Bojan Bogdanovic

Pistons Rumors: Bogdanovic, Burks, Bey, Noel, Stewart, More

The Pistons‘ stance on Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, and Saddiq Bey doesn’t appear to have changed much in the last month, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic writes in his latest trade deadline preview.

According to Edwards, while Detroit is open to discussing and moving any of those three players if the price is right, the team is asking for a lot and seems happy to retain them through the deadline, given that all three are under contract at relatively team-friendly prices for next season.

While some league sources have expressed to The Athletic that they’d be surprised if Bey is moved, Edwards gets the sense that the third-year forward may be a more likely trade candidate than Bogdanovic or Burks. The Pistons’ asking price for Bogdanovic is very high, and Edwards believes the club is more likely to extend Burks (in the offseason) than to trade him.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • Although the Pistons are high on Isaiah Livers‘ potential to develop into a solid three-and-D player, according to Edwards, they’re also prioritizing three-and-D wings in potential trades. First-round picks (ideally unprotected) and a three-and-D wing are two of the top items on the team’s wish list at the trade deadline, Edwards notes.
  • Edwards adds the Sixers and Celtics to the list of teams that have recently called the Pistons to inquire about center Nerlens Noel. He also mentions Miami, Denver, Dallas, and Sacramento, whose interest in Noel has been previously reported.
  • Of Detroit’s three 2020 first-round picks, Isaiah Stewart is the most likely to be extended during the coming offseason, in Edwards’ view. Bey and Killian Hayes are the other two players in that trio.
  • Edwards says he wouldn’t be surprised if veteran guard Cory Joseph is included in a deadline deal and advises not to rule out the possibility of a reunion between Jerami Grant and the Pistons in the offseason. Although Detroit will have significant cap space and Grant seems to be in no rush to accept a four-year extension offer from the Trail Blazers, the idea that he’d return to the Pistons seems like a long shot to me.

Lakers, Jazz Have Had Exploratory Talks About Westbrook

The Lakers and Jazz have had some exploratory discussions about a trade involving veteran point guard Russell Westbrook, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.

Although Westbrook has adjusted nicely to a sixth man role this season and hasn’t been cited as trade rumors nearly as often as he was during the offseason, he has “remained available” for trade, according to Haynes.

The recent acquisition of Rui Hachimura has given the Lakers a “renewed sense of confidence,” but there’s a belief within the organization that the club needs to make at least one more roster move before the February 9 trade deadline to give itself a real shot at contention, Haynes says.

It’s possible such a move could involve Westbrook, though Patrick Beverley remains a trade candidate as well. According to Haynes, the Lakers are in communication with many teams around the NBA as they consider the most favorable trade scenarios available to them.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the Lakers and Jazz having a conversation about Westbrook. The two teams reportedly engaged in discussions last offseason, with Los Angeles exploring a deal that would’ve sent Westbrook and draft assets to Utah in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic and others.

Bogdanovic was traded to Detroit instead, but the Jazz still have several veterans on eight-figure salaries who could appeal to L.A., including Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, and Jordan Clarkson. The Lakers also remain interested in Bogdanovic as they scour the market in search of outside shooting help, Haynes confirms, though there’s skepticism about whether the Pistons will actually move the veteran forward before the deadline.

Westbrook’s $47MM+ cap hit makes him a tricky player to move, but if the Lakers remain open to dealing him, there are other possibilities they could explore.

According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, one popular trade idea that has made the rounds as of late is Westbrook and the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to the Raptors for a package headlined by Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. However, Hollinger stresses that the Raptors/Westbrook proposal has been “fairly heavily trafficked in theory despite little evidence that it’s been discussed in reality.”

Trade Rumors: Bogdanovic, Collins, Pistons, Wood

Numerous teams have been calling to inquire about the availability of Hawks guard/forward Bogdan Bogdanovic, sources tell Sam Amick of The Athletic.

However, as Amick writes, Atlanta hasn’t shown a whole lot of interest in trading the veteran wing, who makes $18MM in 2022/23 and holds an $18MM player option for ’23/24. If Bogdanovic does get moved, whichever team acquires him would have his Bird rights, so it would be able to go over the cap to re-sign him and potentially offer him more years and more money than another team could.

Now in his third season with the Hawks, the 30-year-old is averaging 15.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 3.1 APG on .427/.367/.769 shooting through 26 games. Bogdanovic primarily comes off the bench, but he is averaging a career-high 30.8 minutes per game.

Here are a few more rumors from around the NBA:

  • Amick says the Hawks are focused on “landing a quality player, or players” in return for forward John Collins, and aren’t necessarily seeking draft compensation. That’s essentially what Amick reported a few weeks ago, with rival executives telling him that Atlanta’s asking price for Collins had come down considerably compared to where it was in past years.
  • Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported on Monday that the Pistons appear to be committed to keeping Bojan Bogdanovic. Marc Stein has heard the same thing from rival teams, writing in his latest Substack article that one league source tells him the Pistons would decline an offer of an unprotected future first-round pick, which is what they were reportedly seeking.
  • The Pistons have consistently maintained that they would require “quality draft capital” to part with either Alec Burks or Saddiq Bey, Stein adds. It’s unclear what exactly they’re asking for based on that wording, but it sounds like at least some type of decent first-round pick. Time will tell if that stance changes in the next week.
  • Mavericks big man Christian Wood, who is currently sidelined with a fractured left thumb, will likely be out for around another week, according to Stein, who says Wood is “unlikely to play before next week at the earliest.” Sources tell Stein that contract extension talks between Wood and Dallas are still in the early stages, which is notable with the trade deadline fast approaching — the 27-year-old is earning $14.3MM in the final year of his contract.

Pistons Appear Committed To Keeping Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic is potentially one of the top players on the trade market, but it sounds increasingly likely that the Pistons will hold onto him, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Scotto reports that ownership and management have told Bogdanovic he’s considered part of the team’s core, and they outlined a plan to him to become more competitive next season.

“Having conversations with the club, (general manager) Troy (Weaver) and the owners, they assured me that we’re going to be great next year,” Bogdanovic said. “We have a lot of cap space to sign great players. We’re going to have a high pick again, so that’s going to help us a lot.

“We have a great young group of guys. When Cade (Cunningham) went down, that kind of hurt us big time. We were thinking that maybe we’d be fighting for the play-in tournament, but when he went down, he was our main guy. All of our offensive strategies were connected to him. When he went down, our season, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs without him.”

It has mostly been a down season for Detroit, which is last in the Eastern Conference and owns the league’s second-worst record at 13-38. The Pistons will have a 14% chance to land a potential franchise player in Victor Wembanyama if they stay in the bottom three, but they’re positioned for significant draft help regardless.

One bright spot has been Bogdanovic, who has emerged as the team’s leading scorer after being acquired from the Jazz in an offseason trade. He’s averaging a career-high 21.2 points per game while shooting 48.3% from the field and 41.2% from three-point range. Those numbers have increased his trade value, but they also make him more attractive for the Pistons to keep if they’re serious about improving next season.

Bogdanovic signed a two-year extension shortly after arriving in Detroit that gives him team-friendly salaries of $20MM in 2023/24 and $19MM in 2024/25 (the second year features only a small partial guarantee). He hopes his future is with the Pistons, but acknowledges that he won’t know for sure until after February 9.

“I heard the rumors, but I’m trying to stay away from those conversations,” Bogdanovic said. “I don’t even have any social media like Twitter. I don’t read much about that. It’s not in my control. It’s about the franchises. I’m just going to try and stay focused and play as best I can. Then, we’ll see what’s going to happen at the end of the trade deadline.”

Lakers Rumors: Hachimura, Reddish, Beverley, Bogdanovic

The Lakers and Wizards discussed the Rui Hachimura trade for several days before reaching an agreement, with the level of draft compensation serving as the primary sticking point, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers were originally exploring the trade market to see what they could get for Kendrick Nunn and two second-round picks, and could have landed Knicks forward Cam Reddish for such a package. However, Los Angeles preferred Hachimura and ultimately reached a compromise with the Wizards – who originally sought a first-round pick for the former lottery selection – by adding a third second-rounder.

Hachimura is expected to command an eight-figure annual salary as a free agent, sources tell Buha, and Fischer has heard similar rumblings, writing that the current expectation is that the forward’s price will be around $10MM per year. That figure could increase though if Hachimura emerges as the Lakers’ third-best player behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis down the stretch though, Fischer acknowledges.

Either way, if the Lakers hope to re-sign Hachimura, which sounds like the plan, his new deal will significantly cut into the cap room they’ll be able to create this summer.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • It’s unclear if Hachimura will start immediately, but the expectation is that he’ll be part of the starting five once he gets acclimated and the rotation is settled, Buha writes. The former Wizards forward could make his Lakers debut as early as Wednesday, tweets Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.
  • With Davis on track to return in the near future, the Lakers want to continue evaluating their roster to determine whether to use their remaining assets to make a minor or major roster upgrade, according to Buha. While the team is willing to do something more substantial, the most likely move at this point is dealing Patrick Beverley and a lottery-protected first-round pick for a wing or frontcourt player, Buha adds.
  • Although the Lakers continue to be frequently linked to Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic, there’s a gap between how the two sides view his value. League sources tell Buha that Detroit is seeking at least an unprotected first-round pick, while L.A. is thus far only willing to give up a lottery-protected first-rounder.
  • In a column for The Los Angeles Times, Woike says the acquisition of Hachimura is a smart, sensible move for the Lakers, even if it’s not a blockbuster. Zach Kram of The Ringer is underwhelmed by the move, arguing that Hachimura is a “single-dimensional scorer” and a subpar defender who won’t move the needle on L.A.’s playoff chances.

Mavs Targeting Pistons’ Bogdanovic, Noel In Package Deal?

The Mavericks have been linked to Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic multiple times, and have also expressed interest in his teammate, center Nerlens Noel. To this point, that interest appeared to be separate.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggested on NBA Countdown (video link) that the Mavs might pursue a package deal for both players.

I think the kind of players the Mavs are knocking on the door on, like a lot of other teams, look in Detroit,” Wojnarowski said. “Bojan Bodanovic, Nerlens Noel. That’s a tandem that could be in a package together. Certainly, the shooting of Bogdanovic, his ability to complement (Luka) Doncic, like he would a lot of contending teams.”

Woj added that, unlike some other trade candidates who are impending free agents, Bogdanovic holds appeal because he’s under contract for two more seasons beyond 2022/23 after signing a two-year, $39MM extension with Detroit. His $20MM salary for next season is fully guaranteed, but his $19MM salary for ’24/25 only has a small partial guarantee ($2MM).

As for Noel, he has a $9.7MM team option on his contract for next season, which seems likely to be declined, mostly due to injuries — he’s only played 37 games over the past two seasons. When healthy, he can be a difference-maker on defense, so it makes sense that Dallas might be interested — the Mavs are ranked 25th in the league on that end and have given up 130-plus points in three straight losses.

It’s unclear what it would take for the Mavs to pull off such a deal, but Tim Hardaway Jr. or Davis Bertans would likely be included for salary-matching purposes. They cannot trade their 2023 first-round pick, as it is owed to the Knicks (top-10 protected).

The Pistons are rumored to be looking for at least an unprotected first-rounder for Bogdanovic. They could also just hang onto him through the deadline — he’s their leading scorer and they hope to be more competitive next season.

Wojnarowski concluded by saying he expects the Mavs to be “really active” ahead of the February 9 trade deadline.

Bucks Notes: Antetokounmpo, Middleton, Lasry

Giannis Antetokounmpo will sit out for the fourth consecutive game due to left knee soreness when the Bucks play Toronto on Tuesday, Eric Nehm of The Athletic tweets.

However, it appears Antetokounmpo has a good chance to be back in action for the Bucks’ next game. Milwaukee doesn’t play again until Saturday, when it visits the Cavaliers. The team has gone 1-2 with Antetokounmpo resting his knee.

We have more on the Bucks:

  • Khris Middleton came back from wrist surgery, then dealt with a right knee injury. He admits it’s been a rough stretch for him physically, Nehm writes. “Rehab is tougher than actually playing games,” Middleton said. “More hours in the gym, harder stuff. Games are fun. You’re in and out. I won’t say easier, but games are supposed to be easier than practices and stuff like that, so I’m ready to put this (stuff) behind me and move on to the fun stuff.” Middleton has only appeared in seven games this season, with his most recent outing on Dec. 15.
  • A previous report revealed that team governor and co-owner Marc Lasry was looking to sell his stake in the franchise. Now, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that while he’s in no rush to sell off his portion of ownership, Lasry likely remains willing to sell at a high valuation. The Bucks have been valued by Forbes at $2.3 billion.
  • In case you missed it, the Bucks are among several teams interested in the Pistons’ leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic. Get the details here.

Trade Candidate Watch: Popular Forward Targets

Leading up to the February 9 trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA. We’re starting today with a handful of popular targets who share positional overlap.

John Collins, F, Hawks

Collins is only 25 years old, but he’s been in trade rumors for at least three years now. He’s a good player, he just doesn’t fit very well on Atlanta’s roster anymore.

The reason his scoring has declined so precipitously – from 21.6 PPG in 2019/20 to 13.1 PPG in ’22/23 – is because the team no longer caters to his strengths. The Hawks rarely run plays for him, which makes it seem like he’s less effective. I don’t believe that’s the case.

Collins’ best attribute as a player is that he’s an excellent dive man on pick-and-rolls, where he’s adept at both setting and slipping screens and is a terrific lob finisher. The problem is that’s basically all centers Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu do on offense besides getting offensive rebounds, so their strengths are somewhat redundant on that end, and Collins doesn’t have the size or strength to play center full time on defense.

He has been a solid shooter in the past – 37.6% from deep on 2.5 attempts per night over his first five seasons – but is only converting 22.8% this season. That seems more like an anomaly than a worrisome trend.

It’s clear that it would be in both parties’ best interests if he was moved to a new team. There are two main complications.

Including his player option in ‘25/26, Collins will earn $102MM over the next four years – not unreasonable, but not exactly easy to move either. His best fit would be alongside a center who can protect the paint and shoot from outside, but that’s a small list. Keep an eye on the Pacers and Jazz, two teams that don’t have long-term cap concerns.

Bojan Bogdanovic, F, Pistons

Most players find their efficiency diminished with an increased offensive role — being targeted by opposing teams’ game plans makes scoring more difficult. Not so with Bogdanovic, who is averaging career highs in points (21.2), assists (2.8), and free throw attempts (5.2) per game, as well as true shooting percentage (.629), in his first year with Detroit.

Bogdanovic can score from all over the court and his contract is reasonable ($39MM over two years following this season), but he turns 34 in April, is a below-average rebounder (3.6 per game), and is best suited to defending bigger forwards. The Pistons are said to be looking for an unprotected first-round pick for the veteran, and he has a long list of teams interested in his services.

I highly doubt that asking price will be met unless it’s from a team outside the lottery or a pick years down the line. I understand why they’re maintaining that position right now – not many sellers have emerged yet and he’s one of the top players available. But I think that will change ahead of the deadline, and the Pistons will have to decide whether to take the best offer available or just hold onto him.

Jae Crowder, F, Suns

Crowder has been a solid role player for a long time, mostly due to his toughness, defense and ability to make quick reads on offense. He’s 32 now and definitely best suited to play power forward, as he struggles staying in front of quicker players, but there’s a reason his teams consistently make the playoffs.

His ability to space the floor is a bit overrated – he’s more of a willing shooter than a good one, converting 34.6% of his career looks behind the arc, including 33.9% in the playoffs. That said, he’s good enough that you can’t just leave him open, especially if he gets hot.

Crowder’s season-long holdout with the Suns is one of the strangest NBA situations I’ve seen in my years following the league. He’s on a $10.2MM expiring contract, so you’d think he would be incentivized to play to maximize his future earnings, yet he’s done the opposite.

There has to be more to the story here, but whatever the reason is, it hasn’t helped his value or the Suns’ ability to move him. Who knows what type of shape he’ll be in when he returns? Whichever team acquires him will be taking a risk if it gives up assets.

The Suns’ ownership situation also complicates matters — outgoing suspended owner Robert Sarver reportedly has to sign off on a potential deal, even though the team is being bought by Mat Ishbia. The Bucks and Hawks have been the two teams most consistently linked to Crowder.

Jarred Vanderbilt, F, Jazz

The No. 41 overall pick of the 2018 draft, Vanderbilt has worked his way up from the bottom – he barely played at all his first two seasons (28 total games and 115 minutes), but he’s turned himself into a valuable role player on competitive teams.

Vanderbilt’s playing style is the most unique out of the players on this list. He’s the closest to what some might call a “traditional” power forward — an energizer who is a very strong rebounder, but is still rounding out his game in other areas.

He has expanded his game with Utah, attempting more threes (1.0 per game at 32.6%), more than doubling his assists (from 1.3 to 2.8) and improving his free throw percentage (a career-high 69.8%). Interestingly, although his offensive game has improved, I think his defense has actually declined a little – he was always prone to some over-aggressive fouls, and the team’s defense is certainly worse, but he hasn’t looked as solid on that end to my eyes.

That said, Vanderbilt won’t turn 24 until April, is still improving, and he’s on a very team-friendly contract ($4.3MM this season, and his $4.6MM deal for next season is only guaranteed for $300K). The Jazz are said to be looking for a first-round pick for Vanderbilt. There haven’t been any rumors regarding protections on the potential pick, but I think there’s a good chance he gets moved in the next few weeks.

Spurs, Hornets Expected To Be Among Top Deadline Sellers

The Spurs and Hornets are viewed as two of the NBA’s “assured” sellers in this season’s trade market, Shams Charania of The Athletic writes in his latest Inside Pass column.

In San Antonio, veterans Jakob Poeltl, Doug McDermott, and Josh Richardson are considered the team’s top trade candidates. Poeltl and Richardson are on expiring contracts, while McDermott is under contract for one more season at the same salary he’s earning this year ($13.75MM).

Confirming a previous report indicating that Poeltl is generating significant interest, Charania says the Raptors and Celtics are among the teams that have shown interest in the big man. According to Charania, Poeltl is widely respected within the organization and the Spurs would like him to be part of their long-term future, but they’ll have to take into account his price tag as a free agent and the risk of losing him for nothing this summer.

The Spurs have had a standing extension offer of four years and $58MM (his in-season max) on the table for Poeltl since before the season, per Charania, but the center has passed on that offer and is expected to do much better on the open market. Rival executives believe he could approach $20MM per year on his next deal, Charania adds.

San Antonio will have a ton of cap room available this summer, so it’s not as if the franchise won’t have the means to retain Poeltl. However, there’s a belief among rival teams that the 27-year-old’s desire to play for a contender could be an important factor as he weighs his future, Charania notes.

As for the Hornets, Mason Plumlee, Kelly Oubre, and Jalen McDaniels – all on track for unrestricted free agency in 2023 – are considered candidates to be moved. According to Charania, Charlotte is also expected to listen to inquiries on guard Terry Rozier, even though he’s still under contract for three years beyond this one.

More sellers besides Charlotte and San Antonio figure to emerge in the coming weeks, but for now, only two other teams are with them in the NBA’s cellar, well out of play-in contention. Those teams are the Pistons and Rockets.

Multiple recent reports have suggested that Detroit has set a high asking price for veterans like Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, but the team is believed to be open to conversations. The Raptors, Lakers, Pelicans, Bucks, Cavaliers, and Mavericks are among the clubs that have registered interest in Bogdanovic, league sources tell The Athletic.

As for the Rockets, their roster isn’t exactly loaded with expendable vets. Shooting guard Eric Gordon is the team’s most obvious trade candidate, but Houston is seeking either a good young player or a first-round pick in exchange for Gordon, says Charania.

Pistons Rumors: Bogdanovic, Burks, Noel, Bey

The Pistons aren’t eager to trade Bojan Bogdanovic, but they’re willing to part with him for the right price, league sources tell James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Detroit is asking for an unprotected first-round pick at minimum, Edwards adds, and the front office is confident that offers in that range will materialize. That will lead to a difficult decision on whether to keep Bogdanovic in an effort to be competitive next season or to move him in exchange for draft help.

Acquired from the Jazz in September, the 33-year-old Bogdanovic is in the midst of his best NBA season, averaging a career-high 21.2 points per game while shooting 48.7% from the field and 41.5% from three-point range. He signed an extension in October that keeps him under contract through the 2024/25 season.

Bogdanovic may be the best shooter available heading into the February 9 trade deadline. The list of teams that have expressed interest in acquiring him has reportedly reached double digits, so the Pistons appear to be in a good position to get their asking price.

Edwards offers more insight into Pistons trade rumors:

  • Detroit hasn’t shown much interest in moving Alec Burks, who is also having his best offensive season, averaging 13.8 PPG as a reserve. The Pistons hold a $10.4MM option on the 31-year-old for next season and appear content to bring him back. Edwards believes a team would have to be willing to greatly overpay for Burks to get Detroit’s attention.
  • The Pistons and backup center Nerlens Noel have agreed that a trade would be the best option for both sides, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be moved before the deadline. Edwards hears that if Noel remains with the team past February 9, he won’t be looking for a buyout. Detroit isn’t expected to pick up its $9.6MM team option on Noel for next season, Edwards adds, unless the move would be part of an offseason trade. Edwards cites the Heat, Nuggets and Mavericks as teams that have been most active in trade talks for Noel.
  • Rival teams began monitoring Saddiq Bey when he lost his starting job in November, league sources tell Edwards. But the Pistons haven’t given up on the third-year small forward, who is only 23 and is coming off two productive seasons. Edwards believes it would take a significant offer for Detroit to part with Bey, who remains a steady part of the rotation.