The Miami Heat may get another chance to add Bojan Bogdanovic to their roster, with the Detroit Pistons reportedly possibly ready to trade him once he returns from an injury that has sidelined him for all of the 2023-24 NBA season so far.
The Heat were reportedly also linked to Bogdanovic about a year ago, but the veteran completed the season with Detroit. Miami could face renewed competition for the 34-year-old’s services from the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers.
“Small forward Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) has yet to appear in a game this season, but given that the young Pistons are going nowhere fast, he’s expected to be heavily pursued by contenders once he’s cleared to play,” wrote Sam Amico.
“Both the Knicks and Heat have been mentioned as potential suitors for Bogdanovic, 34, who averaged a career-high 21.4 points in 59 games last season. The Cavaliers and Lakers also expressed interest in Bogdanovic last year and could again this season, depending on how a things go for both between now and January or February.
“Detroit isn’t totally closed to the idea of trading Bogdanovic, sources said. But the Pistons really like his veteran presence and productivity, and would be seeking young players and/or picks. And isn’t every rebuilding team everywhere?”
Bogdanovic injured his calf during training camp, but on Tuesday reportedly began a return-to-play progression and will be back at practice soon.
He reached his career high in points per game last season. So when he is fully recovered from the injury, he should still be able to contribute at a high level for a team looking for an offensive boost.
The Heat, Knicks, Cavaliers and Lakers are all legitimate playoff contenders but may be a notch below the true threats for the NBA title. Bogdanovic conceivably could help push any of them closer to that upper echelon.
The Pistons are heading the other way, with a 2-13 record after losing their 12th game in a row on Monday. Before that contest, Pistons player Cade Cunningham candidly admitted his team was “bad.”
The Heat had a seven-game winning streak ended by the Chicago Bulls on Saturday but rebounded to get some revenge against the Bulls by defeating them on Monday to put their record at 9-5.
If the Pistons are indeed willing to trade Bogdanovic for young players and draft picks, it would be interesting to see what Miami is willing to offer. The Heat were not able to swing a trade for Damian Lillard, Jrue Holiday or Bradley Beal this offseason because they may have been lacking or unwilling to part with those type of assets.
Bogdanovic arguably is not at the level of those other players the Heat pursued, so maybe the price would not be as significant. However, with the possibility of competition — from some Eastern Conference rivals in particular – the cost may be higher that the Heat ultimately would like.