Are the Detroit Pistons genuinely not eager to be sellers at the trade deadline? Are they trying to posture for the best price on the players they do plan to trade? A little of both?
The latest report on the Pistons reiterates what has been said before — they are not eager to trade Bojan Bogdanovic, so the price remains high, starting with an unprotected first. They are not looking to sell Alec Burkes or others, reports James L. Edwards III of The Athletic.
While Detroit has aspirations to be more competitive next season — and Bogdanović would surely help make that happen — the Pistons aren’t opposed to moving him, league sources say. However, they’re not anxiously trying to deal him, either, as they value not only his on-court play but the leadership he’s brought to the young team. Per league sources, the price tag to acquire Bogdanović appears to be, at the very minimum, an unprotected first-round pick. As the trade deadline inches closer, the sense is there is a decent chance Detroit’s front office will get offered the pick it is looking for, which would then prompt the team to seriously weigh the risk and reward of departing with a known quality player for an uncertain asset…
Of course, every player has a price, but, per league sources, the Pistons have shown very little interest in trading Burks before the deadline. The sense I’m getting is a team would have to vastly overpay for Burks’ services.
Per league sources, the teams most engaged in talks with the Pistons about Noel to date are the Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks.
Bogdanovic — or the Hawks’ John Collins — is the best player likely traded near the Feb. 9 deadline. In a seller’s market there is no reason for the Pistons to consider lowering their price tag until much closer to that date. They can force teams to come to them, meet their price (or get a lot closer to it). The Lakers are among the teams mentioned, both for Bogdanovic and Noel.
Bogdanovic, 33, is averaging a career-high 21.2 and 41.5% from 3. He is making $19.3 million this season and signed a two-year, $39 million extension that kicks in next season (the second year is only $2 million guaranteed).
The Pistons will likely be a seller at the trade deadline, but how big a seller may depend on the buyers coming to meet them.