The Detroit Pistons acquired Bojan Bogdanović from the Utah Jazz last week in exchange for Kelly Olynyk, Saben Lee and cash considerations from the Utah Jazz, a bit of a surprising trade considering the belief was that more immediate title contenders might be in the market for the veteran wing.
But according to NBA writer Marc Stein, future contract considerations likely played a part in Bogdanović making his way to Detroit:
"Bogdanović, 33, is said to be seeking a new multiyear contract, which league sources say dissuaded some interested teams from pushing harder to try to acquire him from the Jazz as Bogdanović plays out this season on an expiring $19.3 million deal. It remains to be seen whether the Pistons intend to keep Bogdanović for the entire season—or perhaps move him before the trade deadline in February in the belief that a contender will feel more urgency to make a stronger offer than those Utah received in recent weeks. Word is that the Pistons want to see first if they have enough on the roster to mount an unexpected run at a play-in slot... even in a deeper-than-usual Eastern Conference that doesn't exactly encourage such optimism."
Even making the play-in tournament feels like a longshot for the young Pistons. Teams like the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat are virtual locks to make the postseason. If the Brooklyn Nets can avoid drama (and injuries), they'll be in as well.
Then there are a host of dangerous and talented younger teams with loaded rosters. The Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks come to mind in that regard. The Chicago Bulls will also be in the mix behind the veteran trio of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.
That's nine teams right there. Then you have to factor in the New York Knicks and new point guard Jalen Brunson, Bradley Beal's Washington Wizards and LaMelo Ball's Charlotte Hornets. And while the Pistons have an encouraging young core, led by Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Saddiq Bey, among others, young teams like the Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers might believe they are ready to take the next step as well.
Still, Bogdanović will provide floor spacing and scoring ability in the stretch-4 role. He averaged 18.1 points per game for the Jazz last season, shooting 38.7 percent from three. And if the Pistons do find themselves toward the bottom of the standings—hardly a concern for a team still smack dab in the middle of its rebuild—he could become a nice trade asset for the Pistons come February, helping them add to their draft coffers.
Given that the Pistons didn't have to offer a king's bounty to acquire Bogdanović, it was a win-win move.
In the short term, they brought in a player who will help them immediately and another veteran presence to help mentor the team's younger players. If the Pistons make some noise this season and push for a play-in berth, he'll be a major help. And given his pending free agency, he'll be motivated to have a big season.
But if the Pistons struggle, he's a nice trade chip who could be flipped to a contender for draft considerations.