Mavs targeting Pistons’ Bojan Bogdanovic, Nerlens Noel in package deal?
Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) handles the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell (0) in the second half at Little Caesars Arena. Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks have been linked to Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic multiple times, and have also expressed interest in his teammate, center Nerlens Noel. To this point, that interest appeared to be separate.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggested on NBA countdown (video link) that the Mavs might pursue a package deal for both players.

I think the kind of players the Mavs are knocking on the door on, like a lot of other teams, look in Detroit,” Wojnarowski said. “Bojan Bodanovic, Nerlens Noel. That’s a tandem that could be in a package together. Certainly, the shooting of Bogdanovic, his ability to complement (Luka) Doncic, like he would a lot of contending teams.”

Woj added that, unlike some other trade candidates who are impending free agents, Bogdanovic holds appeal because he’s under contract for two more seasons beyond 2022/23 after signing a two-year, $39MM extension with Detroit. His $20MM salary for next season is fully guaranteed, but his $19MM salary for ’24/25 only has a small partial guarantee ($2MM).

As for Noel, he has $9.7MM team option on his contract for next season, which seems likely to be declined, mostly due to injuries — he’s only played 37 games over the past two seasons. When healthy, he can be a difference-maker on defense, so it makes sense that Dallas might be interested — the Mavs are ranked 25th in the league on that end and have given up 130-plus points in three straight losses.

It’s unclear what it would take for the Mavs to pull off such a deal, but Tim Hardaway Jr. or Davis Bertans would likely be included for salary-matching purposes. They cannot trade their 2023 first-round pick, as it is owed to the Knicks (top-10 protected).

The Pistons are rumored to be looking for at least an unprotected first-rounder for Bogdanovic. They could also just hang onto him through the deadline — he’s their leading scorer and they hope to be more competitive next season.

Wojnarowski concluded by saying he expects the Mavs to be “really active” ahead of the February 9 trade deadline.

This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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