There is just more than one month to go before the NBA’s trade deadline, and that means you can expect to see Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic’s name burbling up in trade rumors and reports with increasing frequency.
Already one of the hottest names on the trade market, Bogdanovic has done nothing to quell team’s interest since arriving in Detroit just before the start of the season in a trade with the Utah Jazz.
Bogdanovic is the only source of consistent offense on Detroit’s young and injury-riddled team, and despite all the attention he is commanding, he is averaging a career-high 21.1 points per game while shooting 42% from 3 on nearly six attempts per game.
The latest rumor report is focused on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ attempt to shore up the wing position and Bogdanovic’s name is unsurprisingly mentioned, though, it is noted that after Cleveland’s huge Donovan Mitchell trade, they lack the draft capital to swing a deal that would interest Detroit.
At this juncture, the Pistons are seeking at least one first-rounder and either a young player with upside or additional draft capital, sources said, plus Cleveland has company in Dallas, Phoenix and the Lakers, among other teams in pursuit of Bogdanovic. Saddiq Bey would be another interesting addition for Cleveland and on a similar timeline as the rest of the team’s core pieces, yet the same cost issues will apply in that approach as well.
It is no surprise that Detroit is looking to bring back at least one first round pick, and hoping for an additional asset for one of the league’s best shooters who also is under team control for at least the next two seasons (with a team-friendly partial guarantee in the final year).
The question for the Pistons, and therefore something Pistons fans will need to weigh, is when is a deal good enough and when does it simply make more sense to just hold onto Bogdanovic for what is hopefully an improved team (and still strong trade asset) next season.
Cleveland doesn’t have the draft picks to offer, and they don’t have any young players of consequence they would be willing to part with. The Lakers can surrender as many as two future first-round picks, but those picks won’t convey until 2027 and 2029. By that time the Lakers could be bottoming out or could already be restocked for its next iteration of a contending team.
The Dallas Mavericks could offer Josh Green, Jaden Hardy, and owe a future first to New York in 2023 that inhibits them from offering up an additional own first-rounder.
Phoenix is an intriguing destination for Bogdanovic, but it’s not like Mikal Bridges is walking through that door to Detroit. The Suns, who certainly have their own way of doing things under GM James Jones, is the only team in the NBA without any pending deals involving future draft assets — nothing outgoing, nothing incoming.
The Suns are struggling at just 20-19 and have lost 12 of their past 16 games. That might mean they are desperate to change things up. Jae Crowder has been waiting for a trade out of Phoenix since the offseason, and Detroit could reroute him to another team for an additional draft asset. Could Detroit work a deal around Jae Crowder, the currently injured Cameron Johnson and a protected pick? The Suns could use an additional big man like Marvin Bagley III behind Deandre Ayton. Hmmmm?
Probably not, and making the money work is difficult. But that’s what makes almost all trades nearly impossible and trade rumor season the silliest of seasons. Still, this isn’t the first report we’ve written up about interest in Bogdanovic, and it won’t be the last. Buckle up.