Several teams will be monitoring how the Raptors operate ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline, as they could be buyers or sellers depending on where they sit in the Eastern Conference standings.
If Toronto’s front office decides that it doesn’t want to invest more resources into this group, then multiple members of Nick Nurse’s rotation could land on the trade block. However, if the Raptors want to make a playoff push, one player in particular could give them exactly what they need.
Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic has emerged as one of the most popular trade deadline targets in the league. Several teams have expressed interest in the 33-year-old, including Toronto, so there could be a bidding war if Detroit seriously considers offers.
What does Bogdanovic bring to the table? And what is the asking price for him?
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How good is Bojan Bogdanovic?
Bogdanovic is one of the best shooters in the NBA. He is averaging a career-high 21.5 points with 49.1/42.3/88.2 shooting splits despite often being the main focus of opposing defenses.
His positioning on the floor doesn’t matter. Bogdanovic is shooting 45.0 percent on corner 3-pointers and 40.9 percent on above-the-break attempts. The guy is a pure flamethrower when he can set his feet. (Imagine what his numbers would be if Cade Cunningham was on the floor to create more open looks for him.)
In addition to being an elite spot-up threat, Bogdanovic is deadly off movement. He is the second-leading scorer in the league off screens behind Klay Thompson. Bogdanovic’s primary defender simply can’t go under screens, or… splash.
While Bogdanovic won’t ever be confused for a point guard, he is a decent secondary ball handler. He can take advantage of opponents that fail to close out with good balance, and he is comfortable getting to his pull-up jumper.
Beyond his offensive abilities, Bogdanovic has consistently been a fierce competitor and terrific leader for a young Pistons team.
“He’s been great for us and we’re going to keep leaning on him,” rookie guard Jaden Ivey said (via The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III). “He’s been in playoff games and he knows what it takes to win.”
Bogdanovic gets buckets, but he isn’t much of a table-setter. He has never averaged more than three assists per game in a single season in his career.
He is hardly a black hole on offense, as he can find the open man if there is a clear passing lane. He is just typically driving to score rather than to draw another defender and dish the ball out.
The biggest weakness for Bogdanovic comes on the other end of the floor.
At 6-foot-7, 226 pounds, he can battle with bigger forwards and hang with them in the post. The effort is there. He doesn’t possess the quickness to stick with guards, though, and he isn’t athletic enough to challenge them at the rim.
Bogdanovic also doesn’t clean the glass at a high rate. He is only averaging 3.6 rebounds per game this season, which matches his career mark.
To be fair to Bogdanovic, he is part of one of the worst defensive units in the NBA. He isn’t the primary reason for the Pistons’ struggles, but he certainly isn’t a stopper.
How would Bojan Bogdanovic fit on the Raptors?
Bogdanovic would be a welcome sight.
The Raptors have the second-worst field goal percentage and third-worst 3-point percentage in the league. He would instantly add more spacing and take some of the scoring burden off Pascal Siakam.
The defensive concerns would be minimized with Bogdanovic playing alongside defenders like Siakam and O.G. Anunoby. He would also benefit from Toronto’s ability to generate points off turnovers and in transition, as he could spot up against scrambling opponents.
And on top of everything else, Bogdanovic is the type of guy who has shown that he will easily slide into a new locker room and accept his role. That’s important for a group of Raptors players that hasn’t always appeared to be on the same page.
What would it take for Raptors to get Bojan Bogdanovic?
Bogdanovic won’t come cheap.
Edwards reported that the Pistons aren’t opposed to moving Bogdanovic, but the price tag is “at the very minimum, an unprotected first-round pick.”
Detroit really likes what Bogdanovic has brought to this squad, so Toronto (and other suitors) will have to put together an impressive package.
Bojan Bogdanovic contract details
Bogdanovic signed a two-year, $39.1 million contract extension with the Pistons in October. The second year of the extension is partially guaranteed for $2 million.
|Salary||$19.3 million||$20.0 million||$19.0 million*||UFA|