Editor’s note: This was written before all the news about Bogdanovic apparently going to Milwaukee, then not going to the Bucks, or whatever in the world is going on. We’ve opted to run it anyway because these free agent profiles are fun.
After only his third season in the NBA, Bogdan Bogdanovic solidified himself as one of the game’s best stationary shooters. The shooting guard averaged 15.1 points per game last season, the third-best on the Kings. Now, he enters this off-season as an restricted free agent and could be a nice fit in Dallas.
28 year old Bogdanovic just his third year in Sacramento. Last season was the best season of his young career. There have been noticeable improvements in his production since entering the league, especially with his shooting.
Bogdan Bogdanović Career Progression
While not very versatile, Bogdanovic is still an incredible shooter. He shot 49.1 percent of his three-point field goals last season without even taking a dribble (NBA.com/Stats). The stationary shooting is by far Bogdanovic’s greatest strength, as he shot 40.7 percent on catch-and-shoot threes last season (NBA.com/Stats). His best shot is on the left wing, where he made a scorching 69 out of 156 (44.2 percent) three-pointers.
When Bogdanovic isn’t shooting threes, he is likely getting to the rim. He is a reliable scorer around the basket and shot 61.2 percent in the restricted area last season (NBA.com/Stats).
What he does with the ball in his hands is not only underrated, but way overly criticized. While he’s never averaged more than 3.8 assists per game, he has a good basketball IQ that allows him to make the right read when necessary. He only averaged 0.88 points per possession as a pick-and-roll ball handler last season, but he’d be much better on a team that doesn’t require him to play this role often.
Bogdanovic struggles to consistently hit threes at a high-volume. He made four or more three-pointers in only 14 of his 61 games played last season, or roughly 23 percent. For reference, Tim Hardaway Jr. made four or more three-pointers in 25 games last season. This number should improve in the event that Bogdanovic gets signed by a team that has a talented playmaker, like Dallas.
While I wouldn’t say his defense is a liability, it’s certainly not exactly a weapon for him either. He’s in the 56th percentile of defensive RAPTOR and had a defensive rating of 110.8 last season. He’s averaged one steal per game the past two seasons, but tends to get overly aggressive trying to force turnovers. The next step for him to improve on the defensive end will be playing better team defense and also being able to play one through three.
Fit with the Mavericks
We’ve seen good things happen when you surround Luka Doncic with talented stationary shooters. The Mavericks had five players make at least 99 catch-and-shoot threes last season, and the lowest percentage among that group was Kristaps Porzingis who made 36.3 percent of his attempts.
Bogdanovic made 123 catch-and-shoot threes last season, the 15th most in the league. He also shot them at 40.7 percent. Putting a shooter like that next to Doncic could make a lot of good things happen with your offense.
It will be hard to steal Bogdanovic from the Kings, who can match any offer he receives this off-season. Obviously Sacramento won’t want to overpay him, but the Mavericks don’t have enough cap space to get anywhere near that situation. The best case scenario would be him agreeing to the $9.25 million MLE the Mavericks have in their briefcase. The MLE would be about an $750,000 raise compared to his salary last season.