Recent blockbuster trades may limit the Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons small forward Bojan Bogdanovic Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons small forward Bojan Bogdanovic Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons won’t part with Bojan Bogdanovic for less than a first-round pick. They might not get one for Bogey, which I doubt they’d mind. He’s proven he’s worth more than the dollar amount on his contract, and any team would benefit from his play and professionalism.

The NBA is the most competitive landscape in the world of basketball, and Bogdanovic has proven he can compete at a high level every night. He’s a better player than most draft picks will ever be.

Why wouldn’t a team hand over a first rounder for Triple Bogey?

In recent years, teams have traded their entire future for a potential star, or a starter who’s elite on one end of the floor.

The Cavaliers traded three first round picks and two pick swaps for Donovan Mitchell, the player the Detroit Pistons could’ve drafted instead of Luke Kennard, who has enjoyed a successful career but will never be the player Spider has become.

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The Timberwolves, who, since Sacramento’s recent success, are officially the worst run team in the NBA, traded four first round picks and a pick swap for Rudy Gobert.

Atlanta traded three first round picks and a pick swap for Dejounte Murray.

Brooklyn traded four first round picks and four first round pick swaps for James Harden.

I could go on, but you see the pattern. All of these players are better individual players than Bojan Bogdanovic, and all of them cost around four picks and several pick swaps, not to mention the players traded to match salaries.

Are any of these players four or five times better than Bogdanovic? No.

None of the teams listed won a championship, although I suspect these moves will continue to benefit Cleveland and Atlanta for years to come. Unlike Brooklyn and Minnesota, Cleveland and Atlanta traded for players that satisfied their rosters’ needs. But you could argue that some of these teams would undo these trades if they had to do them again.

Detroit Pistons: The risk of trading draft picks for the wrong guy

There comes a moment when you push your chips to the middle of the table. You hope you’ve read the room right and your cards win the hand. When that time comes, you need the chips to bet.

Since the Stepian Rule went into effect, teams can’t be without a first-round pick in consecutive years. Therefore, trading a future first can inhibit a team’s ability to make a future deal. Therefore, although Bogey is worth a pick, trading one for him might inhibit a franchise from making a more important trade at some point in the future.

Bogdanovic is more valuable than most draftees, but the team that trades for him will have to need his skills more than they need future flexibility. His role on the Detroit Pistons may be worth far more to Detroit than anything they’d receive on the open market.

And after watching teams get burned trading first-round picks for veterans, they may be reluctant to give up a pick for a 34-year-old on an expiring deal.

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