They could also work out some sort of multi-team deal that brings in Bogdanovic and more enticing pieces for the team’s two draft picks.
Right now, though, as the Lakers continue losing games, the debate will be if any trade is worth giving up the picks for. Bogdanovic is a useful piece, but is he enough to turn things around from a 2-10 start? That is the debate the Lakers' front office is going to have before making a decision on any deal in the coming weeks and months.