With 52 wins in the 2020-21 NBA season, the Utah Jazz held the league’s best record and were starting to look like a team that could last for many years in the Western Conference.
Now the Jazz are preparing to start the 2022-23 season and find themselves without head coach Quin Snyder, who stepped down from his position this offseason, and both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, who traded the team this offseason . Utah is now rebuilding, which means they will likely be big “sellers” over the coming year.
Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson are two experienced guards whose teams have expressed interest in this off-season, as has forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who could be the best available player in trade talks over the next few months.
Bogdanovic, 33, is gearing up for his ninth NBA season and has been a key offensive weapon for the Jazz since joining from the Indiana Pacers in 2019. At Utah, in three seasons and 204 regular-season games, Bogdanovic has averaged 18.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game on 44.7 percent shots from the ground and 39.7 percent shots from three-point range.
Bojan Bogdanovic, who has the option to play either the small forward or power forward position, is viewed as a “win-now” asset by many playoff teams in the league.
At the moment it seems very likely that the veteran will make the move sometime in the 2022/23 season and he could very well join one of these teams, some of whom have already been asking about him.
Los Angeles Lakers
The obvious landing spot for Bojan Bogdanovic in a trade right now is the Los Angeles Lakers simply because no one seems to know if Russell Westbrook will stay on that roster. It seems the Lakers are moving forward with Westbrook, but until he hits the floor in their opening game against the Golden State Warriors on October 18, who knows!
The move to Westbrook opens up a lot of money for Los Angeles, so they can potentially trade against guys like Bojan Bogdanovic or both Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, two Indiana Pacers players they’ve been linked with in recent weeks.
Trading Bogdanovic gives the Lakers exactly what they lack on the wing, and he could very well be the type of player to turn them into a championship threat again.
A lot of the issues the Lakers have had to deal with lately have revolved around injuries and staying healthy, but outside of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, it’s been difficult to find consistent production in their roster.
Bogdanovic can consistently give his team between 14 and 20 points per game and since the start of the 2017/18 season he has averaged 2.4 three-pointers per game and shot 40.3 percent from distance.
It’s exactly the kind of player the Lakers lack on the wing, which is why Bojan Bogdanovic should be high on their list of potential trade targets before the trade deadline.
The Phoenix Suns just won a franchise-record 64 games last season, so why change anything about their roster?
Well, the Suns lost the 2021 NBA Finals because they didn’t have enough depth on the wing, and they lost in the Western Conference Semifinals last season due to a lack of offensive production.
Where Bojan Bogdanovic would play is definitely a question mark given what the Suns roster looks like for the 2022-23 season, but Jae Crowder’s long-term future at Phoenix is in question.
There has been talk in the league that Crowder would like to return to the Miami Heat, and if true, the Suns could move him to Miami and bring in Bogdanovic as a backup, giving Phoenix a stronger and higher-percent three-pointer on the rim.
Not to mention, the Suns are paying Dario Saric $9.2 million this season following an ACL injury, making him a potential trade contender for them to move by value. Bogdanovic’s style of play would perfectly suit the way the Suns operate, making this a reasonable target for him.
The signing of Danilo Gallinari this offseason was a big step for the Boston Celtics to add depth to both forward positions, something they haven’t had in a while. At the start of the 2022-23 season, the Celtics will again not have much depth in the forward positions as Gallinari suffered a cruciate ligament rupture while playing for the Italy national team this summer.
Boston certainly doesn’t need to make a big move since they beat the Golden State Warriors by a game in the 2022 NBA Finals, but they’re not afraid to spend money to win and they recently confirmed it.
“I think we’re spending about $200 million on the roster this year and Brad has the green light to spend more,” Celtics Gov. Wyc Grousbeck recently told Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.
The Celtics have some assets they could trade for Bogdanovic, but to do so they would likely have to part with guard Derrick White, who they traded for at the close of trade last season.
However, with the arrival of Malcolm Brogdon, White’s role could change and he could suddenly become expendable for this team, especially if they can improve their forward depth with someone like Bojan Bogdanovic.
Pat Riley is never afraid to spend money and move future assets to contend for a championship, and the Miami Heat know they are close to making it back to the NBA Finals.
The loss of PJ Tucker this offseason has left a hole in the power forward position for the Heat, one that they will likely have Jimmy Butler fill. Butler, who usually plays on the wing, isn’t used to playing that position and suddenly maybe the Heat isn’t as great as they were on defense because they’re going to be a much smaller team now than before.
The Jazz would likely want sixth man of 2021-22 Tyler Herro in a deal for Bojan Bogdanovic, but the Heat could likely go down with a deal that includes Duncan Robinson and some draft allowance.
Robinson’s role at Miami has changed significantly since he signed a five-year, $90 million deal with the team in 2021, and as a result, the Heat should be poised to nudge him for an upgrade and Championship-like value.
In the final year of his contract, Bogdanovic would almost be “rented” by the Heat, and with him slated to become a full free agent after this coming year, the trade would free Miami up nearly $20 million in cap space for him.
Suddenly, their payroll would drop from nearly $160 million for the 2023-24 season to under $150 million, giving them tax flexibility to re-sign Tyler Herro for a long-term extension.
Keep an eye on the Miami Heat for a big move before the trade deadline next season, especially as they’re fighting for a championship and still have a few holes in their roster.
I know the Charlotte Hornets aren’t in the same category as the Suns, Celtics, Heat and Lakers, well maybe the Lakers since they both missed the playoffs last year, but Charlotte doesn’t want to have to go through yet another rebuild.
LaMelo Ball was an all-star for the first time a season ago and now the clock is ticking for them to improve if they want to keep Ball as their franchise player. Right now, the Hornets look like a team that will end up with a top 10 draft pick simply because they have way too many question marks on their list, especially since Miles Bridges is unlikely to play again.
Can Terry Rozier become this team’s second-best scorer? Will Gordon Hayward stay healthy and play 60+ games next season? Is PJ Washington the answer for this team at the power forward position?
Going out and postponing some of their youth for a guy like Bojan Bogdanovic allows the Hornets to compete for a playoff spot and/or a play-in tournament spot, and like the Heat, the Hornets would suddenly have a handful of cap- Getting space they could use next summer is trying to lure a big name to Charlotte to pair up with Ball.
With Mason Plumlee and Kelly Oubre Jr.’s contracts also expiring after the 2022-23 season, the Hornets would have enough leeway to add a maximum contract type player. With the likes of Khris Middleton, Andrew Wiggins, Myles Turner and Kristaps Porzingis potentially becoming available in free agency, Charlotte could well be in the mix to add All-Star level talent.
Trading Bogdanovic this season gives the Hornets another major contribution on offense on the floor and suddenly they would be a team that could be competitive every night. They have yet to fill the hole Bridges left them, which is why Bogdanovic is a player who would make sense for them.