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NBA commerce rumours: Why are rebuilding Pistons signaling they need to hold Bojan Bogdanovic round?

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Bojan Bogdanovic turns 34 years outdated in April, and he is averaging a career-high 21.5 factors on a career-high 63.4 p.c true taking pictures for a younger staff that has the second-worst file within the league. It’s not arduous to determine why he is a candidate to be moved earlier than the Feb. 9 commerce deadline.

The 12-37 Detroit Pistons, nonetheless, proceed to broadcast that they aren’t essentially going to commerce 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 shifting Bogdanovic throughout the subsequent two weeks, with the minimal place to begin being an unprotected first-round decide . Detroit values ​​Bogdanovic extremely and would not need to transfer him until an awesome provide makes an excessive amount of sense.

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

  • Bogdanovic is 5 years older than Grant, so buying him is extra of a short-term play.
  • Any staff buying and selling for Grant wanted to be ready to supply him a profitable contract extension or threat dropping him in free company on the finish of the 2022-23 season. Bogdanovic, then again, signed a two-year, $39 million extension in late October, 5 weeks after Detroit acquired him from the Utah Jazz. This can be a team-friendly deal, notably 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 the subsequent season, his staff can hold him round at an inexpensive worth; if he declines, he could be waived for a small penalty.
  • The Pistons are one other yr into their rebuild, so their priorities may very well be completely different now.

That final level is probably 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 workers? How a lot will the outcomes of the draft lottery must do with that? Cade Cunningham’s season-ending shin damage has compelled 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 method the Bogdanovic scenario — and this commerce deadline, and 2023 free company — otherwise than if there is not one.

This isn’t to say that Detroit must be seen as a win-now staff. It simply should not be seen as a lose-now staff. Bogdanovic is just not 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 may not, nonetheless, be price fairly as a lot to the Pistons as he’s to a different staff. If they’re provided a high-value first-round decide in trade for him, they may probably use that decide in a commerce a number of months later to improve the roster. Ideally, they’d flip it into somebody type of like Bogdanovic, solely youthful.

Final 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 prepared to half with solely a lottery-protected first-rounder however may change their stance nearer to the deadline.

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