Mitnick: Bogdanovic The Answer To The Nets’ Future?

Bojan_Bogdanović'13

Not to be confused with the Serbian guard Bogdan Bogdanovic

The Nets may have traded away most of their future cap space and draft picks to obtain KG and “The Truth”, but they sneakily held on to one of their aces, Bojan Bogdanovic, a Croatian star who may just be the answer to how the Nets will transition into the post-KG era.

After a horrid 11-20 start, the Nets have managed to turn things around since New Year’s, and have started to find some sort of identity as a team. After trading for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce this past summer, the Nets left themselves with very little in the way of draft picks and cap space over the next few years. With KG, Pierce and Joe Johnson not getting any younger, the Nets will need to be crafty to have a shot at contending without breaking up their core.

Enter Bojan Bogdanovic, one of the most explosive scorers in Europe, whose rights the Nets have retained since he was the 31st pick of the 2011 draft. Playing for Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, Bogdanovic is a 6’8” small forward, who can flat out get buckets. While most European players are stereotyped as shooters, Bogdanovic is excellent at taking it to the rack, where he excels as a finisher. While current Net, Mirza Teletovic, was more of a spot-up shooting go-to guy in Europe, Bogdanovic does most of his damage off the dribble, and will likely have an easier adjustment to the NBA than most Europeans.

Bojan Bogdanovic

NUMBER:44POSITION: SFSIZE:203 cm / 6”8BALL HAND: RightBORN:1989
 bogdyDrive first face-up wing with size. Can create his own shot. Attacks the rim with an array of moves off the dribble, where he is capable of finishing through contact and getting to the line. Effective in catch-and-shoot situations. Capable of pulling up off the dribble. More than 5 years of experience in top level professional competition in Europe. Hard worker and competitor.Turnover prone. Inconsistent shooter off the dribble, sometimes due to poor shot selection, settling for contested pull-ups. Below average lateral quickness defensively.

Season

Team

GP

Minutes

FG%

3PT%

FT%

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Foul

TO

PTS

11’-12’

Fenerbahce

48

23.5

48.3%

36.8%

82%

2.3

1.4

0.5

0.2

1.6

1.2

13.4

12’-13’

Fenerbahce

51

26.9

49.3%

38.7%

83%

2.4

1.7

0.5

0.4

1.4

1

14.2

13’-14’

Fenerbahce

26

27.9

50%

36.1%

82%

2.7

2

0.6

0.3

1.4

1.6

15.1

The thing that makes Bogdanovic special is his versatility offensively. His outside shot is above average, mainly due to his overall confidence in his ability. He is very effective posting up guards on switches, and overall has a knack for finding a way to exploit a defense’s weaknesses. Getting the opportunity to play one or two years with Paul Pierce,  one of the best flat out scorers of this generation, Bogdanovic would be in a great situation to learn the nooks and crannies of being  a scorer in the NBA. More importantly, his production can soften the blow of the eventual loss or decline of Pierce and Joe Johnson.

Defensively, Bogdanovic does not stand out. His lateral quickness is below average, and he will most likely not be able to guard the top penetrating guards in the NBA and consistently stay in front. However, since playing for coach Obradovic (see below), he has shown more consistent focus and effort on the defensive side of the floor, and is able to hide his weaknesses by staying on the same page with his teammates on defense. While his ability to stop penetration will prevent him from being a lockdown defender, on a good defensive team he can make an impact (or at least not be a liability) with competitiveness and effort.

Bogdanovic is currently playing for former Serbian coach, Zeljko Obradovic, an 8-time Euroleague champion, and one of the most demanding coaches worldwide. Obradovic is probably the closest thing you will find to Larry Brown in Europe, putting a strong emphasis on playing the right way, and giving everything of yourself for the team. Coach Obradovic will not hesitate to bench a player for making a “basketball IQ” type of mistake, and his star players are held just as accountable. After playing for Obradovic, Bogdanovic should have no issue fitting into a veteran-laden Nets squad, and making the foul needed to stop a transition basket, or diving onto the floor for a loose ball.

The Nets were not able to bring Bogdanovic on board this past summer, despite offering him a 3-year, $10 million contract, due to a massive buyout in his contract with Fenerbahce, reportedly set at over $2 million. However, Bogdanovic has publicly expressed his desire to play for the Nets, and whether it is the summer of 2014 or 2015, he will be suiting up stateside in the near future.

While the 2014 draft class is set to be very strong, Bogdanovic would be one of the strongest rookies in the league next year, after a wealth of experience in the Euroleague, Spanish ACB league, Adriatic League, and the Turkish TBL. While he is still relatively young, being born in 1989, this is no typical rookie. He will go through the inevitable transition period, as there is for any rookie, especially from Europe, but this kid can flat out play at the highest level, and he should prove to be one of the big steals of the 2011 draft.

Bogdanovic may not be able to fix Brook Lopez’s foot, or find a solution to the Nets’ atrocious cap situation, but he certainly can bring some much needed youth and bench scoring to a team that is currently defaulting on the mortgage they took out this past summer.

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  2. Michael says

    I don’t see any apologies yet on this website from you about your ridiculous HATRED towards Greek players. Are you going to own up yet? You continued to hate on everything related to GREEK players and even when the subject was Antetokounmpo you said over and over he will be the biggest draft bust in years.

    Still not one word from you to admit you were wrong. And still not word to admit your BS claims about how horrible the level of basketball in Greece is as you claim is wrong and is all BS………..

    I am still waiting……….

  3. jerry25 says

    The problem with all of this is that Bogs couldn’t be offered more than the mMLE by Nets, which if sufficient for Bogs means that Nets would lose Shawn Livingston to free agency.
    Shawn is a better NBA player than Bogs because he plays defense and Bogs plays no defense.
    -As a result Nets are better off trying to retain Livingston (who can play next to DWill) and trade the rights to Bojan to a team that can afford to pay him and play him.
    Also, Bogs coach said recently that he already committed to signing another contract with Fener, although Bogs has said he hasn’t decided. Currently there is no buyout to come to the USA, but if he signs another contract you can probably kiss goodbye the chances of coming to the US as a valuable person.
    -If Billy King can just get a #25-#30 2014 draft pick via trade, I think King will jump on it, and try to re-sign the dependable Livingston.
    -Besides, the way Joe Jesus plays, he doesn’t require much athleticism and should be Jesus for a few more years.
    -Unfortunately, Nets just traded away Toko Shengelia, who was a good 22 year old prospect.

    • jerry25 says

      Which reminds me, if Jason Kidd can turn new backup 20 year old PG, Marquis Teague, into anything like his 25 year old brother, Jeff, Kidd deserves Coach of the Year.

    • jerry25 says

      Also, regarding Nets future. The team is now 9-1 for 2014.
      If Billy King can trade the rights to Bogs for a late 2014 draft pick, then the future for Nets is still bright.
      -Nets will be a team to be make trouble in the playoffs this season, as that are just 2.5 games out of 3rd place now.
      -Next season they likely will only lose KG to retirement (although he would be forfeiting $11 million) if Pierce is resigned with his Bird Rights, Nets keep Livingston with full mMLE, Kirilenko feels bad for his letting Nets fans down with injury and accepts his mMLE player option and King offers Blatche the maximum Early Bird Rights.
      -However besides this 2014 draft pick (via Bogs), and development of Mason Plumlee and Marquis Teague, Nets would be “adding” Brook Lopez (at age 26). Ultimately Nets/Kidd would need to get Lopez and Blatche to play better together, with now the resurgent Teletovic also at PF.

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