Bojan Bogdanovic

Central Notes: Osman, Hill, Pistons Rotation

Cedi Osman has heard his name mentioned in trade rumors, including a potential deal involving Suns forward Jae Crowder. He’s trying to block out those distractions during training camp, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes.

“I’ve been hearing those things,” the Cavaliers forward said. “But I’m just focused on my basketball because you cannot control that. That’s why whenever I stepped on a court I was just working on my game and trying to get better. It’s been six years since coming over, six years in Cleveland. I’m happy here and this is my home.”

Those rumors persist and the franchise would like to upgrade at small forward, if possible, though the fact that Cleveland is close to the luxury tax line complicates the issue, Fedor adds.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • George Hill admits that enduring an injury-plagued season actually encouraged him to keep playing, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The Bucks guard had seriously considered retiring after last season. “I felt like I let the city of Milwaukee down last year not being able to perform the way I normally perform,” he said. “I let my teammates down being injured. And I thought about retiring. … but as a competitor I didn’t want to go out like that. So, had a great offseason for the summer, decided to come back and try to redeem myself and make myself better.” Hill signed a two-year, $8MM contract prior to last season.
  • With the addition of Bojan Bogdanovic, how will the Pistons’ frontcourt rotation shake out? James Edwards III of The Athletic projects the former Jazz forward to start alongside Saddiq Bey, with Isaiah Stewart at center. Edwards projects Marvin Bagley and Isaiah Livers as part of the second unit ahead of Jalen Duren, Nerlens Noel and Kevin Knox.
  • Will the Pistons’ drought without a playoff win extend to 15 seasons? That’s what John Hollinger of The Athletic anticipates. He sees this as a 28-win season in Detroit with the caveat that the team’s fortunes should improve sharply in the near future.

Lakers Came Close To Trading Russell Westbrook To Pacers

Russell Westbrook remains on the Lakers‘ roster, but only after the front office gave strong consideration to a blockbuster deal with the Pacers, according to Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

L.A.’s top decision-makers, including vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka, owner Jeanie Buss and senior basketball adviser Kurt Rambis, had in-depth talks about dealing Westbrook and the team’s unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to Indiana in exchange for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, sources tell the authors.

Although rumors about the potential deal were leaked throughout the summer, The Athletic report offers insights into how close it came to actually happening.

The views of new head coach Darvin Ham, along with executives Joey Buss and Jesse Buss were given plenty of weight as the Lakers considered how to proceed, according to Charania, Amick and Buha. A scheduled news conference involving Pelinka and Ham was delayed as the team considered whether to move forward with the Pacers deal.

As general manager, Pelinka has been given the final authority on trades, the authors add, but it appears the Buss brothers are more involved than ever in personnel decisions. It was agreed that everyone in the room should be committed to gambling on Turner and Hield before the Lakers pulled the trigger, and when that didn’t happen, Pelinka opted to take a cautious approach, holding onto Westbrook to see if his fit with the team improves under a new coach or if a better deal arises before the February trade deadline.

Westbrook has been doing what the Lakers have asked so far, sources tell Charania, Amick and Buha. He has met individually with Pelinka, Jeanie Buss and Ham and said he’s willing to accept an off-the-ball role this season. He has also shown a willingness to adapt to Ham’s system throughout training camp, focusing more on setting screens, pushing the ball in transition and trying to set up teammates rather than looking for his own shot.

The Indiana deal was one of several trades the Lakers considered this summer, according to the authors’ sources. They also sought to acquire Kyrie Irving from the Nets and both Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson from the Jazz. Irving will be a free agent in July, but he’s not currently in the Lakers’ plans, the authors add.

In addition, several versions of the Pacers trade were discussed. One involved Westbrook and one of the first-rounders for Turner, while others focused on Hield. Formal talks between the teams began after Summer League, the authors’ sources said, and the Lakers’ initial offer was Westbrook, one first-round pick, and a second-rounder for Turner and Hield. There were also discussions about including a third team, possibly the Grizzlies, but the Pacers were firm in their stance that they wouldn’t agree to a deal unless they got both Lakers’ first-round picks in return.

The contract status of Turner and Hield might have pushed the Lakers to their final decision, the authors add. Turner is headed for free agency next summer and may be able to command $25MM per year in his next contract. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis already on the roster, L.A. was reluctant to have its three highest-paid players in the frontcourt when the league is becoming more perimeter-oriented, according to The Athletic sources. Hield is under contract for $21.7MM this season and $19.2MM in 2023/24 and is reportedly open to being traded.

Stein’s Latest: Celtics, Vogel, Stotts, Crowder, Bogdanovic, Lakers

Having failed to lure Clippers assistant Jay Larranaga back to Boston, the Celtics remain on the lookout for a veteran assistant who could help guide newly promoted Joe Mazzulla through his first season as an NBA head coach, as we relayed on Thursday.

According to Marc Stein at Substack, two veteran head coaches are among the potential candidates on the Celtics’ radar — the team has shown interest in Frank Vogel and Terry Stotts. However, Boston is pessimistic about its chances of being able to hire either Vogel or Stotts as an assistant to an unproven head coach, Stein writes.

Stein’s latest round-up of notes and rumors from around the NBA includes a few other interesting tidbits:

  • The divide between Jae Crowder and the Suns began when the veteran forward let the team know he was seeking a contract extension, according to Stein, who says the Suns essentially responded by telling the 32-year-old that he was no longer a lock to start or finish games ahead of Cameron Johnson. Crowder remains away from the team as Phoenix attempts to find a suitable trade.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic is another veteran forward in his 30s who is looking for a new deal as he enters a contract year. Stein suggests that Bogdanovic’s desire for a multiyear extension may have cooled his trade market a little, dissuading some potential suitors from pushing harder for him. Presumably, Bogdanovic is seeking more years and/or dollars than teams would have been comfortable offering, and those clubs weren’t prepared to surrender valuable assets for a one-year rental. The Pistons ultimately acquired the 33-year-old from Utah for Kelly Olynyk, Saben Lee, and cash.
  • As has been reported ad nauseam, the Lakers would only be willing to surrender their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in a trade that significantly boosts their championship odds. According to Stein, that same principle applies to the team’s 2023 salary cap flexibility — the Lakers would be open to reducing or eliminating their ’23 cap space by taking on future salary if the deal makes them a legitimate title contender.

Central Notes: Ball, Clarkson, Bogdanovic, Livers, Vucevic, Caruso

There’s confidence that Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball will return at some point this season, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Ball underwent another left knee surgery on Wednesday and doctors are optimistic the issue has been fully addressed. However, he’s going to be out a number of months, Charania adds.

Ball was still unable to “run or jump” entering training camp despite a lengthy rehab from two previous procedures this year.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks showed a lot of interest in trading for the Jazz‘s Jordan Clarkson but the Jazz balked at Milwaukee’s proposal, Tony Jones of The Athletic said on the Bill Riley Show podcast (hat tip to HoopsHype). Utah was uninterested at taking back George Hill‘s contract, which Jones described as a non-starter in trade discussions. One of the league’s top scoring reserves, Clarkson averaged 16 points last season. He has two years left on his four-year, $51.52MM contract. Hill has an expiring $4MM contract, so Milwaukee would have still needed to send out more salary in a potential trade.
  • The Lakers and Suns were among the teams reportedly pursuing Bojan Bogdanovic but he wound up getting traded to the Pistons. The former Jazz forward says he wasn’t concerned where he ended up, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com“I didn’t have any preference,” Bogdanovic said. “There’s a lot of rumors. Who knows if that’s true or not? I’m super happy and excited to be part of the Pistons.”
  • Pistons forward Isaiah Livers wound up playing 19 games during his rookie season after recovering from a foot injury. He’s aiming to become a regular part of the rotation this season, he told James Edwards III of The Athletic. “I wanted to build off those last 19, 20 games,” the 2021 second-round pick said. “Coaches and everyone seemed to love the way that I was playing. It was working effectively.”
  • There was heavy speculation that Bulls center Nikola Vucevic would be part of a package to acquire Rudy Gobert during the offseason. Vucevic had serious doubts that would happen and was proven correct when Gobert was dealt to Minnesota, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “Rumors are a part of what we do,’’ said Vucevic, who is on an expiring contract. “Whether they’re true or not, it’s out of my control. I focus on what I can control, and, in the end, I had some fun with [the Jazz rumors]. At no point did I feel it was going to happen.’’
  • Bulls guard Alex Caruso is one of the candidates to replace Ball in the starting lineup as he mends from his latest knee surgery, but that’s not Caruso’s focus, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic writes. “It won’t be a conversation I’ll have with Billy (Donovan). He might have it with me depending on what we need,” Caruso said. “But I’ve always been team-first trying to win games. If that’s me starting basketball games then that’s what we’ll do. If that’s me coming off the bench, that’s fine too. I’ve always been I’d rather finish games than start games.

Central Notes: Turner, Pacers, Hayes, Bogdanovic, Cavs

Pacers center Myles Turner addressed the trade rumors surrounding him, saying he’s “numb” to the chatter, Wilson Moore of the Indianapolis Star writes.

“This is the only time I will be addressing it this year; I want to make sure everyone knows that,” Turner said. “Yeah, elephant in the room. For me, this is my eighth season. I’ve been in trade rumors the past four or five years. It’s something that I know that I’m numb to. It’s something that it’s just whatever comes with this business. There are no hard feelings in this business. You have to take the emotions out of everything, and I’ve learned that at a young age, and I still hold true to that. My job is to come in here and help these young guys now, man.”

Turner’s expiring contract carries a cap hit of $18MM.

We have more info regarding the Central Division:

  • Pacers coach Rick Carlisle plans to use his bench extensively this season, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. He’s pondering a rotation of 10 or more players. “We’re going to use our depth as an advantage, we’re going to use it as something to drive our development internally every day,” he said.
  • Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said next offseason will be pivotal during the franchise’s rebuild, he told Evan Sidery of Basketball News. “Look, we have three first-round picks it looks like next year,” he said. “We have close to $30 million in cap space. And we’ll be active to use that cap space to acquire more assets. That’s just natural, but I think it gives us the ability to pivot in a lot of different ways.”
  • Killian Hayes needs to improve his shooting to be in the Pistons’ long-term plans. He spent the offseason altering his shooting motion, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic. “I’m confident in my shot,” Hayes said. “I worked with different shooting coaches. We tweaked some things. I’m excited.” The former lottery pick has shot 37.4% from the field and 26.8% from long range during his first two NBA seasons.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic is officially a member of the Pistons and the veteran forward is thrilled with the direction of his new team, Mike Curtis of the Detroit News writes. “I kind of knew that I was going to be traded. I was just waiting to see where I’m going to end up,” Bogdanovic said. “Super excited to be here with this young group of guys and a coach that is really experienced. Everything is great so far.”
  • Cedi Osman, Dean Wade, Isaac Okoro, Caris LeVert, Lamar Stevens and Dylan Windler are all vying for the small forward starting job with the Cavaliers, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. “We’ve gone back and forth on that, I’ll be honest with you guys,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “But we’re gonna give it an opportunity and see exactly what works best and what is the most troublesome for defenses.”

Jazz Trade Bojan Bogdanovic To Pistons

SEPTEMBER 26, 9:00pm: The Jazz and Pistons both issued press releases on Monday evening confirming the trade, which signals that all the required physicals have been completed.

As previously reported, Utah received $1,752,638 in cash along with Olynyk and Lee, which is the exact amount of Lee’s 2022/23 salary.


SEPTEMBER 22, 5:00pm: The trade is official, according to NBA.com’s transaction log. In addition to Olynyk and Lee, the Jazz acquired cash in the deal, per RealGM’s transaction log.


SEPTEMBER 22, 8:39am: The Pistons and Jazz are finalizing a trade that will send forward Bojan Bogdanovic to Detroit, sources tell Shams Charania and James L. Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter links). According to Charania and Edwards, Utah will receive big man Kelly Olynyk and guard Saben Lee in the deal.

Bogdanovic is set to earn $19.55MM in the final year of his contract after averaging 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game in 69 appearances (30.9 MPG) for the Jazz in 2021/22. A strong frontcourt scorer and shooter, Bogdanovic has made his 39.2% of his career three-point attempts, including 40.3% over the last five seasons.

With the Jazz in the process of tearing down their roster, Bogdanovic was widely viewed as a strong candidate to be moved before the start of the season. On Wednesday, Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune cited a source close to Bogdanovic who said the forward expected to be traded soon.

Still, while a trade had been anticipated, Bogdanovic’s destination comes as a surprise. Teams like the Suns, Lakers, Mavericks, and Knicks had been cited as possible suitors for the 33-year-old, but it will be the retooling Pistons who land him. Bogdanovic’s ability to stretch the floor and hit outside shots should help create more room in the paint and play-making opportunities for Detroit’s dynamic young guards, Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey.

The Pistons will take advantage of their leftover cap room in acquiring Bogdanovic, sending out only Olynyk ($12.8MM) and Lee ($1.75MM) in the deal. The move will also help clear a roster logjam in Detroit — the club had 17 players on fully guaranteed salaries, but will have just 16 after completing the trade for Bogdanovic. Buyout candidate Kemba Walker is expected to be the odd man out.

As for the Jazz, they’re trading yet another productive veteran after having already found takers this offseason for Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Royce O’Neale. It appears they won’t continue to add to their collection of future draft assets in the Bogdanovic swap, but they’ll add a much-needed center in Olynyk to their roster, will take a shot on the 23-year-old Lee, and will create some additional breathing room below the luxury tax line.

As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype observes (via Twitter), the trade should move Utah from about $2MM below the luxury tax threshold to $7MM below the tax line. The team also should create a trade exception worth about $6.75MM in the deal.

While they’ll reduce this year’s team salary, the Jazz will now be on the hook for Olynyk’s $3MM partial guarantee in 2023/24. They’d owe the big man that $3MM, instead of his full $12.2MM salary, if they waive him before next year’s free agent period. Lee, meanwhile, has a $1.9MM team option for ’23/24.

The Jazz will now have 18 players on guaranteed contracts, so they’ll have to trade or release three players before opening night to get their roster down to 15.

Pistons Finalize Camp Roster, Announce Injury Updates

The Pistons officially announced their training camp roster on Monday, and it includes two new names. According to the team, guards Jules Bernard and Stanley Umude have signed Exhibit 10 contracts, filling out the 20-man roster.

Bernard, a 6’7″ swingman, went undrafted out of UCLA earlier this year. As a senior in 2021/22, he averaged 12.8 PPG and 4.7 RPG with a shooting line of .419/.337/.818 in 35 games (30.1 MPG). He subsequently played for the Pistons’ Summer League team in Las Vegas.

Umude, whose agreement with the Pistons was previously reported, spent his first four college seasons at South Dakota from 2017-21, averaging 21.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 3.0 APG as a senior in 2020/21. He transferred to Arkansas for his “super-senior” season last year and played more of a complementary role for the Razorbacks, putting up 11.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 1.1 APG on .460/.371/.724 shooting in 37 games (27.8 MPG).

Like Bernard, Umude went undrafted and then played for the Pistons’ Summer League team in July. Both players will likely end up playing for the Motor City Cruise, Detroit’s G League affiliate.

Here are a few more updates from the Pistons today:

  • While Kemba Walker is listed on Detroit’s training camp roster, he’s marked as “not with team,” which had been expected. Bojan Bogdanovic is the lone Piston missing from the team’s camp roster — while NBA.com’s transaction log indicates the trade sending him to Detroit was completed last Thursday, he may still need to conduct a physical with his new team before it’s officially official.
  • In a separate press release, the Pistons announced that guard Alec Burks will miss the start of training camp as he continues his rehab following a navicular fracture. Burks will be reevaluated in three weeks, according to the team.
  • Kevin Knox (right gastroc strain) and Nerlens Noel (reconditioning / plantar fasciitis) will be limited participants to open training camp, the Pistons announced.

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.

Jazz Notes: Bogdanovic, Trade Reaction, Clarkson

After the Jazz reached an agreement to send Bojan Bogdanovic to the Pistons for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee in a cost-cutting move, Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune reports (via Twitter) 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.

Once the trade is complete, the Jazz will have traded away Rudy Gobert, Royce O’Neale, Patrick Beverley (acquired as part of the Gobert deal), Donovan Mitchell and Bogdanovic this offseason, with more veterans likely to follow in the coming months as the team pivots towards a full rebuild.

Here’s more on the Jazz:

  • In his video reaction to the trade, ESPN’s Bobby Marks says he likes the deal for Detroit, noting that Bogdanovic has both more on-court and trade value than Olynyk and Lee, and the 60-day trade aggregation rule doesn’t apply to Bogdanovic because the Pistons used their cap room to acquire him — they theoretically could flip him again immediately, even though there’s no indication that’s imminent. Marks says there shouldn’t be a rush to judge Utah too harshly for seemingly not getting great value for Bogdanovic because creating more breathing room below the luxury tax line might enable the Jazz to take on added salary in other trades as they look to clear a roster logjam, and they could always trade Olynyk closer to the deadline.
  • Sarah Todd of The Desert News analyzes the trade, writing that Bogdanovic was “too good to keep on the roster” for a team trying to lose games. According to Todd, Bogdanovic’s age (33) and expiring deal made rival teams reluctant to part with significant assets for the veteran forward, despite his impressive production. She also points out that trading him to Detroit, a team that’s been towards the bottom in the standings the past few years, also could have been a motivating factor, since it might ensure the Pistons win more games than the Jazz, increasing Utah’s lottery odds.
  • In an interview with Mike DeStefano of Complex, guard Jordan Clarkson says he’s “ready for whatever happens” as a veteran player whose name has popped up in trade rumors. “If I’m in a different jersey in a week or tomorrow I get a phone call and I have to put on whatever jersey it is, I’m just trying to win and take whatever team it is to the next level to hopefully win a championship one day,” Clarkson said as part of a larger quote.

Suns Rumors: Crowder, Payroll, Bogdanovic, Johnson

As team owner Robert Sarver begins serving his year-long ban from the NBA, the Suns‘ front office continues to explore ways to upgrade the team’s roster before the regular season gets underway. Appearing on ESPN’s NBA Today (video link), Brian Windhorst confirmed that the Suns are active in trade discussions, with many of those talks involving forward Jae Crowder.

“(They’ve been) very active within this last week. They are conducting business, they’re in trade negotiations right now. A lot of them are centered around Jae Crowder,” Windhorst said. “Jae Crowder is a player who is available on the market right now. Whether or not there’s going to be a deal for him that materializes between now and next week’s trade deadline, we’ll have to wait and see.”

Obviously, this season’s trade deadline won’t arrive until February, but Windhorst may be suggesting that the Suns will see if they can get something done before training camps begin.

Crowder, whose name has been mentioned in trade rumors off and on throughout the offseason, is in the final year of his current contract. The 32-year-old will earn approximately $10.2MM in 2022/23 before becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • Sources who have spoken recently to Windhorst don’t get the sense that the Suns are unwilling to increase their payroll by taking back more salary than they send out in a trade. General manager James Jones and his front office won’t be bringing deals directly to Sarver to approve this season, but interim governor Sam Garvin presumably has a sense of how much the Suns owner is prepared to spend on the roster. Team salary is already well above the luxury tax line.
  • While Windhorst doesn’t explicitly confirm any specific trade targets for the Suns, he says he wouldn’t be surprised if the team makes a play for Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic. Phoenix’s interest in Bogdanovic has been previously reported, though a handful of teams are believed to be eyeing the veteran, who is on an expiring deal.
  • Windhorst also confirms that the Suns are engaged in rookie scale extension talks with sharpshooter Cameron Johnson. The two sides have until October 17 to reach a deal. If Johnson hasn’t signed an extension by that point, he’ll be on track for restricted free agency in 2023.