The Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers have been dancing around a Bojan Bogdanovic trade for months.
It got to the point where, eventually, everyone moved on and assumed that it simply wasn’t going to happen. Especially when three other NBA teams emerged as legit suitors for him.
On Monday, however, things took a turn when L.A. acquired Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards.
The fact that the Lakers cared enough to add Hachimura made many wonder if perhaps Bogdanovic-to-Los Angeles would experience fresh life.
According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, an issue persists in making this trade a reality.
“Detroit’s Bojan Bogdanovic continues to be the name most often tied to the Lakers in league circles,” he wrote.
“But the Pistons are looking for an unprotected first-round pick, at a minimum, in a potential trade, according to league sources. The Lakers’ preference is to only give up a lottery-protected first for the 34-year-old Bogdanovic, though that could change when up against the trade-deadline clock.”
Detroit has made it abundantly clear to date that the price for Bogdanovic is an unprotected first-round pick.
Bogdanovic is having a career year with the Pistons in 2022-23. He is currently averaging 21.5 points per game on 49.1 percent shooting from the field and 42.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
For a team like the Lakers, who is persistently hampered with guys being unable to create offensively, Bogdanovic could offer something of a reprieve.
That said, Bogdanovic is a 33-year-old on a contract that will pay him nearly $40 million over the next two years. That is hefty on its own, much less when you also have to give up an unprotected first rounder as well.
Is Bogdanovic alone really a piece that materially alters the Lakers’ season? It’s debatable. Even with the plethora of injuries he team has faced they are only 1.5 games back of eighth place in the West.
And just three games separate the Lakers from the sixth place Los Angeles Clippers, who many still regard as a legitimate title contender.
If Anthony Davis gets healthy and stays that way, and LeBron James continues to produce at an MVP level, maybe Bogdanovic is the Glen Rice-type piece that can take the Lakers to the next level. Maybe.
L.A. has recently been linked to a blockbuster deal that would dramatically alter the trajectory of the franchise, but it is unclear how viable that trade really is.
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 24, 2023
Either way, with Feb. 9’s NBA Trade Deadline approaching, things are definitely heating up.
Will the Lakers make a move at some point in the next two weeks to salvage their 2022-23 NBA campaign? Time will tell.
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