The Utah Jazz are trading Bojan Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and James Edwards III. Here is a breakdown of the trade and how it impacts both teams going forward.
What it means for the Pistons
Bogdanovic may have been the most sought-after player of Utah’s available veterans because of his three-point shooting and length. He is a great spot-up shooter and does well moving off the ball to create open looks for himself. He averaged 18 points per game last year while averaging 2.6 threes per game on 39 percent shooting. He plays hard on defense and was often given tough defensive assignments, and perhaps a diminished role on a new team could help him stay sharp on both ends of the floor as he enters his age 34 season.
There are a handful of teams that need to improve their three-point shooting like the Wizards, Bulls, and Raptors, but acquiring Bogdanovic would likely have put them over the luxury tax. The Sixers are another team who could’ve used him but would need to trade one of their five highest-paid players to match salaries for him while staying under the hard cap. The Lakers and Suns were other teams that were reportedly interested in Bogdanovic.
The Pistons were among the worst teams in the league last season in both three-pointers made and three-point percentage. While Olynyk can shoot, his percentage has fluctuated over the years, and attempts less than Bogdanovic. This deal improves their three-point shooting and gives them more wing depth. They also clear up their logjam at center a bit, which opens up minutes for their other big men.
Detroit used cap space to acquire Bogdanovic. They were $5.6 million below the cap and sent out the difference between that amount and his $19.55 million salary with Olynyk’s and Lee’s cap hits. They are now right at the salary cap with 16 players on guaranteed contracts and have the $5.4 million room mid-level exception available to them. The Pistons get off Olynyk’s $3 million partial guarantee for next season and are still projected to generate around $70 million in 2023 cap space.
What it means for the Jazz
The Jazz are deep into their fire sale after trading All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell for a haul of unprotected first-round picks and promising young players. The Jazz are working to find new homes for Mike Conley., Malik Beasley, and Jordan Clarkson.
The return they received for Bogdanovic may feel underwhelming, especially considering they didn’t get a draft pick or a young player with upside like when they got Talen Horton-Tucker for Patrick Beverley. The main thing they accomplished was to get a bit younger by going from Bogdanovic to Olynyk and fill a position of need at center. Perhaps they’re betting on Olynyk having more trade value in the future than Bogdanovic.
One other thing the Jazz accomplish in this deal is gaining more flexibility for future moves. They were just $2 million below the luxury tax after the Mitchell trade and are now $7 million below after moving Bogdanovic. They also will generate a $6.75 million trade exception if they acquire Lee into one of their existing trade exceptions, likely the Royce O’Neale exception of which it has $1.95 million remaining. Utah’s 2023 cap situation remains unchanged, though trading a player with guaranteed money for next season like Conley or Clarkson could get them to around $30 million in cap space.