Pistons’ Dwane Casey: Bojan Bogdanovic should be an All-Star

Detroit News

Detroit — Bojan Bogdanovic, the NBA All-Star?

Dwane Casey thinks so.

The veteran coach was asked about Bogdanovic’s candidacy to become a first-time All-Star before Tuesday’s loss to the Utah Jazz.

“I hope people don’t look at our record as a rebuilding team and punish him for that because to me, Bogey’s an All-Star,” Casey said. “I’ve coached a lot of offensive players in my career when you talk about (Dirk) Nowitzki, (DeMar) DeRozan, a lot of those guys, Kevin Garnett. Offensively, he’s right up there with those guys as far as scoring the basketball.”

All-Star voting, in which fans vote for starters for the annual showcase, began Tuesday, and fans may submit one full ballot each day. Each ballot is comprised of three frontcourt players and two guards from each conference. Voting will conclude on Jan. 21 at 11:59 p.m.

Voting returns will be shared by the league on Jan. 5, Jan. 12 and Jan. 19 before the starters are revealed on TNT on Jan. 26. The reserves, selected by the coaches, will be revealed on Feb. 2.

The Pistons (8-27) are struggling mightily this season, with the worst record in the league. They’ve lost their best player in Cade Cunningham for the season due to injury, but Bogdanovic has been a constant source of offense.

He’s averaging a career-high 20.8 points on 49% from the field in his eighth season and he has his second-highest marks from the 3-point line (42%) and free-throw line (90%). The numbers mirror his best statistical season during his first season with the Jazz in 2019-20 when Bogdanovic totaled 20.2 points with shooting splits of 45% from the field, 41% from 3 and 90% from the stripe.

Since Dec. 4, Bogdanovic has been automatic from the free-throw line, shooting an NBA-best 96% (57-of-59) on his free-throw attempts.

“He knows how to score. He has a knack for it. Feet set, he’s as good as any shooter that I’ve been around,” Casey said. “I hope a lot of our Detroit fans will get out and vote as many times as they possibly can, because he deserves it.”

Bogdanovic was acquired in a trade from Utah on Sept. 22 in exchange for Saben Lee and Kelly Olynyk. He began his tenure in Detroit with a splash, connecting on six 3-pointers in his Pistons debut. It was the most number of 3-pointers for any Piston in his debut with the team.

One month into his time with the franchise, Bogdanovic and the Pistons agreed on a two-year extension through the 2024-25 season.

The All-Star game will be held on Sunday, Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 3-point shooting contest will occur on Saturday, Feb 18 during All-Star Saturday Night, another event Casey believes Bogdanovic merits consideration.

“He should be in there, and hopefully he also gets a nod in the 3-point shooting (contest),” Casey said. “He’s one of our best 3-point shooters in the league. How great would it be for him to be able to go back to Utah? He enjoyed his time in Utah, a lot. I think it would be a great situation for him to be able to go back either in the All-Star Game or 3-point Shooting contest.”

Clippers at Pistons

▶ Tipoff: 7 p.m. Monday, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

▶ TV/radio: BSD/97.1 FM

▶ Outlook: The Clippers are riding a seven-game winning streak over the Pistons, including a 96-91 victory over Detroit in Los Angeles on Nov. 17. Former Pistons guard Reggie Jackson scored 23 points to lead the Clippers in the last meeting at Crypto.com Arena. Clippers guard Luke Kennard, who also played with the Pistons from 2017-20, leads the league in 3-point percentage (48.9%).

mcurtis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @MikeACurtis

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