NBA

Analyzes Bojan Bogdanović’s offer to the Pistons ahead of the NBA trade deadline

With the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline approaching, the Detroit Pistons arguably possess the league’s hottest trade target.

Veteran Bojan Bogdanović has been the subject of many phone calls in recent weeks for Pistons general manager Troy Weaver and Co., and understandably so. The 33-year-old is averaging a career-high 21.6 points while maintaining one of the most efficient shooting seasons (career-high 57.7 effective field goal percentage, per NBA.com) of his nine-year NBA career . Detroit currently has the league’s second-worst record, so it’s easy to see why teams are looking at the Pistons as sellers at the deadline. While that direction is usually the route many of the league’s cellar dwellers take this time of year, it’s my understanding that at this point Detroit is not eager to move on from Bogdanović.

Per league sources, as of late January, the Pistons, who have hopes of turning a corner next season, would need significant value in return to consider moving Bogdanović within the next two weeks, with the minimum starting point being an unprotected first round pick. Detroit values ​​Bogdanović highly and doesn’t want to move him unless an overwhelming offer makes too much sense.

Rival teams will continue to call and the Pistons will continue to listen, but all indications so far are that teams are not yet willing to go above and beyond to pry Bogdanović away from the Motor City.

According to Athletics‘s Shams Charania, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors are a handful of the teams that have registered interest in Bogdanović in recent weeks. So what might some of the trade proposals look like? I had my colleagues and other beat writers who cover these teams send me trade suggestions for Bogdanović. Afterwards, I put on my general manager hat to analyze each offer.

These trade offers can be read below.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavaliers receiver: Bogdanović

Stamps recipient: Caris LeVert

Kelsey Russo, Cavaliers beat writer: This is a fairly clean trade for both sides, trading one player for another player. Caris LeVert is averaging 12.8 points per game. game while shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from 3. Because of Donovan Mitchell’s presence, LeVert’s role has been a bit different this season, but he has the ability to be a scoring option and a starter . He would give the Pistons a guy who can score and create for himself. The salaries of LeVert and Bogdanović are similar, allowing this trade to be successful and still keep the Cavs under the luxury tax line. The Cavs would then get another veteran who can bring floor spacing and perimeter shooting as he shoots 41.2 percent from 3.

Analysis: I believe the Pistons will target LeVert, who will be a free agent this coming summer. However, I don’t think they acquire him before the deadline at the expense of Bogdanović. I’d make the trade if Cleveland could throw away its 2024 first-round pick, but the Cavaliers can’t move that pick until draft night, and LeVert will be off their books by then. LeVert is a few years younger than Bogdanović, as well as a bucket-getter in his own right, but he doesn’t currently have the outside value that Bogdanović does. If the Pistons were desperate to move Bogdanović or overeager to get rid of his money (Detroit signed him to an extension at the start of the season), I could see a deal like this. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case right now. Detroit could just wait until the summer and try to get LeVert on the open market.

This gets a “no thanks” from me.

Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks receiver: Bogdanović

Stamps receiver: Tim Hardaway Jr., 2025 and 2027 second-round pick

Tim Cato, Mavericks beat writer: This offer is the most I think the Mavericks would be willing to offer, and I don’t think Detroit will stay on the phone long after hearing it. Dallas has a real reluctance to part with first-round picks right now — they want to have them all available after this year’s pick is dealt to New York — and I don’t think they feel Bogdanović is enough of an improvement for the Mavericks to consider attaching one. He’d undoubtedly help them, but the 33-year-old isn’t the defining move they’re looking for in a deal that includes first rounders. If Detroit can’t find a suitor who offers a first-round pick in return, Dallas would be happy to send them a few seconds along with Hardaway, whose contract falls somewhat more favorably with the same number of years as Bogdanović’s. But again, this doesn’t feel like a realistic option for either side.

Analysis: Mr. Cato is right. I would gladly take his call, but I would try to find a way to get off the phone quickly after hearing it. I like Hardaway Jr., don’t get me wrong, but I’d much rather have Bogdanović — or at least have him going into the offseason when I can once again entertain other proposals. This just isn’t enough of a return for me. Hardaway, 30, isn’t a spring chicken himself, and if I were the Pistons, I’d rather keep Bogdanović and try LeVert this summer, rather than trade Bogdanović for Hardaway and then not need LeVert.

Thank you for the call, sir, but I want to see who’s on the other line…

Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers receiver: Bogdanović

Stamps receive: Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV and a lottery-protected 2027 first-round pick

Jovan Buha, Lakers beat writer: The Lakers have long admired Bogdanović’s game and tried to trade for him last offseason before Detroit did. Bogdanović would instantly become the Lakers’ best shooter and third-best player, boosting an offense in desperate need of an elite floor spacer. He’s an ideal fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis as he moves well off the ball, has good size for his position and is a solid defender within a strong roster. As for the Pistons, they clear long-term salary off their cap sheet and add one of the more valuable draft picks on the trade market. The Lakers would prefer to make this a lottery-protected pick, but I think they would consider including an unprotected first pick for Bogdanović when they were up against the deadline clock.

Analysis: Finally, someone offers a first-round pick! The question, though, as the general manager of a rebuilding team, do I really want to trade for a pick in four years that I might not be able to do? Despite how this season has gone for the Pistons, Weaver has come in and added young talent and has pleased his bosses, who gave him a two-year extension last summer. I’m of the belief that Weaver and his crew will turn things around in Detroit, but, man, four years is a long time from now. Many things can happen. That said, though, having an extra first-round pick to pull off a bigger trade sooner rather than later is never a bad thing.

Let me think about how I can replace Bogdanović’s scoring, how I will use the first round and listen to other offers. I will get back to you on February 9th.

New Orleans Pelicans

Pelicans receive: Bogdanović and Rodney McGruder

Stamps receivers: Devonte’ Graham, Kira Lewis Jr. and Jaxson Hayes

Will Guillory, Pelicans beat writer: The Pistons would probably prefer to get a first-round pick in any potential Bogdanović deal, but I’m not sure the Pels are in a rush to give up one of their picks for a guy who might not be able to share the floor with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram consistently. Instead, the Pels give Detroit a proven knockdown shooter on a reasonable contract (Graham) and two former lottery picks who could develop if given more playing time (Lewis and Hayes). Perhaps there is a middle ground to be found with a couple of second round picks going Detroit’s way. Given the Pels’ financial situation going forward, with three players making $30+ million next season, it just doesn’t make sense to give up young, cost-controlled assets unless it’s a guarantee that the piece they get back, may suit up next for Williamson and Ingram. Offensively, the three would look fantastic. It’s the other end of the floor that would worry me.

Analysis: If it was a year ago, I would consider something like this. Taking a flyer on Lewis and Hayes makes a lot more sense in 2022 than it does in 2023 for the Pistons. Between Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Killian Hayes, Detroit already has too many young ball handlers to prioritize. I’m not sure where Lewis fits in. Hayes is raw and a freak of an athlete, but the Pistons already have Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley III, as well as the best odds to land Victor Wembanyama.

If Detroit continued to be hard sellers at the deadline, a deal like this would make more sense. But as I said before, with ambitions to turn a corner next season, I’d rather just have Bogdanović than the names mentioned above. You can only have so many young players when you are trying to be good.

Toronto Raptors

Raptors receiver: Bogdanović

Stamps receiver: Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young, lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick (remains lottery-protected in 2024, becomes 2025 and 2026 second-round picks if not conveyed), 2023 second-round pick

Eric Koreen, Raptors beat writer: The Raptors should be focused on the sellers end of the market at the trade deadline, but Bogdanović makes sense with a competitive team built around Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes. He could also be part of replacing Gary Trent Jr., who is likely to hit free agency this offseason and sign a richer deal. Still, the Raptors need to limit the downside risk, both because of the position they’re in now and to prioritize keeping their options open down the line. Young can be bought out for $1 million this offseason, which would give the Pistons even more cap space.

Analysis: On the surface, I like the idea of ​​adding more size and length, but I’m not a big fan of either Boucher or Young as it comes down to moving on from Bogdanović. Young’s only appeal is if Detroit wants to have more money on the open market. The 34-year-old vet has a partially guaranteed deal for next season. I don’t think the Pistons would keep him. So that leaves you with Boucher, added cap space and probably a bunch of second round picks. It just doesn’t do it for me. I’d rather take Bogdanović into the summer, and if nothing better comes along, feel free to bring him back next year with a healthy Cunningham and another, likely, top-five pick.

Thanks but no thanks.

(Top photo credit of Bojan Bogdanović: Tom Horak / USA TODAY Sports)

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