This move probably came as a shock to a lot of people; after all, the Pistons were being connected to a potential Russell Westbrook trade. The trade that actually happened, so far but who knows what tomorrow will bring, saw Saban Lee and Kelly Olynyk go to the Utah Jazz for veteran wing Bojan Bogdanovic. This has the potential to be a very polarizing trade as it has some very solid upside and yet has some serious questions.
The positive of this trade is that Bojan is a 6’7 wing that is almost a career 40% shooter from deep. He can put up points while not monopolizing the ball, a huge bonus for a team that will want to keep Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey the primary play makers. Losing Saban Lee was sad, but he was going to be hard pressed to find time in a crowded backcourt- maybe this will give him a better chance to stick in the league. A starting lineup of Cade, Isaiah Stewart (if his three point shooting from summer and the end of last year isn’t a fluke), Saddiq Bey, Bojan and bouncy big of your choice could be a fun group that would stretch floors.
Still, I don’t know that I can get behind this trade. Bringing in another wing seems odd after bringing in Alec Burks this summer creates quite the logjam. The team already has a top five pick in Jaden Ivey, Rodney McGruder, Hamidou Diallo, and Kevin Knox. Add into the fact that Isaiah Livers, someone primed for a potential breakout season, is a very similar player. The other thing that doesn’t make sense is that the Pistons had too many bigs, yet they traded away the one big that could actually pass and shoot from deep. Do Bojan and Burks take away time from the young players? They have earned their time through their long careers and should get PT if the Pistons wanted to make the playoffs, but pushing for the playoffs wasn’t the goal stated by management. The goal was to develop the young guys, get a top five pick, and push for the playoffs in two to three years as a serious contender.
I would be fine with this trade if it got the Pistons draft picks. Maybe the Pistons can trade a Bojan, and Nerlens Noel, or an Alec Burks for draft picks midseason. Still, what do we with them in the early part? You have to play them if you want them to have trade value, but doing so stunts the young players. Only time will tell if this will work out or not. It is a high risk move, but it was better than taking on Russell Westbrook.