Meet The Bogdanovic's, Part 1: Nets Wing Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic started his Olympics off with a bang, scoring 23 points in Croatia's 72-70 upset victory over Spain in Group B qualifying.

The 27-year-old wing has shown steady improvement over the course of his two years in the NBA, and he was able to secure a spot on the All-Rookie Second Team in 2014-2015. Given the departure of Joe Johnson, Bojan will be in line to play a major role for Brooklyn next season. 

Bojan is mainly a scoring wing player, with a solid jumper and an ability to score points in bunches. He shot 38.2% from behind the arc last season and has a quick release, that allows him to make up for below-average athleticism. He is also quite adept at scoring around the rim, shooting 65% from within three feet for his career, according to Basketball Reference.

While his ball-handling and passing ability are not strong enough for him to be able to function as a secondary ball-handler, he is decently able to get to the rim.

However, his main utility as a player is in his 3-point shooting.

He has taken 45% of his career shots from behind the arc and is especially strong from the right corner, hitting them at 44.3%. The Jeremy Lin-Brook Lopez pick-and-roll is likely to dominate the Brooklyn offense next year, so Bojan will definitely not be starved for spot-up opportunities.

He also can take over the game if need be, as demonstrated through both his Olympic play and his breakout 44-point game last season:

 

If Bojan wishes to secure a starting spot for Brooklyn next year, he will have to round out his game by improving either his passing or his rebounding.

Bogdanovic averaged only 3.2 rebounds per game last season, and Brooklyn is nearly guaranteed to have issues on the backboard, with Brook Lopez manning the middle. Bojan tends to stay back from crashing the boards, something that may have been by design in previous years, but Brooklyn will need strong rebounding from both forward spots to avoid giving up extra possessions.

Bojan will also have to be more capable with the ball in his hands to get major minutes for Brooklyn next year. While he is good at holding onto the ball, with a decently low turnover percentage, he has yet to average more than 1.3 assists per game or top 100 total assists for a season.

He tends to choose to take the shot over making the right pass within the flow of the offense, something he will need to work on going forward.

Bojan's greatest weakness is his defense. He is slower than most of the league's small forwards, which often allows his man to get past him and go straight to the rim. He is decent at rotating on the perimeter and actually forced opponents to shoot 1.9% below their season average on 3-pointers, according to NBA.com's shot tracking data.

Brooklyn may slot Bogdanovic in at power forward for some stretches next season; he is not big enough to play power forward full-time at 6'8" and 215 pounds, but his relative lack of foot speed would be less of a hindrance defensively. Furthermore, his 3-point shooting would be harder to defend if he was either guarded by a big man or cross-matched with a wing player.

Bojan Bogdanovic is a good enough shooter that he will be a factor in Brooklyn's rotation next season. His shooting touch and ability to put a lot of points on the board quickly will work well either as a complementary starter or as a key bench piece for Brooklyn.

For now, however, Bojan will hope to use his scoring ability to continue to lead Croatia's push into the Olympic medal race. Bojan will be aided in his efforts by recent lottery picks Mario Hezonja and Dario Saric, but much of the scoring burden in qualifying fell on Bogdanovic's shoulders. Given Croatia's victory over Spain, Bogdanovic may well succeed in his efforts to win a medal for his country in Rio.


Like what you've read? Share it with your friends on