Detroit Pistons third-year general manager Troy Weaver is celebrating 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% on 6.8 3-point attempts per game as Utah made the playoffs each year. He immediately becomes the Pistons’ most accomplished 3-point shooter, making two 3s per game over his eight-season career in the NBA with Brooklyn, Washington, Indiana and Utah. The Pistons finished 29th in the NBA last season in 3-point make percentage at 32.6%.
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Bogdanovic, who represents the Croatian national team and was its leading scorer during the 2016 Olympics, signed a four-year, $73.1 million deal with the Jazz in 2019. He has one year remaining at $19.6 million and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.
The Pistons will take on more salary this season, as Olynyk is on the books for $12.8 million and Lee will make $1.8 million. But it’ll save Detroit money in 2023-24, because Olynyk had a partial guarantee for $3 million that season, gifting the Pistons even more cap space as they look to potentially strike to boost the rebuild.
The Pistons drafted Lee, 23, with the 38th overall pick in 2020, Weaver’s first draft as GM. Lee appeared 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 2021 free agency. During 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 in with Utah, helping the Jazz become one of the league’s most efficient offenses while playing power forward. But the Jazz suffered disappointing playoff performances each year. Danny Ainge, in his first full season as head of basketball operations, has led a complete teardown of Utah’s core, dealing All-Stars Rudy Gobert to Minnesota and Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland in blockbuster trades earlier this offseason.
The Pistons now have 16 players on the roster, one over the limit, but are expected to buy out Kemba Walker to get to 15.
This is the Pistons’ most recent trade during a busy summer. They dealt Jerami Grant to Portland, wielded a draft night acquisition of Jalen Duren with the No. 13 pick in the 2022 NBA draft and completed a salary dump deal with the Knicks.
The Pistons also re-signed power forward/center Marvin Bagley III to a three-year, $37.5 million contract, and agreed on a two-year deal with forward Kevin Knox II.
Training camp begins next week and the Pistons hold the first of four preseason games Oct. 4 at the New York Knicks. The Pistons open the regular season Oct. 19 vs. Orlando.
The Athletic was first to report news of the Pistons-Jazz deal.
More to come onfreep.com/sports.
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