The Atlanta Hawks have been in the news for all of the wrong reasons. Organizational dysfunction, a head coach and GM fired, an owner’s son running the show, etc. It’s been a constant barrage of embarrassing stories for its fanbase, and depending on how you view the Bogdan Bogdanovic contract extension, it might be continuing.
The Hawks gave a 30-year-old, who has well-documented knee issues and has missed around 25 games per year for three seasons now, a four-year extension. It’s hard not to look at this deal and think back to the Kevin Huerter trade. I understand the front offices are different, and that move cannot be held against Landry Fields and Kyle Korver, but it’s the same tail chasing the club has been doing since its improbable Eastern Conference finals run.
Listen, I love Bogi. He was arguably the second best player behind Trae Young during that playoff run. The Serbian Sniper has also been consistent this season, but his defense has taken a significant step back compared to that 2021 ECF. Bad knees don’t just get better, especially not for a player on the wrong side of 30.
The Hawks moved Kevin Huerter to duck the luxury tax, only to give an older and worse player with a concerning injury history the same amount of money. Despite Hawks GM Landry Fields’ positive comments about Bogdan Bogdanovic’s contract extension, the club hasn’t done much recently to provide me with optimism.
On the Bogdan Bogdanović contract extension, Hawks General Manager Landry Fields tells @929MorningShift "He's a very good player and a very consistent player… for how we're building things out here, the types of player and the character of their game, Bogi fits a lot of that."
— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) March 17, 2023
If Bogdan Bogdanovic can play more than 60 games a year over the next four seasons and experience some positive regression defensively, the deal is much more palatable. However, for a team on the brink of potentially blowing things up, that seems like an unnecessary risk.
Granted, Quin Snyder clearly values what he brings to the floor. Since the firing of Nate McMillan, Bogdanovic is averaging 12.3 points and is shooting nearly 50% from three. He’s still a valuable piece, but it just seems like a deal that could turn sour very quickly if his knee issues and poor defense continue.
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