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Lakers Trade Rumors: Bogdanovic, Clarkson, Beasley Targeted in Talks with Jazz

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 16, 2022

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly targeting a trio of Utah Jazz players in trade conversations amid Utah's rebuild this offseason.

According to Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Lakers covet Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley ahead of the start of the 2022-23 NBA regular season next month.

After reaching the playoffs in each of the past seven seasons, but failing to get past the second round, the Jazz decided to tear things down and start from scratch.

The most notable moves have been trading All-Star center Rudy Gobert and All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively, for huge packages of first-round draft picks and players.

Utah now has something of a franken-roster made up of holdovers from last year's team and players acquired in the Gobert and Mitchell trades, and it seems likely that they would be willing to ship out more players for future assets.

The Lakers and Jazz have already done business once this offseason, as L.A. sent Utah both Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson for veteran guard Patrick Beverley last month after Beverley was picked up in the Gobert trade.

L.A. missed the playoffs last season with a disappointing 33-49 record due largely to the fact that LeBron James and Anthony Davis missed significant time due to injury.

The Lakers likely don't have a championship roster even if LeBron and AD remain healthy this season, though, and that is primarily because Russell Westbrook opted into the final year of his contract in 2022-23 and made it difficult for Los Angeles to free up the money needed to make any other notable moves.

Landing a third star to play alongside James and Davis likely isn't possible right now, but bringing in a significant amount of depth would still be helpful to the Lakers' playoff and championship chances.

The 33-year-old Bogdanovic has spent the past three seasons in Utah, and he has played at the highest level of his career during that time.

Bogdanovic averaged a career-best 20.2 points per game in 2019-20, and last season he put up 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 three-pointers made and 1.7 assists per contest, while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Clarkson, 30, broke into the league with the Lakers in 2014 and spent parts of four seasons in L.A., but like Bogdanovic, he has been at his best in Utah over the past three seasons.

He won the 2020-21 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, and last season, he averaged 16.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.4 three-pointers made.

The 25-year-old Beasley, who was part of the Gobert trade, has spent six seasons in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets and Timberwolves.

Beasley averaged a career-high 19.6 points per game in 2020-21 and followed that up last season with 12.1 points, 3.0 three-pointers made, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

Bogdanovic, Clarkson and Beasley are all offensively gifted players who would give the Lakers some much-needed offensive punch in support of James and Davis.

It is unclear if the Lakers are aiming to land one, two or all three of those players, but if they can find a way to bring in all of them without giving up too many current assets in return, they would have the look of a far more complete team than they are right now.

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