Hawks Player Previews: Bogdan Bogdanović

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Up next in our player previews is the 72 million dollar man Bogdan Bogdanović. The 28-year-old comes to the Hawks looking to fill the starting shooting guard role and provide another scoring punch from the backcourt. However, there’s more pressure on him than ever before after signing a lucrative four-year contract with Atlanta. 

Player History

Bogdanović was born in Belgrade, Serbia, where he showed promise as a basketball player at an early age, so much so, he signed his first professional contract at 18-years-old with Partizan — a professional Serbian team. His EuroLeague career is historic. Seriously, his accolades from 2010-2017 are impressive.

After the 2017 EuroLeague season, Bogdanović decided to cross the pond and play in the NBA. He was actually drafted in 2014 by the Suns and then traded to the Kings in 2016. He spent three years in Sacramento getting acclimated in the NBA and has, statistically, gotten better each season. Last season he put up averages of 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and percentages of 44/37/74. Bogdan is a great shooter off the catch, the dribble, and from beyond the arc. He is a reliable pro in the prime of his career.

Season Expectations

The Hawks will look for Bogdanović to provide excellent outside shooting, occasional playmaking, and some leadership to a young team in the backcourt. He should slot into the starting lineup as the Hawks 2-guard next to Trae Young running the point where he had this to say about the backcourt duo. Can they guard anyone though?

Bogdan should post similar numbers to those of a year ago as the Kings ran a high-paced offense much like the Hawks and he is a good fit next to Trae Young. But, is he worth the 18 million the Hawks are paying him over the next 4 years? My answer is no. As mentioned in my previous blog, Kevin Huerter does much of the same things Bogdan does and he’s still on his rookie deal. They are both sharpshooters, decent playmakers, have good size, and are smart basketball players.

This signing leaves the Hawks with little to no options in free agency moving forward. Capela, Galo, and Bogdon are locked in through the 2022-23 season with Trae Young and John Collins extensions coming soon. I would have much rather the Hawks saved some money to give them a little more flexibility in the future because if this core/group doesn’t work out, it will be a discouraging end to the rebuild in Atlanta. Also, the 2021 NBA Draft is loaded with talent, tanking another year might have been worth it if a franchise player can be selected. I understand the Hawks put themselves in a win-now position with this signing, but Bogdan doesn’t move the needle significantly enough. 18 million for a guy who averages 15 points per game and doesn’t do much else is a hefty price. I hope I’m wrong, but one or two porous contracts can ruin all the good Travis Schlenk has done throughout this rebuild. 

 

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