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Utah Jazz trade Bojan Bogdanovic to the Pistons for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee

A bit of a headscratcher of a trade that may be part of more to come or to get the books ready for a long rebuild

Milwaukee Bucks v Detroit Pistons Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Utah Jazz have traded Bojan Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee.

It’s a bit of a headscratcher considering we learned that the Jazz considered Bojan Bogdanovic worth a first-round pick. There have also been a huge amount of rumors that the Jazz were in talks with the Lakers for some sort of trade, but it’s clear the Lakers were not interested in paying the price the Jazz had set for their wing sharpshooter.

So why did the Jazz make this trade? Probably the biggest reason, and it’s not a sexy one, is they needed to get a trade done before training camp. Bojan Bogdanovic was going to take time away from the younger, developing players and they needed to clear that spot. It’s also a way to avoid any locker room issues. Bogdanovic would not have been happy to be a part of a rebuild late in his career and he’s good enough that he might have made the Jazz better than they wanted to be.

The Jazz may surprise people next season, but the only way they’re okay with that is if it’a the rookies and young prospects developing. If the Jazz were winning games because Bogdanovic was dominating matchups against teams like the Thunder, that’s not a positive thing. You either want to be bad enough to get more ping pong balls in the lottery, or your young talent is good enough to show they are players you want to build around for the future.

That being said, it is disappointing that the Jazz weren’t able to get some sort of pick but it looks like the only way they were doing that would have been to take on bad contracts. Obviously, the Jazz don’t appear interested in that sort of move, at least for what they would have gotten for Bogdanovic. A Duncan Robinson move for example doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Another positive from this move is that it does provide the Jazz a more complete roster, even if the players are a downgrade. Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji will get a chance to play with legitimate NBA talent while not sacrificing too many minutes. (Somewhere, Quin Snyder is grinding his teeth at the mere thought of a young players getting time.) This will also give some of the young talent, like Jarred Vanderbilt, time to play with players that match his skill set. The same goes for Collin Sexton.

Finally, this helps salary-wise and provides the Jazz a trade exception around $6-7M.

Bobby Marks from ESPN broke it down in a great way here:

He mentions how this puts the Jazz at 18 guaranteed contracts and that they’ll have to trade or waive 3 players by October 15th which is the date to watch. It also helps them get below the luxury tax, which is not something you want to deal with while in a rebuild.

All in all, it’s a weird trade that doesn’t seem to impact things in a way Jazz fans have been used to all offseason. We’ve gotten spoiled with so many draft picks, and so with a trade like this, it’s hard not to feel like it wasn’t great. Over the next few weeks we’ll see if this is part of something more, or if it was more a houscleaning type move. At least the Jazz aren’t giving up 1sts for trades like this like they had in the past.