Every season, there’s at least one decent veteran rotting at the pit of a bottom-feeding team. This year, one of the top names on that list is Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic.
He’s been playing well: scoring, dishing, hitting clutch shots, and all that.
Of course, as we are all aware of, the Pistons have turned into the league’s whipping boys. Led by a record-setting 28-game losing streak that spanned over two months, they are an atrocious 3-35 on the season, the clear-cut worst record in the association. They are also dead-last in net rating (-11.5), second-to-last in turnovers, three-point field goals, and three-point shooting, and at the bottom of many other lists.
You got to feel bad about ‘Bogey.’
It’s not fair to grind day in and day out, still ball your butt off at 34 years old, and have all that blood, sweat, and tears pretty much go nowhere. Mind you, he’s also coming off a significant right calf strain that caused him to miss the first 19 games of the season. This is simply an undeserving season for a tough vet who’s on the back-half of his career, especially for one who has had frustrating playoff exits in his early NBA years.
In 19 outings thus far this season, Bogdanovic is second on the team in scoring at 19.8 points per game, right behind the franchise cornerstone, 22-year-old Cade Cunningham. He is also supplying in other categories, modest as it may be: 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.1 steals. The ever-reliable outside shot is also there as he is at a 40.7% clip from beyond the arc in 7.4 attempts per contest, topped off by a serviceable 46.7% field goal shooting overall.
What has all that brought Bogey? Nothing, basically. He has one win and 18 losses in his appearances this season.
One more great example is this past Wednesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings. He had 22 points in the first half, and that barrage led to a 47-point team output in the first quarter and a 20-point lead at one point. It ended up being a 131-110 loss.
Bogdanovic is a fabulous role player, but he can’t carry a team and also doesn’t belong on this iteration of the Pistons as a supporting piece. He is a veteran that has value, and more of a ceiling-raiser, not a floor-raiser, so it just makes you wish that he finally gets freed from this messy, rebuilding phase of the franchise.
Plenty of GMs are itching to get the Croatian sharpshooter on their squad, especially from mid and top-tier contenders, seeing how his play can considerably elevate their team. It’s now widely known that the Pistons front office turned down two first-round picks from a legit playoff team last season.
The aforementioned Cunningham, big man Jalen Duren, and two-guard Jaden Ivey are all fine young pieces, and while they too are in a rough spot, they will be fine and have all the time in the world, unlike Bogdanovic.
Let’s all hope Bogey gets shipped into a contender, where his services will be highlighted much, much more.