Coming from a championship contender to a club that is rebuilding, no one would have blamed Bojan Bogdanovic if he came in with a bit of a ‘tude. However, it appears the 6-foot-7 sharpshooter is completely on board being with the Detroit Pistons.
When the trade was announced right before training camp, that standout forward Bojan Bogdanovic was being sent by the Utah Jazz to Detroit for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee, there was open speculation about how the 33-year-old would take it.
After all the Jazz were seen an championship contenders ever since he arrived there four years ago. They are just two years removed from being the No. 1 seed in the West. To go from from that to a team where they would be dancing in the streets if they made the Play-in tournament could be a disappointment.
However, this does not seem to be the case. according to Mike Curtis of the News, Bogdanovic found out last Thursday he was traded while staying in Croatia. He was able to hop on a plane (not easy in Europe, particularly last-minute) and was able to make the Pistons team dinner on Sunday night.
Because it took a couple of days for the league office to process the paperwork, Bogdanovic was not able to be part of Media Day, but he joined Detroit for its first real practice, so he missed no court time with his new team.
With Utah blowing its team up as they try to have ‘No victories for Victor’ this season, Bogdanovic knew he was going to be shipped somewhere. Having a veteran who scored 19.2 points and shot 39.2% from three-point land last season would be counterproductive to the Jazz’ main purpose: losing.
There were rumors that Bogdanovic could end up with the Los Angeles Lakers or Phoenix Suns, It made sense for Bogdanovic to go to a team looking to go far in the playoffs. He is not a developmental project and, in the last year of his contract, will be looking to play well to earn a new deal.
The move to the young, ‘ground zero’ Pistons caught most people (including Detroit fans) off-guard. Bogdanovic could have come in with a sour attitude, but it has been quite the opposite:
"” I was just waiting to see where I’m gonna end up,” Bogdanovic said Tuesday to Curtis. “Super excited to be here with this young group of guys and a coach that is really experienced. Everything is great so far.”"
One of the things Bogdanovic has to adjust to is being the elder statesman. Playing with Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, he was with fellow experienced players. Detroit has 10 players who are 24-years-old or younger, and Bogdanovic is two years younger than anyone else on the roster.
Pistons coach Dwane Casey said he was adjusting to his new role, according to Curtis:
“He’s out there talking to guys” said Casey, “telling them what to do, how to do things; you cannot put an amount on that, and that’s why he’s valuable to us right now.”
Of course, Bogdanovic knows, if he plays well and is a good soldier, there is the possibility he could be dealt to a contender at the February trade deadline.
On a team lacking experience, and outside shooting, Bogdanovic should realize he can put up some pretty good numbers, particularly playing with good passers like Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes. If he is open, they will get him the ball.
That fact Bojan Bogdanovic is taking a positive attitude to joining the Pistons is an excellent development. Lots of good players over the past few years have whined and demanded trades when, suddenly, they are not on a contending team.