The Detroit Pistons 2022-23 season was over within the first month of the campaign. Franchise cornerstone Cade Cunningham went out with a left shin injury on November 9 and has season-ending surgery shortly after. Now the team is in last place in the Eastern Conference and has the most losses in the entire league. With the 2023 NBA trade deadline on the horizon, the Pistons are 100% sellers as they try to “improve” their record to get better odds in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. To do this, there are several Pistons trades the team can make to help them lose games. This includes finding Pistons trade deadline deals for Bojan Bogdanovic, Nerlens Noel, and Alec Burks.
Heading into the February 9, 2023, NBA trade deadline, Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic is the team’s best trade asset. The 33-year-old forward is having a career year on the sinking ship that is the 12-36 Detroit squad.
Bogdanovic is averaging a career-high 21.3 points and 2.8 assists per game this season along with 3.6 rebounds, while also shooting 41.2% from 3-point range on 5.9 attempts per game. The veteran forward is making his case to be a huge asset for any team in playoff contention right now.
There are several Pistons trade deadline partners who are rumored to be interested in Bogdanovic. The Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Dallas Mavericks are all franchises that could make a play for the Detroit star.
Currently, the buzz around the NBA is that the Pistons are holding out for a king’s ransom for Bojan Bogdanovic, and that is scaring teams away. However, as the NBA trade deadline approaches with this many teams involved, someone will eventually pay the price tag and give the Pistons what it will take to pry Bogdanovic off their roster.
The Pistons trade deadline strategy should be a fire sale of basically every viable rotation player over the age of 24. That puts 28-year-old Nerlens Noel squarely on the trading block.
The veteran big man has only played 12 games this season and has played 11.8 minutes a game in those contests. However, at his best, the veteran center is one of the better rim-protection specialists in the NBA. He’s had a positive defensive win share in every season of his career and averaged a block a game or more in eight different seasons, with 2.2 blocks per in 2020-21.
Noel simply isn’t in the Pistons’ plans, but he does still have some value. And while there are some teams (like the Dallas Mavericks), who could trade for Noel on an individual basis, his biggest value may come from his superbly tradeable $9.2 million salary.
If the Pistons want to take on a big, expiring contract (ala Russell Westbrook), then adding Noel’s salary to the $19.5 million Bojan Bogdanovic contract could produce a big Pistons trade deadline deal.
Like Nerlens Noel and Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks is over 24 (31) and not in the Pistons’ long-term plans. That means he is the third major Pistons trade deadline candidate. Along with Noel, Burks has a great contract to facilitate a trade, be it on its own or pooled together with his teammates, at $10 million.
Burks is playing a respectable 21.7 minutes per game and averaging 13.6 points, 2.2 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 44.4% from behind the arc on 4.4 3-point attempts each match.
In addition to the numbers, what makes Burks so valuable as a Pistons trade deadline candidate is that he is the type of player that every team could use, a 3-and-D wing. The 6-foot-6 guard can cover multiple positions, and when he’s used in the right capacity, he can be a solid defender. He’s also a lights-out shooter no whether he’s on a good team or not.
Burks could go to the Bucks, Pelicans, or Brooklyn Nets and help any of those teams in a big way as they push for playoff success.
Other Pistons trade deadline candidates
Bojan Bogdanovic, Nerlens Noel, and Alec Burks are the three players the Pistons must move at the NBA trade deadline, but they aren’t the only ones who could move. Based on their age, value, and role with Detroit going forward, there are a couple of players who could be involved in a Pistons trade if a Godfather offer comes through.
Saddiq Bey has lost his starter’s role this season, although he is still a valuable rotation player. If a team wants to roll out the first-round picks for the 6-foot-7 forward, the Pistons may listen. The same is true for Kylian Hayes. When Cade Cunningham comes back, the Frenchman will fall down the pecking order behind him and Jaden Ivey, which means a team could have Hayes for the right offer.