Talk around the Detroit Pistons is starting to heat up as the NBA trade deadline approaches, and once again, the Pistons are expected to be sellers.
It’s possible that they could pursue a player like John Collins according to The Athletic, but it is far more likely that Detroit will deal one or more of their veteran players for future assets.
But the Pistons have also stood firm on their position that they won’t do so without a “tremendous return” so they will likely keep both Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks if all that is coming back to them is a distant first-round pick with a lot of protections.
One team that has been connected to the Pistons is the Dallas Mavericks, who are desperate to add some talent around Luka Doncic at the deadline, as he is in the midst of another MVP-caliber season with little help.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Dallas could pursue both Bojan Bogdanovic and Nerlens Noel at the deadline, a duo they believe could help put them over the top.
While this might sound good to Mavericks’ fans, a deal seems improbable unless they are willing to give up multiple draft assets or get a third team involved.
Detroit Pistons: Trade with Mavericks won’t be easy
Any deal for Bojan Bogdanovic would almost have to include Davis Bertans unless Detroit wanted to take on four players from the Mavs to offset the contracts. Dallas would be taking back nearly $29 million in salary, so would need to find a way to match that in players sent to Detroit.
Bertans has played little for the Mavericks this season and is under contract for two more years after this one at $16 million per year, though the final year is not fully guaranteed. He’s a sunk cost at this point and not a contract the Pistons would want any part of.
For Detroit to even consider moving Bogdanovic with Bertans involved, they would need at least one unprotected first-round pick, and I’d be more inclined to hold out for two, one for Bojan and one for taking on Bertans’ horrible contract.
It’s hard to imagine the Mavericks giving up two first-round picks for two players on the wrong side of 30, but even if they did, the Detroit Pistons may not want to be stuck with Bertans for the prize of two picks that likely won’t be great as long as Luka is around.
A deal could get done, but it would likely have to involve another team that had a contract that was expiring to make the salaries work and allow the Pistons to do a deal without taking on any future obligations.