Will they or won’t they? The Pistons’ trade that will define next season

Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons have a new head coach and a new goal for next season, which is to finally compete for wins after tanking away four years.

But there are lingering questions hanging over the roster, some of which won’t be answered until well into the season or even after it is over.

One of the biggest is what the Detroit Pistons will ultimately do with Bojan Bogdanovic, who has been in persistent trade rumors going back to last season that aren’t going away until he is either moved or re-signed.

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So far, the Pistons have held their ground, and they should, as Bogdanovic has more value on the court for Detroit than he currently has on the trade market as a 34-year-old with only one guaranteed year left on his deal.

It’s still possible Detroit will cut another deal before the season, as they did in the September move last year that brought in Bogdanovic, but for now it appears they will head into next season with the sharpshooter on the roster.

Whether he stays there is another question.

Detroit Pistons: The Bojan Bogdanovic trade will define next season

As I said, it is still possible that the Detroit Pistons will swing another deal before the season begins. A September trade can’t be ruled out, but it seems unlikely at this point given that teams are unwilling to meet their asking price.

But next year’s trade deadline will be very telling about the direction of the franchise under new head coach Monty Williams.

If Bogdanovic is shipped out at the deadline, cue the “Hello darkness my old friend” memes, as it probably means the Pistons are flailing and the front office sees no point in keeping Bogdanovic around.

A midseason trade of Bogdanovic will essentially be Detroit waving a white flag, admitting the play-in is hopeless and that we at PistonPowered should start lining up the mock draft articles.

Of course, it could just mean that Ausar Thompson is too good to keep out of the lineup and that Joe Harris found his legs and had a late-career resurgence. But it’s more likely a Bogdanovic trade means the Pistons are headed back to the lottery.

If Bogdanovic finishes next season with the Pistons it is probably a sign that things went fairly well, or that at least they weren’t out of it by the trade deadline. Keeping Bogs means the front office thinks they have a shot at the play-in, or will at least get close enough to make the games meaningful for the young roster.

So you probably won’t need to look at the standings at the trade deadline to know how the Detroit Pistons are doing, you can just look at the roster and see if Bogdanovic is still on it.

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