With momentum building up that the Los Angeles Lakers will keep Russell Westbrook this season, the team will have to look at other options to improve the roster. That could require them to explore trading some of their young players. Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn were regularly mentioned in trade rumors before this season’s trade deadline.
The two ended up staying put but the Lakers could dangle them again. Horton-Tucker was disappointing after signing a big contract extension last offseason while Nunn didn’t play a single game. The team can’t expect to get too much for both or either of them. One option could be to trade them for a player who is proven to have an impact.
Sean Deveney of Heavy.com spoke to an anonymous Western Conference general manager who pitched the Lakers putting a package together for Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic.
“They are giving off signals that they’re not going to go full rebuild, for now at least,” the general manager said. “That is probably just posturing, though, because you know something has got to change. I think you can get (Bojan) Bogdanovic at a good price really, he is 33, heading into the last year of his deal. And he is a reliable scorer, not a great defender but he can give you points. If I am the Lakers, that is a guy you’ve got to at least bid on. It is going to cost you that THT and Kendrick Nunn package plus a future pick, there is no other way to get him. They need guys who can stretch the floor, and he does that.”
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Bogdanovic Would Be Interesting Addition
On the surface, Bogdanovic fills one of the Lakers’ biggest needs due to his shooting ability. He’s hit 39.2% of his threes throughout his career and averages 15.0 points a game. He’d be a great fourth-scoring option behind Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Westbrook.
However, Bogdanovic brings a similar problem the Lakers dealt with last year: he’s older and can’t play defense. Giving up two young players with defensive upside like Horton-Tucker and Nunn for an aging veteran might not be the best idea. Now, if the Lakers could get Bogdanovic for a much lesser price, then it would make sense but giving up Nunn, Horton-Tucker and a draft pick would be too much.
Jazz Could Be Sellers
The Jazz have been one of the most successful regular season teams over the past several years, but things could change soon. Head coach Quin Snyder stepped down recently and he was a major reason for their success. There are also major roster issues facing the team. Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell don’t get along and Utah could have to trade one or both of them.
If that happens, the team will likely be entering a full-blown rebuild. That would open the door for a player like Bogdanovic to become available. If the market for him isn’t strong, the Lakers should be all over trying to land him at a good price.
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