Detroit Pistons: The Lakers have no leverage in Bogdanovic trade

Wenyen Gabriel #35 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his basket in front of Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Wenyen Gabriel #35 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his basket in front of Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have once again been mentioned in possible trade rumors for Bojan Bogdanovic, but so far they don’t seem to be interested.

The 33-year-old is having a career year and would certainly help any contending team looking for shooting. The Lakers are not a contending team yet but they’ve been playing better of late and were already attached to Bogdanovic in rumors earlier in the season.

The Lakers seem reluctant to come off their two future 1st-round draft picks and have nothing else the Pistons would want and I am not sure what has changed since then.

But that won’t stop the national media from talking about it, as the world would collapse if we didn’t talk about the Lakers even though they are 11-15 and near the bottom of the Western Conference.

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Most of this talk treats the Pistons like a farm team that exists solely to help the big markets and Lakers fans seem upset that Detroit is not willing to just hand over a great player for their scraps.

Marc Stein reported some of the details in his most recent newsletter (SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED):

"“Sources say that the Lakers recently offered a trade package to Detroit for Bogdanović centered around one future first-round pick with unspecified draft protections attached.The Pistons have to date declined those overtures, sources add, insisting on a fully unprotected future first from the Lakers to seriously entertain a Bogdanović swap. Detroit, in fact, continues to tell interested teams (and there are several) that it wants to keep Bogdanović, who is averaging 21.0 points and shooting 50.8% from the field (43.7% on 3-pointers) as a Piston.”"

The Lakers must not understand how leverage works and are making demands as if they have some. But the truth is they don’t.

The Detroit Pistons will be the ones making demands in a Bojan Bogdanovic trade

The Lakers are desperate.

They have a ton of money tied up in three aging players and the window to win another title with LeBron James is closing fast. Add that to the fact that they have to potentially swap picks with the 1st-place Pelicans this year and then give New Orleans their pick the year after that and the Lakers aren’t in a great spot.

They have few assets that anyone would want in terms of young talent or contracts and the only picks they have to trade are in 2027 and 2029. In other words, they are in no position to be making demands from anyone, especially since it’s been reported that as many as 12 teams have called the Detroit Pistons about Bojan Bogdanovic.

So for them to try and put limitations or protections on any first round pick is just ridiculous. Bogdanovic is currently just outside the 50/40/90 club and would instantly give any of the real contenders an upper hand against the competition.

He’s also valuable to the Detroit Pistons as a guy who can help them turn the corner when they are finally healthy and add a few more impact players next offseason.

The Pistons don’t have to be in any hurry to move Bogdanovic and may decide that he is more valuable to them than a distant first-round pick. But if that pick has protections, the decision becomes easy.

It’s always funny to me how these rumors almost always short change the Pistons and act as if they should be honored to help the Lakers and thank them for the table scraps.

LA and the rest of these the suitors need to realize that the Pistons have all of the leverage here and are not going to trade a valuable player for a crap package. If I were Troy Weaver, I’d tell the Lakers to put both of those 1st-round picks on the table with one of them completely unprotected and that is where the negotiations start.

Otherwise, Detroit can just wait this out, see how the bidding war goes and take the best deal. If there is not one there that they like, then they can just move on. The Lakers aren’t the ones calling the shots here and can keep dreaming if they think they are getting something for nothing.

dark. Next. Would this Bojan Bogdanovic trade even help the Pistons?