Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Jazz trade Bojan Bogdanovic to Pistons for Kelly Olynyk, Saben Lee, per report

The fire sale continues: The Utah Jazz will trade forward Bojan Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons for big man Kelly Olynyk and guard Saben Lee, according to The Athletic.

For the Pistons, the 33-year-old Bogdanovic solidifies the starting lineup for a rebuilding team that is trying to take a step forward. With him and Saddiq Bey at the forward spots, there should be plenty of space for guards Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey to operate. Losing Olynyk means that there is no longer a stretch 5 on the roster, but it eases the logjam at the center spot. If Detroit doesn’t make any more moves, then Jalen Duren, Nerlens Noel, Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley III will battle fo minutes in the frontcourt.

In Utah, the 31-year-old Olynyk will reunite with former Celtics president Danny Ainge. Assuming the Jazz do not trade him elsewhere, he will provide some structure for a team that, as presently constructed, has a slew of scorers and a dearth of distributors. Olynyk is not the same kind of scoring threat as Bogdanovic, but he can pass out of the high post and make opposing bigs step out on the perimeter. If he stays healthy and is productive this season, the front office might be able to flip him to a contender. 

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It’s unclear if Lee, 23, is in Utah’s plans or was included in the trade as salary filler. In his two seasons, he has shown an ability to get into the paint, but has only made 26.5 percent of his 3-point attempts at low volume. The Jazz are overloaded with guards, but that could change in the coming weeks.

If the Pistons aren’t interested in another high lottery pick and did not send any draft compensation to Utah, this is a steal. All the players involved are on expiring contracts; should Detroit get off to a poor start and decide to bottom out, it can move Bogdanovic before the trade deadline.

Why on earth would Utah do this? As HoopsHype’s Yossi Gozlan noted, the trade cuts $5 million off its luxury tax bill, giving the team more flexibility as it considers its next move. The Jazz can also create a $6.75 million trade exception. 

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