The Los Angeles Lakers may be in the market for one of the league’s top available free agents once the negotiation period officially opens later on Friday. According to the Athletic’s Sam Amick, the Lakers and Atlanta Hawks are among the “known” suitors for Sacramento Kings forward Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Bogdanovic was thought to be on the move to Milwaukee after a reported sign-and-trade between the Bucks and Kings. That trade has since fallen through as the sharp-shooter had seemingly not agreed to the exchange. Now, according to The Athletic, he is set to meet with teams to negotiate a deal.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 15.1 points per game for Sacramento last year and is a career 37.4% shooter from behind the arc. At 28 years old, Bogdanovic is entering his fourth season in the league.
The Lakers showed reported interest in Bogdanovic at the trade deadline in February but a deal did not materialize. As a restricted free agent, the Kings have the right to match any offer sheet for the forward. However, that relationship is tenuous at best and it appears as though both sides are looking to move on.
The Lakers are operating as an over-the-cap team and can only sign him to the full mid-level exception (just under $10 million annual salary) which is likely below his market value. They could also try to come to terms on a sign-and-trade likely featuring fellow fourth-year player Kyle Kuzma. However, they would then need to match salaries to work under the league’s rules.
Of course, all of this could simply be a leverage play to get the Kings to pay up for their talented player. The Hawks being involved as one of the few teams with large amounts of cap space would track with that theory.