Suns Pursued Bogdanovic, But Jazz Balked At Including Vanderbilt

The Suns were reportedly pursuing forward Bojan Bogdanovic, but they also wanted Jarred Vanderbilt in the deal and the Jazz balked at including the athletic big man, causing the trade talks to break down, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM (Twitter link). Tony Jones of The Athletic confirmed Gambadoro’s report, tweeting that the Jazz “highly value” the young power forward.

Utah ended up trading Bogdanovic to Detroit for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee in a cost-cutting move instead, which was pretty surprising both because of the destination and the return package — many thought Bogdanovic would fetch draft compensation.

Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune reported yesterday that Utah had late first-round pick offers for the veteran sharpshooter, but the proposals also included longer-term salaries, so the team chose to maintain financial flexibility instead. Within her analysis of the trade, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News alluded to the fact that the Jazz had proposals for Bogdanovic that also included young players, but the Jazz “didn’t want to part ways with some of the players that they see as part of their future.”

According to Jones (Twitter link), the draft compensation Phoenix offered wasn’t enticing enough for Utah to give up both Bogdanovic and Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt is a unique and solid role player on a reasonable contract, Jones observes. The 23-year-old has a cap hit of $4,374,000 in 2022/23, and next year’s $4,698,000 cap hit is only partially guaranteed at $300K.

The Jazz acquired Vanderbilt from the Wolves in the Rudy Gobert trade. In 74 games with Minnesota last season, including 67 starts (25.4 MPG), he averaged 6.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG and 1.3 SPG while shooting 58.7% from the floor and 65.6% from the line.

Vanderbilt is an excellent rebounder, a strong, versatile defender, and plays with tremendous energy, but is a limited offensive player. Considering his age, production and contract, it’s understandable why the Jazz would be reluctant to part with him.

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