November 30, 2023

The Los Angeles Lakers got a jump on trade season by moving for Rui Hachimura on Monday and, sending Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks (2023, 2028 and 2029) back to the Wizards. Do they have another deal in store? Let’s take a look at the latest trade rumblings connected with the purple and gold ahead of the 2023 NBA trade deadline on Feb. 9.

Looking for wing depth

Hachimura fits this bill, but the Lakers — in need two-way wings with good size who can take some defensive burden off LeBron James against elite scorers (and most preferably who can also shoot) — reportedly want more. With Nunn shipped off to Washington, Patrick Beverley is the Lakers player now most likely to be sent out in another potential deal, the Athletic reports:

With [Anthony] Davis set to return soon, the Lakers are further evaluating the roster and rotation and still determining if they want to make a minor or major upgrade with their tradeable draft assets. At this point, their most likely move would be trading Beverley and a lottery-protected first-round pick for another wing or frontcourt upgrade. But the Lakers are willing to consider adding more assets to get a better player, depending on Davis’ recovery and the state of the market as the deadline nears.

In other words, the Lakers are still trying to curb their short-term ambition unless the market opens an opportunity to make another move for a price that won’t compromise those two first-round picks (2027 and 2029). 

To that point, who might fit the wing shooter bill?

Bogdanovic has consistently been a name connected with Lakers, and they have the goods to make a deal with Detroit with one of those two first-round picks to which they are tightly clinging. But according to The Athletic, the Lakers would want to lottery-protect the outgoing pick to make sure it stays in house if the Lakers go in the tank in a few years. 

Detroit’s Bojan Bogdanovic continues to be the name most often tied to the Lakers in league circles, 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 Bogdanović, though that could change when up against the trade-deadline clock.

Again, this comes back to a single question: Do the Lakers think a player like Bogdanovic can actually catapult them into even fringe contention? If not, they’re not likely to part with an unprotected pick to get him or anyone else. 

This post will continue to update with the latest Lakers trade rumors/reports. 

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