Why Bojan Bogdanovic contract extension is good business for Detroit Pistons

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Pistons had good reason to be excited when they traded for Bojan Bogdanovic in September. The 33-year-old wing is a career 39.4% outside shooter, all-around efficient scorer, smart passer and capable defender. He plugs multiple holes for a rebuilding team in need of proven production.

So it wasn’t a big surprise that the Pistons have secured Bogdanovic’s immediate future with the team. He inked a two-year, $39.1 million extension on Sunday, a league source confirmed to the Free Press, and is now under contract through the 2024-25 season. The final year of his deal is partially-guaranteed for $2 million, meaning the Pistons can part ways with him during the 2024 offseason for a fraction of the price.

It’s a great extension for a player who’s quickly established himself as a top-two offensive option on the team. Through seven games, he’s Detroit’s leading scorer averaging 22.7 points per game on 52.6% overall shooting and 50.9% shooting from behind-the-arc. No other player has been as hot offensively to start the season — his 72.3% true shooting percentage tops all players averaging at least 30 minutes per game thus far. He won’t sustain that number, but he’s been an above-average scorer for most of his career and is well on track to keep that reputation intact.

He has been an asset for the Pistons, on and off the floor.

“He’s very knowledgeable about the game and he shares his knowledge,” Cade Cunningham said last week. “He doesn’t hold it to himself, he makes sure all of us are on the same page. He talks to us a lot. It’s fun to play with a guy like that, has such a high IQ and cares about winning so much.”

By extending him through 2025, the Pistons essentially did some of their offseason shopping early. They’re no longer projected to lead the NBA in cap space next offseason, but should have around $48 million available, according to Spotrac cap expert Keith Smith. That’s still enough to sign a player to a max contract, or multiple high-level role players. Bogdanovic’s extension shouldn’t alter Detroit’s offseason goals.

Bogdanovic has long been one of the NBA’s more underrated scorers. He thrived as the Utah Jazz’s No. 2 option behind Donovan Mitchell for several seasons, and was a secondary option behind Victor Oladipo for the Indiana Pacers in 2018-19. All of those teams made the playoffs. He has played important minutes for winning teams, making his experience invaluable for a young Pistons team still learning how to win.

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He will be 36 when his new contract expires, meaning the Pistons could eventually have some broader decisions to make about his role on the team. It’s tough to envision a roster he doesn’t belong on. The Pistons will always need knockdown shooting. As long as he’s making shots, he’ll fit virtually any lineup Casey opts to put on the floor. But he won’t always be a capable number two option.

The $2 million partial guarantee in 2024-25 pushes this extension from good to great for the Pistons. It gives them an out, should they want one. It’s difficult to predict what the future will bring, but there’s little downside for the Pistons. Bogdanovic is exactly the type of player this team needs, and he could be here for two additional seasons.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa.

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