There have already been some big trades in the 2023-24 season with OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Terry Rozier all landing with new teams. The Raptors started their rebuild by sending Anunoby to the Knicks and Siakam to the Pacers, while the Hornets sent Rozier to their division rivals Heat. As the trade deadline approaches, look for contenders to continue exploring moves to strengthen their roster by picking off talent from tanking teams. One player who should be attracting a lot of attention is Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic.
Bogdanvoic was nursing a calf injury for the beginning of this season but he’s been excellent since he returned to the floor. The veteran forward is averaging 20.2 points per game on 46/41/74 shooting splits. He’d be a boost offensively for any team and while his defensive chops are lacking, he can fill in adequately with better supporting players around him. His experience is also beneficial. Bogdanovic has played in 47 playoff games during his career. In his two most recent postseasons, Bogdanovic averaged 18.1 points per game on 47/42/84 splits. That’s something any contending team could use.
And yet, there hasn’t been much traction on a Bogdanovic deal. The Pistons haven’t been actively shopping their veteran forward, content to let him be a solid locker room presence for their young core. The Bulls have reportedly checked in as they look to deal Zach LaVine, but that type of trade is hard to justify from Detroit’s perspective when they could get more from a more legitimate title contender.
Potential landing spots for Bogdanovic
The Heat would’ve been a nice landing spot for Bogdanovic but they’re likely out of the running after adding Rozier. The Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves should be in the mix as two offensively challenged teams this year. The Lakers are 20th in offensive rating and 16th in three-point percentage, two areas where Bogdanovic could really help. LA is 14th in defensive rating and the Lakers do have some potential cover for Bogdanovic with Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish and Anthony Davis on the floor. Rui Hachimura would likely be going back to Detroit in this scenario, along with draft assets. The Lakers are +2500 to win the title at DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Timberwolves are a much better fit in this regard as the league’s top team in defensive rating. Minnesota is 19th in offensive rating despite ranking third in three-point percentage, so something is amiss. Bogdanovic would add another floor-spacing option and has some familiarity playing with Rudy Gobert. The pairing is obvious but the trade details would be tough to hash out. The Timberwolves would have to part with Kyle Anderson for salary purposes, and that’s going to be tough as he’s a versatile low-usage rotation player. Minnesota is the best team in the West by record and priced at +2000 to win the NBA title, so there’s reason to think the Timberwolves should make a move.
On the East side, the Philadelphia 76ers could be a viable landing spot for Bogdanovic. The Sixers are 15th in three-point percentage and sixth in defensive rating, meaning they’d have cover for the Pistons forward while allowing him to boost their perimeter production. Tobias Harris is off the table, but some combination of Robert Covington, Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum and future draft compensation could be enough. The 76ers are +1100 to win the title, and should look to give Joel Embiid more help as he continues to deliver eye-popping numbers.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are getting some reinforcements back soon with Evan Mobley and Darius Garland returning from injury, but they could use another veteran on this roster. Bogdanovic has familiarity with Donovan Mitchell from their Utah days and while Cleveland has found some perimeter scorers, the Cavs are still 15th in offensive rating and 21st in three-point percentage. They are third in defensive rating and are getting two good defenders back soon, so there’s plenty of cover for Bogdanovic here. Cleveland would have no issues sending Isaac Okoro back but there would need to be another salary filler like Dean Wade or Georges Niang plus draft compensation. Wade and Niang are both good three-point shooters, and the Cavs would ideally want to keep them out of a trade if possible.
What happens now?
Ultimately, it’ll be up to the Pistons to play ball. Detroit isn’t going anywhere this season, and Bogdanovic doesn’t fit the team’s timeline at 34 years old. He’s producing excellent numbers and should be attracting plenty of contenders but Detroit hasn’t made the effort to shop him. The Lakers, Timberwolves, 76ers and Cavaliers should be more active around Bogdanovic in the coming days but other contending teams could swoop in as well if they believe he is the missing piece for them to legitimate challenge for the title.