Report: Lakers believed price of Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and 1st-rounder was ‘too high’ for Bojan Bogdanović

Peter Dewey
5 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly believed that trading Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and a unprotected first-round pick was “too high” of a price for Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic, who was traded to the Pistons by the Utah Jazz this past offseason, would be a solid veteran scorer to add to the Lakers’ rotation.

“There has been little — yet — to indicate that the Lakers’ approach will change,” NBA insider Marc Stein wrote. “They decided in the offseason that packaging both of their available first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 is too steep a price to pay to trade for the Indiana duo of Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. And they also decided that trading one of those picks with no draft protections attached (along with the expiring contracts of Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn) was too high a price for Detroit’s Bojan Bogdanović. A case can be made that the Lakers should take the one-pick plunge for a better-than-ever Bogdanović — maybe even if the Pistons refuse to lower their price — given the promising form they’ve displayed in 2023 without the injured Anthony Davis to work their way back into the West’s play-in mix. The question, however, remains: How much would Bogdanović, as well as he’s playing, really raise this team’s ceiling?”

The Lakers may not have believed that Bogdanovic would raise their ceiling this season. That could be especially true now, with Anthony Davis’ status still up in the air. However, the Lakers have pulled into the No. 11 seed in the West and are just two games out of the No. 5 seed at this point in the season.

Los Angeles appears to want to keep its draft capital unless it can make a massive move for a player this season. If Turner and Hield weren’t enough to make the Lakers part ways with their picks, it makes sense that they wouldn’t want to move one of the picks for just one player in Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic, 33, signed a two-year extension with the Pistons that keeps him under contract through the 2024-25 season. While that could be viewed as an incentive for the Lakers since he’d be more than a rental, the team may also not want to commit to his future salary.

The Lakers should open up a ton of cap space with Russell Westbrook coming off the books following the 2022-23 season.

Nunn and Beverley have both struggled for Los Angeles this season, although Beverley is still a solid player on the defensive end. The team is in need of some scoring help with Davis sidelined, and the wing rotation has been shortened as well with Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV both dealing with injuries.

LeBron James has carried the Lakers on their five-game winning streak, but Los Angeles doesn’t seem to be willing to make a trade just for the sake of slightly upgrading the roster.

This season, Bogdanovic is averaging 21.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 41.6 percent from beyond the arc. He’s been arguably the Pistons’ best player with Cade Cunningham sidelined due to a shin injury.

Beverley and Nunn are both expiring deals, so the Lakers may think they can improve the rotation by moving them to a team without having to give up an unprotected first-round selection.

It’s unclear if any deal like that will materialize, but the Lakers’ front office has shown that it holds its future first-round picks in high regard in the trade market this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.