With the NBA Trade Deadline just a week away, rumors are swirling across the league.
That includes the Detroit Pistons, who have a few veterans that can give contenders a boost in Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks and, most notably, Bojan Bogdanovic. The 6-foot-7 sharpshooter has been the Pistons best scorer all season, averaging a career-best 21.2 points per game while shooting 48.3% from the field and 41.2% from 3-point range.
We’ve heard mixed reports on the availability of Bogdanovic, but this nugget from Michael Scotto of HoopsHype is interestingly timed as he reports that Bojan has been told by Troy Weaver and the front office that he is a “core member of the team’s future” and that the team’s plans are “to compete” next season:
“Having conversations with the club, Troy (Weaver), and the owners, they assured me that we’re going to be great next year,” Bogdanovic told HoopsHype. “We have a lot of cap space to sign great players. We’re going to have a high pick again, so that’s going to help us a lot. We have a great young group of guys. When Cade (Cunningham)went down, that kind of hurt us big time. We were thinking that maybe we’d be fighting for the play-in tournament, but when he went down, he was our main guy. All of our offensive strategies were connected to him. When he went down, our season, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs without him.”
“I heard the rumors, but I’m trying to stay away from those conversations,” Bogdanovic told HoopsHype. “I don’t even have any social media like Twitter. I don’t read much about that. It’s not in my control. It’s about the franchises. I’m just going to try and stay focused and play as best I can. Then, we’ll see what’s going to happen at the end of the trade deadline.”
IMO, this is a lot of nothing.
Bogdanovic doesn’t speak often, but when he does, he says the right things. He’s very well-versed in the whole media-speak thing. I’m not surprised he would echo what the front office has been saying, so, yeah, take this however you want.
I mean, he even hedged at the end there by saying “it’s not in my control” and “ I’m just going to try and stay focused and play as best I can. Then, we’ll see what’s going to happen at the end of the trade deadline.”
We know the Pistons want to compete sooner than later — how close they are to realistically doing that is a different discussion — and keeping Bojan helps do that. Same with Burks, which is why Noel being dealt is likely the only (irrelevant) domino that will fall.
But, if the right trade arises, Weaver will not hesitate to deal Bogdanovic. It’s how he’s wired. I just don’t think he’s going to sell low, meaning I’m not sure he’ll move him for Lonnie Walker and a 2028 Lakers pick or something.
However, if he gets the pick he covets and the young player this team needs, sure, I can see him making that move. Bogandovic, for all of his defensive shortcomings, is the kind of player that good teams want. The robust market for him proves that.
The Pistons think they’re close to being that.
Trading him now just means you have to go trade for someone like that again in a year or two if things go according to plan. So, I can see both sides of the coin, but after what we’ve seen from the Pistons this season, I cannot fathom anyone in this organization is happy with this season.
That includes the architect of it all, Weaver, who still has a lot of work to do.
That starts with the trade deadline on February 9. Whether that includes trading Bogdanovic is yet to be seen.