The Bogdanovic's, Part 2: Serbian Wing Bogdan Bogdanovic


The Kings traded Sacramento native Marquese Chriss to the Phoenix Suns on draft night, in a trade that netted them the #13 and #28 picks, which they used to select Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere.

However, the most valuable piece in the trade may not have been anyone involved in the 2016 draft, as the Kings also secured the rights to Serbian wing and rising European star Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic has started all but 6 of the games he has played in for European power team Fenerbahce over the past two seasons, who were the runner-up in the last year's Euroleague tournament. Bogdanovic will not be leaving for the NBA until next season at the earliest (so he can avoid the rookie scale contract and negotiate for as big of a deal as the Kings are willing to offer), but a deal seems likely given his relationship with fellow Serbians Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic.

The biggest point in Bogdan's favor in terms of signing with the Kings is that he plays shooting guard. The Kings guard rotation is relatively thin even after the signing of Arron Afflalo. Ben McLemore is in the last season of his rookie contract, and will probably not be retained barring a major leap. Afflalo is a clear upgrade for the Kings at the off-guard spot, but he also just turned 30 and is coming off a down year with the Knicks. If the Kings bring Bogdanovic to the NBA next year, he will either start or have a major role off the bench.

Bogdanovic is mainly a scorer at this point in his career, but he has steadily improved in each of his previous three seasons. He was the Euroleague Rising Star in both 2014 and 2015 (Nikola Mirotic of the Chicago Bulls is the only other player to win the award in two consecutive seasons) and was a Turkish League All-Star and Turkish Cup MVP in the 2016 season.

He is a decent athlete with a quick first step and a solid 3-point stroke. His highlight reel from this past season shows his offensive versatility: 

 

In addition to his solid shooting touch, Bogdan is a capable ball-handler and a decent passer.

While he has struggled at times running the offense and does not always make great passes under pressure, he is a far better decision maker with the ball in his hands than McLemore and looks more comfortable running an offense than Afflalo. If Bogdanovic does come off the bench behind Afflalo in the 2017-2018 season, he will have the ball in his hands s lot, barring a major shake-up in Sacramento's point guard rotation.

Bogdan also has the size and lateral quickness to be a solid NBA defender. While he needs to bulk up to be able to defend wing players in the NBA, he has good shooting guard size at 6'6" and will be able to switch onto small forwards defensively. He is not always committed defensively, and his focus and attention to detail will need to improve for him to earn minutes for Dave Joerger.

Bogdanovic had a solid showing in the Olympics including a 19 point showing against Venezuela and 18 points in Serbia's win over Bojan Bogdanovic and Croatia in the quarterfinals. His offensive game fits well as a complementary piece with the potential to expand his role, and his good 3-point shooting will allow him to fit in well alongside DeMarcus Cousins.

Bogdan Bogdanovic could step into the NBA right now and be a solid contributor, and he has made steady improvements in his game over the past three years.

If he comes over to the NBA in the 2017-2018 season and continues to work on his game, Sacramento may have picked up the most valuable piece in their 2016 draft night trade with Phoenix. Only time will tell if Bogdanovic comes to the NBA or if he can have the impact that he has had in Europe, but there will be a role waiting for him in Sacramento.

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