The Atlanta Hawks are off to a promising start with a 10-7 record. After making it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021, the team failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs last season. Now more than ever, the Hawks could be a legitimate threat in the East, in large part because they acquired All-Star Dejounte Murray over the offseason to be Trae Young’s backcourt partner. Quiet, the front office might not be done shuffling the roster, with Bogdan Bogdanovic potentially on the move.
According to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto“NBA executives believe Atlanta will likely have to part with either forward John Collins, swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, or center Clint Capela to avoid looming luxury tax concerns next season.”
While Collins has been a subject of trade rumors for years, rival executives reportedly believes Bogdanović is the player most readily available. The Serbian guard is making $18 million this year and has an $18 million player option for the 2023-24 season.
In five seasons in the NBA, Bogdanović is averaging 14.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, one steal and 0.2 blocks per game. He has yet to play in the 2022-23 season as he recovers from a right knee surgery undergone this summer. With the Hawks hoping for bigger things, plus their tricky financial situation, they might not be willing to wait for his recovery.
Here are the three best trade destinations for Bogdan Bogdanovic this season.
One contender that could use Bogdanovic’s services is the Phoenix Suns. While it is uncertain when he will return to action, Phoenix has enough pieces to compete until he is fully healthy.
Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton are the main offensive options of the team, with veteran Chris Paul bringing leadership and experience. Bogdanović could be a catch-and-shoot sixth man, providing the team a spark off the bench.
To bring in the Serbian, the Suns would likely have Jae Crowder as the main asset, adding reserve wing Torrey Craig’s expiring contract for salary-matching purposes. Crowder is away from the team as both parties agreed to part ways during the offseason. That means that Phoenix would essentially not give away any key rotational players for Bogdanovic.
Atlanta would get a 3-and-D player with Finals experience, while Phoenix gets a scorer to help the secondary. This potential trade allows all parties to improve their rosters and gives Bogdanovic a shot at a title.
Los Angeles Lakers
After a disappointing 5-10 start, the Los Angeles Lakers are involved in multiple trade rumors. With LeBron James turning 38 next month and struggling with injuries, the window for another ring is closing. Because of that, the Lakers might be looking into options in the market, even if it is for next season.
Los Angeles is currently the worst team in the league in three-point shooting, making only 31.2%. Since most of their main players (James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook) are not shooting well from beyond the arc, Bogdanovic could be a short-term solution. He makes 38.4% on three-pointers for his career, and could spread the floor while James and Westbrook infiltrate the paint.
So, Bogdanović could be the main offensive option when the stars are resting. He can even be the team’s starting shooting guard if necessary.
A trade would most likely involve Patrick Beverley due to his salary of $13 million, plus a player such as Kendrick Nunn or a combination of smaller contracts. when healthy Bogdanović would instantly improve the Lakers’ offense.
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The Miami Heat are another team that has failed to live up to expectations over the first month of 2022-23. Dealing with injuries to star wing Jimmy Butler and others, the Heat are only 7-11. As Miami has the second-worst offense in the NBA (108.2 points per game), a player like Bogdanovic could turn things around.
Miami is also another team with shooting problems. It only makes 33.4% of its three-point attempts, ranking bottom-10 in the league. Since Butler and Bam Adebayo are not known for their shooting, any help would be welcome.
A trade would most likely involve Duncan Robinson, who lost his starting role this season and averages only 17.6 minutes a contest. He is also only scoring 6.3 points on 35.4% from the field and 30.6% from beyond the arc. Bogdan Bogdanovic would probably assume Robinson’s role when healthy, juicing the Heat’s bench productivity. It would also free some cap space for Miami as Robinson is under contract until the 2025-26 season, making close to $20 million.
Even though it does not help Atlanta’s luxury tax concerns, it gives the Hawks a player who can contribute right away.