The Detroit Pistons hope to make a leap in the standings next season but still have plenty of questions hanging over the future of their roster.
Nearly half of the team is on an expiring contract heading into next season, which could lead to some major roster changes around the young core.
Troy Weaver has to decide which players to keep as part of the future and which should be traded for other assets.
But the most important decision Troy Weaver has to make this season is what to do with Bojan Bogdanovic, who is entering the final fully guaranteed year of his deal and will be pursued by contenders.
I don’t envy Troy Weaver’s task here.
Detroit Pistons: The risk of trading Bojan Bogdanovic now
There are plenty of fans who think the Detroit Pistons should have traded Bojan Bogdanovic last season when his value was arguably at its peak. Not much has changed in that regard, as Bojan is 34 years old and not getting any younger, so there is some logic in moving him as soon as possible.
While trading Bogdanovic for younger players or draft assets might be the prudent thing to do strictly from a business perspective, it could have a negative effect on this team’s growth. Weaver is under pressure to show some progress next season and trading their best veteran player might set the team back in the short term.
If Weaver is potentially worried about his job security, then he might prefer keeping Bogdanovic around, as he is a steady veteran who will help spread the floor for Cade Cunningham and should thrive in a lesser role off the ball.
Trading him now could potentially cost the Pistons a lot of games next season and put a larger ceiling on what the team can accomplish as they try to prove they can be competitive.
Detroit Pistons: The risk of keeping Bojan Bogdanovic
The risk of keeping Bogdanovic may be even higher, as you can always overplay your hand in the NBA, keep a guy too long and lose any chance of reaping any value.
Let’s face it, Bogdanovic is not part of this team’s long-term plans, as he’ll likely be in his twilight years or out of the league by the time they are really good. Keeping him may prevent another terrible season, but could have negative effects on the future.
It’s not inconceivable that a player his age will suffer an injury or face decline, as this is usually when it starts to happen. If Bogdanovic were to decline a bit next season, his value could plummet, as he is still getting paid $20 million.
That would leave Detroit with the choice of picking up another year at $20 million for a player in decline, or buying him out and letting him go for nothing.
This decision is about short-term vs. long-term benefits and there is risk with any decision that Troy Weaver makes, and if it blows up in his face, it could cost him his job.