NBA trade deadline: What I’m hearing about the Pistons, part 2

NBA trade deadline: What I’m hearing about the Pistons, part 2

It is a common practice for a team sitting in the cellar of the N.B.Athe classification of being aggressive sellers once the trade deadline arrives. We’ve seen it time and time again, year after year. The pistons, however, could break that mold in 2023; at least they don’t seem too eager to be big sellers.

Detroit, which currently has the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, is getting a lot of calls about several players, according to league sources. veterans Bojan Bogdanović i Alec Burks are the two names that rival teams inquire about the most, while Saddiq Bey i Nerlens Noel they have also sparked interest in the NBA.

Here’s everything I’ve learned and gathered regarding these four names and the Feb. 9 trade deadline:

Bojan Bogdanović

Perhaps more than any player in the NBA, the 33-year-old forward has been a hot topic of trade rumors over the past month. It’s easy to understand why. Bogdanović, a career lover, is in the midst of his best offensive season. He is averaging a career-best 21.2 points while shooting 41.5 percent from 3, and entering Saturday, Bogdanović had scored at least 20 points in each of his last eight games, tied for the streak longest of his nine-year career. Teams around the league with at least playoff aspirations have looked at where Bogdanović stands at this point in his career and assessed the Pistons’ priorities in an effort to lure the Croatian forward away from the Motor City.

While Detroit has aspirations to be more competitive next season, and Bogdanović would certainly help make that happen, the Pistons are not opposed to moving him, league sources say. However, they are not anxious to deal him either, as they value not only his play on the court, but the leadership he has brought to the young team. According to league sources, the price to acquire Bogdanović appears to be at least an unprotected first-round pick. As the trade deadline approaches, the feeling is that there’s a decent chance Detroit’s front office will be dealt the pick it’s looking for, which would lead the team to seriously weigh the risk and reward of leaving with a quality player known for an uncertain asset.

Alec Burks

Like Bogdanović, the 31-year-old Burks, another professional scorer, is in the midst of his best offensive season since entering the NBA. He’s averaging 13.8 points off the bench while shooting a career-best 46 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from 3. Burks’ 44.4 percent clip on 3 ranks fourth in the entire NBA. Combine his production with a contract that has a favorable $10.4 million team option for next season, and it’s easy to see why teams have often inquired about his availability.

Of course, every player comes with a price, but according to league sources, the Pistons have shown very little interest in trading Burks before the deadline. My feeling is that a team would have to vastly overpay for Burks’ services. Detroit would like to keep him through the summer and into next season, when, again, the organization hopes to turn a corner with its rebuild.

Saddiq Bey

The third-year forward has had an up-and-down season, and with that, has been the subject of trade rumors of late. Interest from rival teams, according to league sources, intensified when Bey was benched in November. Teams have since monitored their availability.

Even so, though, I get the impression that the Pistons aren’t ready to move on from the 23-year-old Bey unless a deal comes along that they can’t refuse. What would such an offer entail? I’m not sure, but according to league sources, Detroit hasn’t made it seem like Bey is available for pennies.

Nerlens Noel

In last week’s win over the Timberwolvesthe veteran center had four blocks and three steals in the third quarter, sending a reminder to opposing teams that he still has the defensive chops that made him one of the league’s best rim protectors.

Both sides have agreed that a deal would be best for both, but that doesn’t mean a trade will happen before the Feb. 9 deadline. If the deal doesn’t materialize then, according to league sources, Noel, who has a team option for $9.6 million, doesn’t want to accept a buyout. The Pistons will likely enter the summer with the plan to either not pick up Noel’s option or, if they do, use it to accommodate a trade, should it materialize.

According to league sources, the teams most engaged in talks with the Pistons about Noel so far are the Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets i Dallas Mavericks.

(Photo by Bojan Bogdanović: Rick Osentoski / USA Today)

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