Bojan Bogdanović Trade Is A Slam Dunk For Detroit Pistons

2022-09-24 04:50:04 By : Ms. Waltly waltly

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - FEBRUARY 02: Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Utah Jazz drives into Isaiah Stewart ... [+] #28 of the Detroit Pistons during a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 2, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons have acquired forward Bojan Bogdanović from the Utah Jazz for center Kelly Olynyk and guard Saben Lee.

While the move appear odd on the surface, given that both teams are going through a rebuild, and Bogdanović is 33 years of age, there is logic in Detroit's decision making here.

Last summer the Pistons took Cade Cunningham first overall, and this year selected Jaden Ivey fifth. The guard duo will need all the spacing possible to establish driving lanes, and Bogdanović is one of the better movement shooters in the NBA.

While Olynyk too was a good shooter, he needed his feet set, and took more time loading up, making it easier for defense to rotate out to him. Bogdanović is quicker on the trigger, can catch and shoot via odd angles, and plays both forward spots, which offers both Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren more minutes at the center position.

So yes, while it may appear odd on the surface why a rebuilding team would take on a 33-year-old veteran, it's all with a keen eye on long-term improvements.

Bogdanović netted 18.1 points for Utah last season, and has averaged 18.4 over his three seasons there. He's a highly competent scorer who has never relied on his athleticism, suggesting he will age gracefully.

The offensive injection also means less pressure on Cunningham to consistently having to produce points, meaning a more focused approach from the side of Detroit towards rounding him out properly as a player. At times, Bogdanović will allow for both Cunningham and Ivey to dig into their playmaking skills, which are to be honed over the next few years.

With both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert finding new homes over the course of the offseason, it was time to break up the core. Royce O'Neale was sent to Brooklyn as well a few months ago, and it shouldn't come as a surprise if Mike Conley finds a new home within long either.

The prize for Utah here was Lee, which all things considered was a modest one. The 23-year-old has played rotation minutes for Detroit the past two seasons, averaging 5.6 points and 3.3 assists for his career. Is there a bigger role ahead for the point guard? Time will tell, but it is curious Utah couldn't squeeze out more for Bogdanović all things considered.

They don't even get financial flexibility. While Bogdanović is on an expiring contract, Olynyk has a contractual guarantee of $3 million next year off a $12.1 million salary.

Of course, the Jazz could just be getting started. They might look at Olynyk's deal as the perfect connective piece to get them into other conversations, which seems likely due to their newfound organizational direction of aiming for higher odds in the lottery next summer.

Overall, Detroit came away looking extra good in this trade. They not only got the better player, but they also acquired additional future salary cap flexibility.

Some might argue that the addition of Bogdanović means less ping-pong balls for Detroit next season, but nothing of that sort can ever be guaranteed. The Pistons aren't likely to be very competitive even with this upgrade, and if they are, one could argue success in the regular season would be of tremendous value to the team's youngsters.

(Do note that the Pistons owe their 2023 first-round pick to the New York Knicks, but it's protected through the top 18 selections.)

Unless noted otherwise, all stats via, PBPStats, Cleaning the Glass or Basketball-Reference. All salary information via Spotrac. All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.