In the midst of a daunting rebuild, the Brooklyn Nets decided to move on from one of their steadiest veteran contributors Wednesday when they shipped swingman Bojan Bogdanovic to the Washington Wizards.
Per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical and David Aldridge of NBA.com, the Wizards will receive Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough in exchange for Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton and a first-round draft pick in 2017.
Wojnarowski later reported the Nets are expected to waive Thornton.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reported the Wizards have lottery protection on their 2017 first-round pick. Barring a collapse that causes Washington to miss the playoffs, the Nets are guaranteed the selection.
Bogdanovic made his NBA debut three seasons ago, and he proved to be a steady rotational contributor right off the bat. In 78 appearances (28 starts) as a rookie, Bogdanovic averaged 9.0 and 2.7 rebounds on 45.3 percent shooting from the field and 35.5 percent shooting from three.
He followed that up by emerging as a regular contributor during his second season when he averaged 11.2 points on 43.3 percent shooting from the field and 38.2 percent shooting from three.
Fifty-five games into his third NBA season, Bogdanovic is averaging a career-high 14.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 44 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Bogdanovic has always packed intriguing talent as a perimeter scorer, but streaky shooting has deterred his ability to have a full-blown breakout since arriving in the NBA.
However, it should be noted that trading for Bogdanovic at this stage in his career is a low-risk move that could pay short- and long-term dividends.
According to BasketballInsiders.com, Bogdanovic is owed a modest $3.57 million this season before his employer chooses whether or not to extend a qualifying offer worth $4.47 million prior to the 2017-18 campaign. If he does receive a qualifying offer, Bogdanovic will become a restricted free agent.
With the Wizards, Bogdanovic projects as an instant-impact contributor on the perimeter.
Although Washington already ranks fifth in three-point percentage (37.6), its bench has struggled to take the pressure off a starting five that has shouldered a tremendous load all season long. To date, the Wizards rank 29th in average bench scoring (23.4 points per game) and 25th in bench three-point percentage (32.8).
With Bogdanovic's arrival, the Wizards figure to flaunt a more dynamic second unit that can space the floor and pressure defenses as they gear up for a deep postseason run.
McCullough is more of a throw-in to the deal. He's only played once since January 28, getting into a February 13 game against the Memphis Grizzlies for 58 seconds.
Thornton and Nicholson have been minimal contributors off the bench for Washington. Their combined totals of 9.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game are lower than what Bogdanovic adds on his own.
It won't be a great pick since the Wizards are likely going to be a high playoff seed in the Eastern Conference, but it allows the Nets to try to build young depth on their roster.
Bogdanovic may never be more than a complementary swingman, but he's a solid piece who can help the Wizards space the floor and knock down threes without hindering the flow of his team's offense.