Lakers Interested In Jazz Vets, Hope To Preserve 2023 Cap Room

The Lakers have “some interest” in Jazz veterans Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson, but are still trying to maintain their cap room for 2023, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today Sports (Twitter links). The Lakers currently project to have about $30MM in cap room next summer.

As Zillgitt observes, Conley’s $24.36MM salary for 2023/24 is partially guaranteed at $14.32MM, while Clarkson has a player option worth $14.26MM, which may affect how much interest L.A. has in the two guards.

Bogdanovic is on a $19.55MM expiring contract, and several teams are reportedly pursuing the 33-year-old forward, a talented scorer and shooter who has converted at least 38.7% of his three-point tries in each of the last five seasons.

In order to match salaries, Russell Westbrook‘s $47.1MM expiring deal would have to be sent to Utah, because the Lakers don’t have any tradable mid-sized contracts. If they don’t want to take on money beyond next season, a package of Bogdanovic, Malik Beasley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker theoretically works for salary-matching purposes, and all are on expiring or pseudo-expiring deals (there’s a ’23/24 team option for Beasley at $16.52MM).

However, it’s unclear if the Lakers would be interested in that scenario, considering the Jazz might ask for both of the Lakers’ available first-round picks (2027 and 2029). Utah is in the middle of a roster teardown, with a particular emphasis on accumulating unprotected first-rounders.

In other Lakers-related news, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reassesses the team’s depth chart and rotation after acquiring Patrick Beverley from Utah in exchange for Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson. Sources tell Buha that Thomas Bryant and Austin Reaves have been “standout performers” in offseason workouts, and Buha currently has both players slotted in the starting lineup at center and shooting guard, respectively.

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