The Detroit Pistons are finalizing a trade for Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic, per multiple reports.
The Jazz will reportedly receive stretch forward Kelly Olynyk and point guard Saben Lee in return.
The 33-year-old Bogdanovic averaged 18.4 points (on 45/40/88 shooting splits), 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 31.5 minutes per game over three seasons with the Jazz. He will provide scoring and veteran stewardship on a Pistons team that could field a talented starting lineup of players under the age of 25.
Bogdanovic has started since his breakout season with the Indiana Pacers in 2017-18 and played 94% of his team’s games since. He has been the mark of consistency as a floor-spacing forward, shooting no worse than 39% from 3-point range over the past five seasons. In six games with the Croatian national team at FIBA EuroBasket this summer, Bogdanovic averaged 19.2 points on 48/39/87 shooting splits.
The Pistons, who have not made the playoffs since 2019, feature recent lottery picks Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Marvin Bagley III and Killian Hayes, along with highly touted mid-first-round selections Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart. Detroit general manager Troy Weaver, who assumed the post in 2020, has made a concerted effort to surround his youthful roster with veteran talent, adding Kemba Walker, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel in trades with the New York Knicks this summer, in addition to the acquisition of Bogdanovic.
The Pistons are making a push to make the postseason in a crowded Eastern Conference field that boasts the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks as teams vying for six guaranteed playoff spots and four berths in the play-in tournament. Detroit finished last season with a 23-59 record, 14th place in the East.
Olynyk, 31, reunites with former Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, now the chief Jazz executive, who drafted the 6-foot-11 Canadian 13th overall in 2013. Olynyk averaged 9.1 points (45/34/78 splits), 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 19.1 minutes per game off the bench for the Pistons last season.
The 23-year-old Lee averaged 5.6 points (43/27/73), 3.3 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 16.3 minutes in two years as a reserve on the Pistons. He was stuck behind Cunningham and Hayes on Detroit’s depth chart.
The trade further dismantles the Jazz, who completed blockbuster trades of All-Star mainstays Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert this summer. After six straight playoff appearances and an average of 49 wins per season during that season, Utah is expected to be among the leading contenders for the league’s worst record in the 2023 NBA draft sweepstakes for projected No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama.
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