It is common practice for the team to sit in the basement NBAhas the status of aggressive sellers after the trade deadline. We’ve seen it time and time again, year after year. The Pistons, however, could break that mold in 2023; at the very least, they don’t seem overly eager to be big sellers.
Detroit, which currently has the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, is getting a lot of calls about several players, according to league sources. Veterans Bojan Bogdanović and Alec Burks are two names that rival teams are actively inquiring about, while Saddiq Bey and Nerlens Noel they also generated interest around the NBA.
Here’s everything I’ve learned and gathered as it relates to these four names and the February 9th trade deadline:
Perhaps more than any player in the NBA, the 33-year-old forward has been the hot topic of trade rumors over the past month. It’s easy to understand why. Bogdanović, a career scorer, is in the midst of his best offensive season. He is averaging a career-high 21.2 points while shooting 41.5 percent from three, and entering Saturday, Bogdanovic had scored at least 20 points in each of his last eight games, the longest streak of his nine-year career. Teams around the league with minimal playoff aspirations took a look at where Bogdanovic is at this point in his career and assessed the Pistons’ priorities in their effort to pry the Croatian forward from the Motor City.
While Detroit has aspirations to be more competitive next season — and Bogdanovic would certainly help make that happen — the Pistons aren’t opposed to moving him, league sources say. However, they don’t try to deal with him worriedly either, because they appreciate not only his game on the field, but also the leadership he brought to the young team. According to league sources, the purchase price for Bogdanovic appears to be, at the very least, an unprotected first-round pick. As the trade deadline nears, there seems to be a decent chance that Detroit’s front office will get the pick it’s looking for, which would then prompt the team to seriously weigh the risk and reward of walking away with a known quality player for an uncertain asset.
Much like Bogdanovic, the 31-year-old Burks, another professional scorer, is in the midst of his best offensive season since entering the NBA. He is averaging 13.8 points off the bench while shooting a career-best 46 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from 3. Burks’ 44.4 percent clip from 3 ranks him fourth in the entire NBA. Couple his production with a contract that carries a lucrative $10.4 million team option for next season, and it’s easy to understand why teams have frequently inquired about his availability.
Of course, every player has a price, but according to league sources, the Pistons have shown very little interest in trading Burks before the deadline. I have a feeling the team would have to significantly overpay for Burks’ services. Detroit would like to keep him through the summer and into next season when, again, the organization hopes to turn around the renovations.
The third-year forward has had an up-and-down season and, in addition, has been the subject of trade rumors of late. Interest from rival teams, according to league sources, intensified when Bey was moved to the bench in November. Teams have been monitoring his availability ever since.
Still, I get the impression the Pistons aren’t ready to let go of the 23-year-old Bey unless there’s a deal they can’t refuse. What would such an offer entail? I’m not sure, but, according to league sources, Detroit didn’t give the impression that Bey was available for a dime.
In last week’s victory over Timberwolvesthe veteran center recorded four blocks and three steals in the third quarter, sending a reminder to opposing teams that he still has the defensive moves that once made him one of the league’s best rim protectors.
The two sides agreed a deal would be best for both, but that doesn’t mean a trade will be finalized before the Feb. 9 deadline. If a deal doesn’t materialize by then, according to league sources, Noel, who has a team option for $9.6 million, is unwilling to accept a buyout. It’s likely the Pistons will go into the summer with a plan to either not pick up Noel’s option or, if they do, use it to adjust for a trade, should one materialize.
According to league sources, the teams most engaged in negotiations with the Pistons for Noel to date are Miami heat, Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks.