Jazz reset continues as they trade Bojan Bogdanovic to Detroit

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz have agreed to trade veteran forward Bojan Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for center Kelly Olynyk and 23-year-old point guard Saben Lee, according to multiple reports.

The deal continues Utah's massive reset of the roster that once finished with the league's best record but consistently disappointed in the playoffs.

It also adds to the math problem.

With the 2-for-1 trade, the Jazz now have 18 players with guaranteed contracts as the team heads into training camp, and will need to get that number down to 15 by the start of the season.

So why do the deal?

Jazz CEO of basketball Danny Ainge has history with Olynyk; that much is for sure. Utah likes the former Boston Celtics player and believe he can have a positive influence on a developing roster. The deal also opens minutes for younger players to fill the forward position, and likely increased their lottery odds. Oh, and it saves some money, too.

Bogdanovic will make $19.5 million this season; Olynyk and Lee, combined, will make about $14.5 million. That could help the team facilitate other trades while staying under the luxury tax line. With the Jazz still exploring deals for their other veterans, the added flexibility actually might have been the greatest motivator to do this deal.

That said, it's fair to wonder if the Jazz got all they could for their second-leading scorer and one of their more consistent players over the last three years. Bogdanovic averaged 18.4 points on 40% 3-point shooting over his three seasons in Utah.

While Bogdanovic is 33, there hasn't been much of a sign — if any — that he'll experience a drop off in production. He's one of the NBA's elite shooters and he's on an expiring deal; Olynyk and Lee were really the best any team would offer? A team source told KSL.com there were offers that included first-round picks for Bogdanovic but the Jazz would have had to take on longer-term deals back in return. In the end, they felt the Pistons deal would them meet their goals best.

Still, not getting an asset in return for Bogdanovic — easily the Jazz's most coveted remaining veteran — is surprising.

Olynyk averaged 9.1 points in an injury-riddled 2021-22 season. He had averaged 19.0 points on 39% shooting from 3-point range with the Houston Rockets in 2020-21. He'll be on the second of a three-year deal he signed with the Pistons, but only $3 million is guaranteed after this coming season.

Lee, a 2020 second-round pick (he was actually selected using a Jazz pick that was traded for Elijah Hughes), has averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 assists in his first two NBA seasons.

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Ryan Miller has covered the Utah Jazz for KSL.com since 2018.


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