Is Bojan Bogdanovic a definite starter for Pistons?

Bojan Bogdanovic (44) drives as Detroit Pistons guard Luke Kennard (5) defends. Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Bojan Bogdanovic (44) drives as Detroit Pistons guard Luke Kennard (5) defends. Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

There is no question that a healthy Bojan Bogdanovic would be either the second or third best player on the Detroit Pistons. But, since they are in rebuilding mode, should he be a starter?

While there is much anticipation about the upcoming season, most Pistons fans were blindsided by the trade of Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee to the Utah Jazz for forward Bojan Bogdanovic.

Acquiring a sweet-shooting veteran from a team that had been a perennial Western Conference playoff participant, seems more like a move for, say, the Milwaukee Bucks or Chicago Bulls, teams in ‘win now’ mode.

But Bogdanovic is with Detroit, a team that has had one of the worst records in the NBA the past three seasons. The sports books also think Detroit will have an awful record again. The over/under of Pistons season wins on Wynnbet is 27.5 games.

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Bogdanovic is a 6-foot-7, 226-pound forward who averaged 18.1 points for the Jazz last season, making 38.7% on three-pointers. To put that in perspective, the only Pistons player to average more points than Bogdanovic last season was the since-traded Jerami Grant. The only Detroit players who shot better from ‘three’ were Isaiah Livers, Cory Joseph and Rodney McGruder.

Bogdanovic is arguably now the second-best player on Detroit, next to Cade Cunningham. Saddiq Bey and/or Jaden Ivey might turn out to be better players but, going into the season, Bogdanovic will be seen as the top non-Cade player.

But does that mean he is a starter?

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Why Bojan Bogdanovic should be a starter for Detroit Pistons

If the Pistons are going all-out to win this season, it is a no-brainer that Bogdanovic should start. A frontline of Saddiq Bey-Isaiah Stewart-Bogdanovic does fit like a glove in terms of floor spacing. Besides being balanced, it would help open things up for guards Cunningham, Ivey and veteran scorer Alec Burks.

Additionally, if the Pistons want to flip Bogdanovic for a draft pick at the trade deadline, you want him to be a starter and have as good a stat line as possible.

Seems pretty simple, Bogdanovic is one of the best players on Detroit, so he should start. Right?

Is there any reason Bogdanovic should not start? Well, there are a few.

3 reasons Bojan Bogdanovic should not start for Detroit Pistons

The Pistons, if things go really well, are shooting to make the Play-in tournament in the Eastern Conference. If things go off the rails, the Pistons would end up back in the draft lottery, in what is suppose to be a quality draft.

Would not making the playoffs be so bad? Bogdanovic playing a lot would help the Pistons win and contend for the play-in. Here are three reasons why it might be best if Bogdanovic came off the bench:

  1. Player development most important: The time for the Pistons to be legitimate contenders is still a couple years away. A 33-year-old in the last year of his big contract like Bogdanovic, will not be part of it. Players like Isaiah Livers, Hamidou Diallo and even Ivey could use the minutes Bogdanovic will have.
  2. Bench mob needs scoring: Coach Dwane Casey could simply make a tactical decision that the team would be better off having Bogdanovic come off the bench. A lack of scoring punch from the second team was a problem last season. Bogdanovic would be free to fire away at will, as the alternatives would not be nearly as good.
  3. Team chemistry: Why run so much of the offense for a player who will most likely be gone after this year? The Pistons should be trying to develop chemistry between the players for the future.

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Adding a solid player like Bojan Bogdanovic for what basically was the Pistons fourth-string point guard and a reserve forward/center is a positive. But how Bogdanovic will be used is open to question.