NBA trade rumors: Why are rebuilding Pistons signaling they want to keep Bojan Bogdanovic round?

Bojan Bogdanovic turns 34 years previous in April, and he is averaging a career-high 21.5 factors on a career-high 63.4 % true capturing for a younger group that has the second-worst document within the league. It shouldn’t be exhausting to determine why he’s a candidate to be moved earlier than the Feb. 9 trade deadline.

The 12-37 Detroit Pistons, nevertheless, proceed to broadcast that they are not essentially going to trade Bogdanovic. In different phrases, suitors should not waste time lowballing them.

The newest report on this topic comes from James Edwards III of The Athletic:

Per league sources, as of late January, the Pistons, who’ve aspirations of turning a nook subsequent season, would want vital worth in return to think about transferring Bogdanovic throughout the subsequent two weeks, with the minimal start line being an unprotected first-round decide . Detroit values ​​Bogdanovic extremely and would not want to transfer him until an amazing supply makes an excessive amount of sense.

This state of affairs is comparable to the one which the Pistons have been in with Jerami Grant earlier than final season’s trade deadline. They ended up conserving Grant for the remainder of the season, then sending him to the Portland Trail Blazers for a top-four-protected 2025 Milwaukee Bucks first-round decide and two seconds. But there are variations:

  • Bogdanovic is 5 years older than Grant, so buying him is extra of a short-term play.
  • Any group buying and selling for Grant wants to be ready to supply him a profitable contract extension or danger dropping him in free company on the finish of the 2022-23 season. Bogdanovic, however, signed a two-year, $39 million extension in late October, 5 weeks after Detroit acquired him from the Utah Jazz. This is a team-friendly deal, significantly as a result of solely $2 million of his $19 million 2024-25 wage is assured. If he is nonetheless this productive on the finish of subsequent season, his group can keep him round at an inexpensive value; if he declines, he could be waived for a small penalty.
  • The Pistons are one other yr into their rebuild, so their priorities could possibly be completely different now.

That final level is essentially the most attention-grabbing one. If Detroit has “aspirations of turning a nook subsequent season,” how a lot stress will there be on the entrance workplace and training employees? How a lot will the outcomes of the draft lottery have to do with that? Cade Cunningham’s season-ending shin harm has pressured the Pistons to be extra affected person than they deliberate to be, but when there is a playoff (or play-in) mandate in 2023-24, then Troy Weaver’s entrance workplace should strategy the Bogdanovic state of affairs — and this trade deadline, and 2023 free company — otherwise than if there is not one.

This shouldn’t be to say that Detroit needs to be seen as a win-now group. It simply should not be seen as a lose-now group. Bogdanovic shouldn’t be on Detroit’s timeline, actually, however he is a 6-foot-7 veteran who can rating in quite a lot of methods, house the ground and defend competently. For a franchise making an attempt to take a step ahead and set up some construction, this has worth.

Bogdanovic won’t, nevertheless, be price fairly as a lot to the Pistons as he’s to one other group. If they are supplied a high-value first-round decide in trade for him, they might doubtlessly use that decide in a trade a number of months later to improve the roster. Ideally, they’d flip it into somebody form of like Bogdanovic, solely youthful.

Last week, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans and Toronto Raptors have all expressed curiosity in Bogdanovic. On Monday, The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reported that the Lakers are keen to half with solely a lottery-protected first-rounder however might change their stance nearer to the deadline.

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