Fischer’s Latest: Bogdanovic, Lakers, Crowder, G. Allen

When the Pistons unexpectedly beat out rival suitors to acquire Bojan Bogdanovic in September, some executives around the NBA viewed it as a signal that Detroit was accelerating its timeline and making a push for the play-in tournament, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. However, it’s unclear if the Pistons are ready to take that step forward, having gotten off to a 3-9 start this season.

If the Pistons continue to struggle and Bogdanovic (19.3 PPG on .487/.457/.917 shooting) keeps playing anywhere near the level that he has in the early going, it could put the team in a good position to flip the veteran forward for value at this season’s trade deadline, Fischer notes.

The Pistons did sign Bogdanovic to a two-year, $39MM extension last month, but that contract shouldn’t hurt his trade value and might even improve it for some suitors, especially since the second year of the extension is only lightly guaranteed, Fischer writes. And even if the Pistons hang onto Bogdanovic through this season, he’ll now be movable in the 2023 offseason and beyond.

“What it really does is it gives them contract control so it’s easier to trade him in July, when a team that needs him is far more likely to have cap space and wiggle room,” an assistant general manager told Yahoo Sports.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • The Lakers inquired on Bogdanovic when he was a member of the Jazz and could still have interest if the Pistons were to make him available, according to Fischer, who points out that a package of Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel would be enough to match Russell Westbrook‘s expiring deal. If the Lakers are hesitant to make an all-in move, a package like that could hold some appeal, since it shouldn’t cost them both of their tradable first-round picks, says Fischer.
  • The Suns were another team with interest in Bogdanovic before he was traded out of Utah and could still put together a package built around Jae Crowder‘s expiring contract, Fischer writes, adding that there’s no indication that Crowder and the Suns will reunite even after starting forward Cameron Johnson went down with a knee injury.
  • It’s unclear whether the Bucks have interest in Bogdanovic, but they’re among Crowder’s potential suitors and could hypothetically offer Grayson Allen for him, according to Fischer, who hears from sources that Milwaukee has been calling teams to gauge Allen’s trade value.
  • While Allen looks like the kind of rotation piece the Suns are known to be seeking in exchange for Crowder, Fischer wonders if Phoenix might become more inclined to wait until closer to the trade deadline to see if any higher-impact players shake loose — Crowder’s expiring contract could be an important piece in any offer for a player of that caliber.
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