Detroit Pistons: Is Bojan Bogdanovic worth a first-round pick?

Jaden Ivey #23 and Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images,)
Jaden Ivey #23 and Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images,) /

Here at PistonPowered, we spend a fair amount of time proposing trades, assessing trades, and remembering trades we’ve proposed and assessed. It’s been said that unless they receive a first-round pick, the Detroit Pistons won’t part with Bojan Bogdanovic, whose name has been bandied about in trade rumors since his arrival in Detroit.

I hope that’s true, as I’ve seen his value as a veteran presence during games the Pistons lost as well as in the wins.

Is a first round pick too much for Triple Bogey?

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Is the possibility of potential more valuable than a known commodity who contributes effectively every night?

Detroit Pistons: Is Bojan Bogdanovic worth a first-round pick?

I would value Bogdanovic over any draft pick some years and most draft picks most years.

Why? Because most draft picks will never be the player Bogdanovic has become. According to The Ringer, John Wall, who was an impressively talented player, an exceptional prospect, and who hasn’t enjoyed significant team success throughout his career, is seen as the median first overall pick.

Most teams would love to draft a player of John Wall’s caliber, but most teams won’t. Half of all first overall picks fall below the median, which means the teams picking those years select a player whose career will be less successful than Wall’s, and Wall’s career was derailed by injury.

And most picks don’t land at the top of the lottery.

In the same article, Stanley Johnson and Frank Ntilikina are the median players at the eighth overall pick.

When this past season ended, Johnson, whom we all remember, had played in the NBA for eight years. That’s success against the highest level of competition. He played well in Los Angeles and had his moments for the Detroit Pistons, but he never achieved consistency. He couldn’t contribute in every aspect of the game and was, therefore, a liability, and he was never skilled enough for a team to sacrifice salary or an asset to compensate for his deficiencies.

That’s rough, because, all things considered, Johnson is a great ball player, but the competition is brutal. Players are on the clock the moment they’re drafted, and every dime of their rookie contract needs to pay dividends for a team facing the cost of an extension and the impact an extension carries against cap space.

Related Story. Is Stanley Johnson right about being a "bust?". light

We hope all draft picks enjoy a long career in the NBA, but the average career length is around 4.5 years.

Bogdanovic’s salary is a screaming deal relative to his contribution, especially when compared to draft picks in their fourth year being paid twelve million to never see the floor or to play in the G League (think James Wiseman on the Warriors, and then multiply his salary against the repeater tax). Or worse, a team could pay, play, and develop a player who then leaves for nothing, and let’s be honest, small market teams are often farm teams for larger markets or well-run organizations.

I wish champion Bruce Brown continued success, though perhaps not in Indiana.

Bottom line: Bogey’s contribution and presence, dollar for dollar, is worth more to the Detroit Pistons than most draft picks in any given year. He’s absolutely worth the exchange value, player to player, of a first-round pick.

Next. Ranking 4 possible Pistons' starting lineups for next season. dark