After trading for Joe Harris and Monte Morris this offseason, the Detroit Pistons appear much more willing to trade Bojan Bogdanovic and Killian Hayes, and a recent report indicates Detroit engaged with the Dallas Mavericks on a deal surrounding both players.
The Athletic reports that the three-team deal involving Grant Williams going from Boston to Dallas and involving some San Antonio draft capital could have become a four-team deal that included Detroit.
Tim Cato reports that in the framework of the deal, the Pistons would have sent Bogdanovic and Hayes to Dallas and Tim Hardaway Jr and JaVale McGee going to Detroit.
The sticking point appears to be the draft capital Detroit would have required to take on the combined $22 million owed to Hardaway and McGee in 2024-25. In contrast, only $2 million is guaranteed to Bojan and Killian Hayes would be a restricted free agent that season.
The Mavericks reportedly talked to Detroit about Bogdanovic at the trade deadline, but didn’t want to surrender a first-round pick in the deal to obtain the sharp-shooting forward. There is no indication what the cost would have been this time around other than noting that Dallas was once again “incredibly cautious” about trading its 2027 first-round pick, which could not be protected because of other first-rounders the team owes teams.
Other Dallas assets would have been limited to young assets already on Dallas’ roster, including impending restricted free agent Josh Green and young guard Jaden Hardy. Hayes would represent a defensive-minded backup at point guard along with Dante Exum. Bogdanovic would have been a catch-and-shoot complement to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving in the starting lineup.
A Signal of a Future Deal?
On Detroit’s side of the equation, this alleged framework seems much more aligned with future assets than fortifying next season’s team, though Hardaway Jr. is a better defender than Bojan, and McGee would, sadly, be the team’s best defensive center. Both also have local ties as Hardaway starred at University of Michigan and McGee hails from Flint, where his mother, Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Pamela McGee also got her basketball start.
This could be instructive of any potential deals Detroit looks to make this offseason to finalize its roster. It seems clear as ever the team is extremely willing to relocate Killian Hayes to provide him a fresh start on a new team, and that while players like Hayes and big man Marvin Bagley III don’t have much value on their own, the team could be willing to attach Bojan to a deal to help solidify a trade package.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the team is desperate to trade either player. Hayes could still fill a role in a guard rotation as a perimeter defender and playmaker alongside Monte Morris, especially if the team feels Marcus Sasser can’t reliably contribute during his rookie season.
Bogdanovic, meanwhile, remains the team’s most potent scoring option and could provide one of the league’s better catch-and-shoot spacing threats, and a shooting option needed on the floor to maximize the effectiveness of young players like Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and rookie Ausar Thompson.
Isaiah Stewart Garners Trade Interest
Speaking of floor spacers, it is obvious that the Pistons believe Isaiah Stewart should be included in that bunch after the team signed him to a $64 million contract extension. The long-term deal seems to indicate that the team’s starting power forward job is Stewart’s to lose for the foreseeable future.
However, it’s not just the Pistons who seem to believe the 3-point shot is for real. In a larger piece built around PJ Washington’s restricted free agency and the future of the Hornets franchise, there was an interesting little nugget from Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer about Stewart.
Beef Stew’s extension seems to have set the market for young bigs including Washington. Fischer also writes:
Stewart has shown some real promise as a shooter for a true plus-athlete within a tundra of athleticism. The Pistons, league sources told Yahoo Sports, have received more trade inquiries on Stewart than any member of Detroit’s roster outside of Cade Cunningham dating back to the trade deadline.
This reinforces in even stronger terms reporting coming out of Detroit, mainly from The Athletic’s James Edwards III, that teams have been asking about Stewart’s availability in trades since the moment Detroit traded up to draft him in 2020.
I do want to offer up one small caveat however. Generating the most trade interest does not equate to being viewed as the most valuable, or even among the most valuable assets in Detroit. It could simply be a byproduct of the team trading for James Wiseman (ugh), and other franchises presuming that Stewart was much more gettable than he was in reality.
I’d wager that Cunningham (obviously), Jalen Duren, and Jaden Ivey are all thought of more highly throughout the league, and that Ausar joins that group soon if he isn’t already there.
Stewart has only shot between 32 and 34% on threes in each of his three seasons, though last season was his first shooting at high volume. Beef Stew went from averaging around 0.7 attempts per game to 4.1.
Stewart had a 30-game stretch from late October to early January where he shot nearly 38% from deep on 4.2 attempts per game while also averaging 7.4 rebounds per game. Then a shoulder injury against the Sixers seemed to have messed with his shot and he struggled until a late surge at the end of his season before Detroit shut him down at the end of February.
- Games 1-5: 18.2% on 4.4 attempts
- Games 6-35: 37.8% on 4.2 attempts
- Games 36-46: 12.8% on 3.5 attempts
- Games 47-50: 58.8% on 4.25 attempts
Stewart optimists would say look at the longest stretch of his season and how effective he was. A pessimist would say look at the entire body of work. It seems that more people around the league fall into the optimistic camp, and a 30-game sample at high volume is significant.