Detroit Pistons third-year general manager Troy Weaver celebrates the first day of fall the best way he knows how: with a trade, of course.
The Pistons are trading for Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic in exchange for center Kelly Olynyk and guard Saben Lee, the Free Press confirmed Thursday morning.
Bogdanovic, 33, has spent the past three seasons with the Jazz, averaging 18.4 points and shooting 39.7 percent on 6.8 3-point attempts per game as Utah made the playoffs every year. He immediately became the Pistons’ most accomplished 3-point shooter, hitting two 3s per game during his eight-season NBA career with Brooklyn, Washington, Indiana and Utah. The Pistons finished 29th in the NBA last season with 32.6% 3-point percentage.
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Bogdanovic, who represents the Croatian national team and was its top scorer at the 2016 Olympics, signed a four-year, $73.1 million contract with the Jazz in 2019. He has one year left at 19, $6 million and will be an unrestricted free agent after that. season.
The Pistons will take more pay this season, as Olynyk is on the books for $12.8 million and Lee will earn $1.8 million. But it will save Detroit money in 2023-24, as Olynyk had a partial $3 million guarantee that season, giving the Pistons even more cap space as they potentially look to strike to stimulate reconstruction.
The Pistons drafted Lee, 23, with the 38th overall pick in 2020, Weaver’s first draft as general manager. Lee played in 85 games over two seasons, starting seven as a rookie, and earned All-NBA G League Second Team honors for the Motor City Cruise last season. He has a club option for 2023-24.
Olynyk, 31, signed a three-year, $37 million contract in free agency in 2021. In his lone season with the Pistons, he averaged 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2. 8 assists, but injuries limited him to 40 games.
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Bogdanovic started all 204 games he played for Utah, helping the Jazz become one of the most effective offenses in the league while playing as a power forward. But the Jazz have suffered disappointing playoff performances every year. Danny Ainge, in his first full season as head of basketball operations, led a complete teardown of the Utah core, dealing All-Stars Rudy Gobert to Minnesota and Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland in blockbuster trades more early this offseason.
The Pistons now have 16 players on the roster, one over the limit, but would need to buy out Kemba Walker to get to 15.
It’s the Pistons’ most recent trade in a busy summer. They dealt Jerami Grant to Portland, completed a nightly acquisition of Jalen Duren with the No. 13 pick in the 2022 NBA draft, and reached a salary dump deal with the Knicks.
The Pistons also re-signed forward/center Marvin Bagley III to a three-year, $37.5 million deal and agreed to a two-year contract with forward Kevin Knox II.
Training camp begins next week and the Pistons host the first of four preseason games Oct. 4 at the New York Knicks. The Pistons open the regular season Oct. 19 against Orlando.
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athletics was first to report news of the Pistons-Jazz deal.
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