Chris Mannix and Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated looked at potential NBA trades and discussed how making such a deal would at least give the Lakers a chance of a decent postseason run.
“Maybe that will be the case.” Beck said. “I’ve heard the Lakers and Pistons have discussed a deal that would include both Bogdanović and Nerlens Noel. Since the Pistons are demanding draft assets in any deal for Bogdanović, it’s sort of a given that the Lakers would have to surrender a first-round pick to make a deal. Maybe they make a second deal to fortify the rotation further. Will they be willing to trade both picks that are currently trade-eligible? The sense around the league is they won’t. But we’ll see.”
The Lakers are currently in a fight to simply reach the postseason. That struggle has been made more difficult due to the injury-related absence of Anthony Davis.
Trading for Davis in 2019 is one of the reasons why the team’s draft capital has been severely depleted. In the short run, the move worked to perfection when Davis and LeBron James helped lead the Lakers to the franchise’s first NBA championship in a decade.
However, since that glorious moment in October 2020, Davis has suffered a series of injuries that have partly played a role in the team’s struggles to compete.
Acquiring players such as Bogdanovic and Noel would bolster a Lakers roster that’s lacked depth among other problems.
Bogdanovic turns 34 in April and has been in the NBA since 2014 after spending the previous three seasons playing internationally in Turkey. The 6-foot-7 forward is in his first season with the Pistons and has played for five different teams during his time in the league.
This season, Bogdanovic is averaging a career-high 21.2 points per game as well as 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest.
Back in 2013, the 28-year-old Noel was the sixth overall pick of that year’s NBA draft. Despite that lofty status, he’s never managed to put together a strong year, with the Pistons also being his fifth team since entering the league.
Noel has only seen action in 11 games this year and has delivered very modest numbers, averaging just 2.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.
In other trade discussions, the Lakers have reportedly been very reluctant to part with their remaining draft assets. It’s uncertain whether or not that apparent mindset will change, though the team has until next month to decide whether or not to pull the trigger on such a deal.
For now, the Lakers will continue to try to improve on their 19-23 record. After losing on Thursday night to the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers will next take the court at home on Sunday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.