By Ian Parfrey @Ianparfrey
- Bojan Bogdanovic is a 24-year old sharpshooting small forward from Bosnia. In 2011, the Miami Heat took him with the #31 pick, but immediately swapped him to the Timberwolves for the rights to Norris Cole. The Nets then sent their 2013 second-rounder to Minnesota for Bogdanovic’s rights. The Nets have no second-round pick this year, but they have something better.
- Don’t confuse him with Bogdan Bogdanovic, a 20-year old shooting guard from Serbia, who declared for this year’s draft. I can’t wait to see a boxscore with the two of them playing each other.
- Back to Bojan– he averaged 15.9 points for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce Ulker this season, while making 40.5% of his threes.
- Unfortunately, Bojan doesn’t do a lot of other things. He averaged 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per 28 minutes this year, and his DraftExpress profile from 2011 warned that he was defensively “below average at best at the European level, and could have major issues guarding his position in the NBA.”
- Bojan is an atypical European prospect. The Euro League churns out low-ceiling Swiss-Army-knife forwards (they do a lot of things, but nothing particularly well) by the dozens, Mirza Teletovic being one example.
- I tried to find NBA comparables for Bojan– players who were good at shooting and scoring, but racked up very few rebounds or assists. Here’s the complete list: Dale Ellis, Peja Stojakovic, Eric Piatkowski, Pat Garrity, Anthony Morrow. I might also add Danny Granger as a best-case scenario, since Bojan will definitely be better at creating his own shot than Anthony Morrow. He’s also a more complete player than Steve Novak, though the same issues (can he shoot well enough to keep himself on the court?) may apply.
- Bojan is expected to receive the Nets’ mid-level exception (3 years, $9.8 million), and the Nets will only have minimum contracts to offer in free agency as a result.
- Is this a good thing? There might be slightly better uses of that salary-cap slot– Matt Barnes, Martell Webster, Tony Allen– but Bojan has more upside than just about anyone willing to sign for $3.1 million. Kyle Korver is probably out of the Nets’ price range.
- How does he fit in? You could make a pretty good offense/defense combination at the small forward with him and Gerald Wallace. If Bojan’s shooting prowess carries over to the NBA, he’ll significantly improve the often-dreadful floor spacing the Nets had this year.
- Bojan’s success or failure may be determined by whoever the Nets hire as their next head coach. Deron Williams has asked for a “creative offense,” which would be a good thing for a guy with Bojan’s abilities. Billy King has made some remarks about establishing a defensive identity, which doesn’t play to Bojan’s strengths.
Brooklyn Fans photography by @LolitaLens © 2013 Brooklyn Fans