Height/Weight: 6'6", 200 lbs
Age: 21 years old
Projected NBA Position: Shooting guard
Pro Comparison: Poor man's Manu Ginobili/Marco Belinelli
Twitter Handle: @LeaderOfHorde
Budding Serbian star Bogdan Bogdanovic earned NBA attention during his young career in the Adriatic League, and his size and skills could translate superbly to the Association.
Partizan's tall wing can splash jumpers from anywhere, and his length and ball-handling skills make him an intriguing addition to the backcourt.
He may not come over to the U.S. immediately though, as a buyout and contract negotiations will take some time. Bogdanovic might be tough to pry away from his club.
When he does arrive to the NBA, however, his sweet shooting will put opponents on notice.
Bogdanovic owns terrific measurements for the 2-guard spot. He stands 6'6", but more importantly he has a 6'11" wingspan and 8'8" standing reach.
That kind of length will allow him to get his shot off against almost every guard and wing he faces, and he'll be able to cover a lot of ground defensively. He could use 10-20 pounds of additional muscle, however, as his slender frame will get pushed around a bit.
His speed, leaping and agility aren't great, so that hurts his chances of becoming an explosive playmaker or an elite defender.
However, he's registered a 36-inch vertical before, and his length will help compensate for a lack of burst.
With smooth fundamentals and great footwork, Bogdanovic is able to get his shot off quickly and accurately from anywhere on the floor.
He does a great job of getting his feet ready, and then his swift, high release does the rest.
Bogdanovic can work to get open off flare screens, pin-down screens or spot-up chances from the wing and corner. He's also adept at pulling up off the dribble, and he's not afraid to launch triples from way beyond the international three-point line.
This means he's going to transition effectively to the NBA line, and he'll serve as a potent asset for his squad. Shooters who are 6'6" almost always find a key role in the NBA, provided they play smart within the system.
Opponents will have to keep tabs on him, even if he's only the third or fourth scoring option on the team.
Bogdanovic's handling skills aren't ultra-advanced, and he won't be the speediest player in the NBA. However, he's still going to be able to drive the ball via screens, pump-fakes and hesitation dribbles.
When Partizan's primary point guard went down with injury this season, Bogdanovic stepped up nicely and facilitated the offense. NBADraft.net's Davide Bortoluzzi explains:
During this season he started playing as a secondary ball handler, but after the injury to Leo Westermann he has been forced to play as a point guard, showing remarkable passing skills and court vision, even if he's not perfectly suited for the role. ... He has a slashing style of game, and with his solid structure he’s really effective in drawing contacts when attacking the basket.
This leads to the belief that he'll be able to handle the ball for some stretches in the NBA. He may not be a high-volume dime-dropper, but he'll mix things up and keep his comrades involved.
Bogdanovic won't be the most prolific finisher when he gets into the lane, but his lengthy extension with either hand should help him convert once he's side by side with his defender.
Bogdanovic's game isn't without holes and areas of concern. When he's handling the ball and looking to pass, he often makes careless decisions and commits avoidable turnovers.
For example, he'll throw diagonal cross-court passes that get picked off cleanly by help defenders, or he'll get sloppy when making drive-and-kick plays. He needs to eradicate those plays, because NBA-caliber defenders are licking their chops.
Bogdanovic's defense also leaves something to be desired, especially in the effort and awareness departments. His height and wingspan can only compensate so much, and they won't make up for mental mistakes.
The last concern is regarding his buyout. Officially acquiring him may be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, and there's certainly a chance he may never cross the Atlantic.
For the sake of near-future projections, let's assume Bogdanovic comes over within the next year or two. If that happens, he'll be plugged in as a useful rotational weapon.
His shooting skills will instantly threaten opponents, but he will likely be used as the fourth or fifth scoring option when he's on the floor. Don't hope for big numbers (or efficient ones, for that matter).
Bogdanovic could become more than a reserve shooter, but not much more. His role and production depend on whether he can master the nuances of the game and handle the ball consistently.
If he is trusted with the rock as a slasher and part-time facilitator, then he could earn upward of 20-30 minutes in the future. Otherwise, he would be an off-ball weapon who occasionally gets to attack close-outs or take advantage of open lanes.
Celticsblog.com's Kevin O'Connor explained that Bogdanovic could be a poor-man's Manu Ginobili if his playmaking skills develop.
"He lacks Manu's pure skills, but he certainly is of the same mold," O'Connor wrote. "Bogdanovic could work as a secondary pick-and-roll playmaker to score baskets for himself of create for others, much like Ginobili has in his career."
Mix in the shooting talent of a guy like Marco Belinelli, and that's a pretty solid outlook for the young Serbian.
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