The Detroit Pistons are finalizing a trade for Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic, according to multiple reports.
The Jazz would receive forward Kelly Olynyk and point guard Saben Lee in return.
Bogdanovic, 33, averaged 18.4 points (on 45/40/88 shooting), 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 31.5 minutes per game over three seasons with the Jazz. He will provide scoring and veteran stewardship to a Pistons team that could field a talented starting lineup of players under the age of 25.
Bogdanovic started his season with the Indiana Pacers in 2017-18 and has played in 94% of his team’s games since. He’s been a hallmark of consistency as a ground-spacing forward, shooting no worse than 39% from 3-point range over the past five seasons. In six games with the Croatian national team at the FIBA EuroBasket this summer, Bogdanovic averaged 19.2 points on 48/39/87 separate shots.
The Pistons, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2019, feature recent lottery picks Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Marvin Bagley III and Killian Hayes, as well as highly touted first-round midfielders Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart . Detroit general manager Troy Weaver, who took over in 2020, has made a concerted effort to surround his young squad with veteran talent, adding Kemba Walker, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel in trades with the New York Knicks this summer , in addition to the Bogdanovic acquisition.
The Pistons are making an effort to make the playoffs in a crowded Eastern Conference field that includes the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks as teams vying for six of the guaranteed playoff spots and four spots in the qualifying tournament. Detroit finished last season with a 23-59 record, 14th in the East.
Olynyk, 31, reunites with former Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, now general manager of Jazz, who drafted the 6-foot-11 13th Canadian in 2013. Olynyk averaged 9.1 points (45/34/78 splits), 4.4 rebounds. and 2.8 assists in 19.1 minutes per game off the bench for the Pistons last season.
Lee, 23, averaged 5.6 points (43/27/73), 3.3 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 16.3 minutes in two years as a reserve on the Pistons. He was stuck behind Cunningham and Hayes on Detroit’s depth chart.
The trade further dismantles the Jazz, which made successful trades of All-Star mainstays Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert this summer. After six consecutive playoff appearances and averaging 49 wins per season this season, Utah is expected to be among the top contenders for the league’s worst record in the 2023 NBA Draft for Pick No. 1 projected Victor Wembanyama.
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