The Donovan Mitchell saga is now over for the Utah Jazz, but executive Danny Ainge hasn’t finished dealing. Jeff Zillgitt, the NBA insider, has revealed that the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in the Jazz’s three players, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Jordan Clarkson.
“The Lakers have some interest, I’m told, in the Jazz vets who could be traded (Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic). But the Lakers also want to preserve cap space for next summer and aren’t that interested in taking contracts beyond 2022-23. Bogdanovic on expiring. There will be some chatter about a Westbrook/first-rounder for Conley, but Conley’s deal is through 2023-24, albeit partially guaranteed. Clarkson has a player option for 2023-24.”
There will be some chatter about a Westbrook/first-rounder for Conley, but Conley's deal is through 2023-24, albeit partially guaranteed. Clarkson has player option for 2023-24.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) September 2, 2022
Although Russell Westbrook’s time in Los Angeles may be coming to an end, the Lakers will need contracts that last through 2023. This will open the window for the Lakers to sign Kyrie Irving and make things possible for LeBron James to claim his fourth championship ring.
Conley and Clarkson might not meet the Lakers’ requirements. Clarkson has the option to extend his contract for the 2023-24 season, and Conley’s deal runs through 2024. However, Bogdanovic is a perfect fit for the Lakers with his expiring contract, and his ability to make three-pointers might help the Lakers resolve their spacing issues from the previous season.
Meanwhile, it makes sense to sign Malik Beasley, a recently acquired Jazz man, whose contract includes a $16 million team option for 2023-2024. However, if the ultimate goal of the Lakers is to land Irving, then a package including Beasley, Bogdanovic, and Rudy Gay could seal the deal. Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz would like to focus on unprotected first-round draft picks after the departure of Lebron James. It might now be the Lakers’ turn to rebuild, but the question is whether the Jazz can put together a package worth one or two unprotected picks.
The Jazz will also try to open up opportunities for their young roster, which needs live practice to advance. If the Jazz could manage to move the remaining veterans’ players who don’t fit in with the team’s long-term plans. Then players like Ochai Agbaji, Leandro Bolmaro, Simone Fontecchio, and Jared Butler will get the benefit. Meanwhile, before the Jazz’s season-opening game against the Denver Nuggets on October 19, Jazz fans can anticipate at least one more roster change.