Winning 52 games during the 2020-21 NBA season, the Utah Jazz held the best record in the league and were beginning to look like a team that could contend in the Western Conference for many years to come.
Now, getting ready to begin the 2022-23 season, the Jazz find themselves without head coach Quin Snyder, who resigned from his position this offseason, and both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, who the team traded this offseason. Utah is now rebuilding, which means they will likely be big “sellers” over the course of this upcoming year.
Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson are two experienced guards that teams have expressed interest in this offseason, as is forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who could end up being the best player available in trade talks over the next few months.
Bogdanovic, 33, is preparing for his ninth NBA season and he has been a key offensive weapon for the Jazz since coming over from the Indiana Pacers in 2019. In Utah through three seasons and 204 regular season games, Bogdanovic has averaged 18.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game on 44.7 percent shooting from the floor and 39.7 percent shooting from three-point range.
Having the ability to play either the small forward or power forward positions, Bojan Bogdanovic is being viewed as a “win-now” type of asset for many playoff contending teams around the league.
As of right now, it seems very likely that the veteran will be moved at some point during the 2022-23 season and he could very well be on the move to one of these teams, some of which have inquired about him already.
Los Angeles Lakers
The obvious landing spot for Bojan Bogdanovic in a trade right now is the Los Angeles Lakers simply because nobody seems to know if Russell Westbrook will remain on this roster. It seems like the Lakers are moving forward with Westbrook, but until he steps out on the floor in their Opening Night game on October 18 against the Golden State Warriors, who knows!
Moving Westbrook opens up a lot of money for Los Angeles, allowing them to potentially trade for guys like Bojan Bogdanovic or both Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, two players on the Indiana Pacers that they have been linked to in recent weeks.
Trading for Bogdanovic gives the Lakers exactly what they are missing out on the wing and he could very well be the type of player that makes them a championship threat again.
Many of the problems the Lakers have had to deal with recently revolve around injuries and staying healthy, but outside of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, it has been hard to find consistent production on their roster.
Bogdanovic can consistently give his team anywhere from 14-20 points per game and since the start of the 2017-18 season, he has made an average of 2.4 three-pointers per game and has shot 40.3 percent from long-range.
This is exactly the type of player the Lakers are missing out on the wing, which is why Bojan Bogdanovic should be high atop their list of potential trade targets ahead of the trade deadline.
The Phoenix Suns just won a franchise record 64 games last season, so why should they change anything about their roster?
Well, the Suns lost in the 2021 NBA Finals because they did not have enough depth out on the wing and they ended up losing 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 entering the 2022-23 season, but Jae Crowder’s long-term future in Phoenix is in question.
There has been some talk around the league that Crowder would like to go back to the Miami Heat and should this be true, the Suns could move him to Miami and bring in Bogdanovic to replace him, giving Phoenix a stronger and higher percentage three-point shooter on the perimeter.
Not to mention, the Suns are paying Dario Saric $9.2 million this season coming off of an ACL injury, making him a potential trade candidate for them to move for value. Bogdanovic’s style of play would fit in perfectly with the way the Suns operate, making this a reasonable destination for him.
Signing Danilo Gallinari this offseason was a huge move for the Boston Celtics to add depth at either forward position, something they have not had in a while. Entering the 2022-23 season, the Celtics will once again not have much depth at the forward positions since Gallinari suffered a torn ACL playing for the Italian national team this summer.
Boston certainly does not need to make a big move, as they came within one game of beating the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals, but they are not afraid to spend money to win and they recently backed this up.
“I think we’re spending about $200 million on the roster this year, and Brad has the green light to spend more,” Celtics governor Wyc Grousbeck told Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe recently.
The Celtics have quite a few assets they could move to trade for Bogdanovic, but in order to do so, they would likely have to part ways with guard Derrick White, who they traded for at the trade deadline last season.
With the arrival of Malcolm Brogdon though, White’s role could wind up changing and he could suddenly become dispensable for this team, especially if they can upgrade their forward depth with someone like Bojan Bogdanovic.
Pat Riley is never afraid to spend money and move future assets around to contend for a championship and the Miami Heat know that they are on the verge of making it back to the NBA Finals.
Losing P.J. Tucker this offseason has left a hole at the power forward position for the Heat, one that they will likely look to have filled by Jimmy Butler. Normally playing out on the wing, Butler is not accustomed to playing this position and suddenly, the Heat may not be as great as they were defensively because they will now be a much smaller team than they were.
The Jazz would likely want 2021-22 Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro in a deal for Bojan Bogdanovic, but the Heat could likely sounter with a deal that includes Duncan Robinson and some draft compensation.
Robinson’s role with Miami has shifted greatly since he signed a five-year, $90 million deal with the team in 2021 and as a result, the Heat should be willing to move him for upgrade, championship-like value.
In the final year of his contract, Bogdanovic would almost be “rented” by the Heat and since he is set to become an unrestricted free agent following this upcoming year, Miami would free up nearly $20 million in cap space by trading for him.
Suddenly, their near $160 million payroll for the 2023-24 season would drop to under $150 million, giving them tax flexibility to re-sign Tyler Herro to a long-term extension.
Keep an eye on the Miami Heat to make a big move before the trade deadline this upcoming season, especially since they are contending for a championship and still have some holes on their roster.
I know the Charlotte Hornets are not 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 does not want to have to go through yet another rebuild.
LaMelo Ball was a first-time All-Star a season ago and now, the clock is ticking for them to begin improving 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 roster, especially with Miles Bridges not expected to play again.
Can Terry Rozier step up to be this team’s No. 2 scorer? Will Gordon Hayward remain healthy and play over 60 games this upcoming season? Is P.J. Washington the answer for this team at the power forward position?
Going out and moving some of their youth for a guy like Bojan Bogdanovic allows the Hornets to fight for a playoff spot and/or Play-In Tournament spot and like the Heat, the Hornets would suddenly get a handful of cap space that they could utilize to try and lure a big name to Charlotte next summer to pair with Ball.
With the contracts of Mason Plumlee and Kelly Oubre Jr. expiring after the 2022-23 season as well, the Hornets would have enough cap space to add a max contract type of player. With names like Khris Middleton, Andrew Wiggins, Myles Turner and Kristaps Porzingis possibly becoming available in free agency, Charlotte could very much be in the mix to add an All-Star-level talent.
Trading for Bogdanovic this season gives the Hornets another key contributor on the offensive-end of the floor and suddenly, they would be a team that could be competitive each and every night. They have still yet to fill the hole Bridges has left them with, which is why Bogdanovic is a player that would make sense for them.