When the Nets drafted Bojan Bogdanovic in the second round of the 2011 draft, the Nets international scout, Danko Cvjeticanin, was asked for an NBA comparable. He quickly replied that he believed the 6'8" swingman could be cross between Peja Stojakovic and Carlos Delfino.
There are others in the NBA who think a more reasonable and current NBA comparable is Gordon Hayward.
The Nets will take any of those comparables. With no pick in the 2014 draft, the Nets could use a rookie who could join the rotation almost immediately. There's no doubt Bogdanovic is one of Europe's top players. Until this week, he was the top scorer in the Euroleague. A missed game and two subpar outings, due in part to a touch of plantar faschitis, caused him to drop to No. 2. He's still shooting better than 50 percent from two point range, 40 percent from deep and 90 percent from the free throw line. This summer, he was the youngest mamber of the All-FIBA Eurobasket team and the only one with no NBA experience. He and the Bulls' Nikola Mirotic are seen as the top two European prospects.
As Howard Beck tweeted Friday, the Nets "love" Bogdanovic and have "zero intention" of offering his rights in a deal for a back-up point guard.
The question of course is whether the player they call "Babo" will actually sign with the Nets. Last July, the Nets thought they were going to have him in camp. His buyout was supposed to be "manageable." It wasn't. Fenerbahce refused to reduce the $2 million price tag and instead he decided to stay another year in Turkey. Now, he's a free agent, having declined to pursue an extension with Fener. The problem is that with his improving play, Bogdanovic will have a number of offers from European powerhouses. F.C. Barcelona, where the Gasol brothers and Ricky Rubio played, is one organization expected to make a bid. Nothing to stop Fener either.
The Nets are somewhat hamstrung by their lack of cap space. The Nets are limited to the mini-MLE at $3.2 million and $10 million over three. European teams don't have that problem. European salaries seem low, compared to NBA salaries, but NBA salaries, as listed, are gross and European salaries are net, after taxes and other amenities like housing and transportation amenities are deducted.
Over the short term, European clubs will be able to offer Bogdanovic more money, but the big Croatian and his agent know that long-term, if he plays well, the NBA will be far more lucrative. Hayward, the Jazz star, is looking for a max deal next summer, a $50 million payday. The Nets and Bogdanovic could agree to a two-year deal. He would be able to leave early if things didn't work out. And if he does, the Nets would have his Bird Rights.
Could he be a trade asset? Before being linked to the Kyle Lowry trade rumor last week, his name surfaced when the Nets were supposedly interested in Josh Smith at the trade deadline. The Turkish press reported that the Thunder was interested him as well. But other NBA teams know just as well as the Nets that he'll be pursued by European clubs and that will diminish his value.
Bogdanovic says all the right things. Last July, he told a Croatian reporter, "This club (Fener) is excellent with great expectations, but certainly you will see me one day in Brooklyn.'' He just didn't say when.
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