It was late September of last year when the Detroit Pistons made the trade that brought them Bojan Bogdanovic.
It was surprising at the time, as Detroit had a young roster that wasn’t expected to compete for the playoffs and Bogdanovic doesn’t fit their timeline at 34 years old. But it also made sense, as we didn’t know Cade Cunningham was going to get hurt and the Pistons needed shooting.
They also had a surplus of centers and guards, so dealing Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee for Bogdanovic helped balance the roster. Of course, Troy Weaver knocked it off kilter again last season when he traded Saddiq Bey for James Wiseman, but that’s a different story.
Bogdanovic had one of the best seasons of his career as the leading scorer for a bad Pistons team that only won 17 games, but how is the trade looking now and into the future?
The Bojan Bogdanovic trade was great for the Detroit Pistons
Generally, the team who gets the best player in any trade wins the trade. There have been exceptions to that, but the Bogdanovic trade wasn’t one of them.
Saben Lee didn’t play for the Jazz last season and is now on a two-way deal with the Phoenix Suns. Kelly Olynyk had a good season for Utah, who won a surprising 37 games last season and sniffed the play-in, averaging just over 12 points per game on excellent 3-point shooting for a big.
But I don’t think there is anyone out there who would argue that Olynyk is the better player, and neither team made the playoffs, so in the end, the Pistons got the better of the trade last season.
And that should continue into the future, as Bogdanovic will either prove to be a key part of an up-and-coming team hoping to compete for the play-in next season themselves or he will be dealt for assets.
While the Detroit Pistons may not get the kind of return they’d like for Bojan, he would certainly be worth more on the trade market than Kelly Olynyk, so even if the Pistons move him, Bogdanovic represents better value.
Ultimately, the Bogdanovic trade was not the move that catapulted Detroit into contention last season, but there is still time for it to happen, and if not, they will have more assets to show for it than if they had just kept Olynyk and Lee.