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FINALLY! Bojan Bogdanovic signs with the Brooklyn Nets


Three years after he was drafted and a year after the Nets and he almost came to an agreement, Billy King announced that Bojan Bogdanovic has signed a contract with Brooklyn.

"Having drafted Bojan in 2011, it is rewarding to finally welcome him to the Nets," said King. "We obviously have a high regard for his game, and we are glad he will now bring that talent to Brooklyn."

Although the Nets did not announce the terms of Bogdanovic's deal, a league source said the deal is the mini-MLE with three years guaranteed, starting at $3.3 million this season and totaling $10.3 million over the course of the agreement. Basketball Insiders reports that Bogdanovic also has a 15% trade kicker, a rarity for a rookie.   Bogdanovic, like Mirza Teletovic and Zoran Planinic, was born in Mostar, Bosnia, but holds Croatian citizenship and plays for Croatia in international competition.

The 6’8" Bogdanović has played the last three seasons with Fenerbahçe Ülker in the Turkish Basketball League, earning All-Star honors in 2013 and Turkish Basketball League and Turkish Supercup championships in 2014. In 24 Euroleague games (21 starts) during the 2013-14 season, Bogdanović averaged 14.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 30.6 minutes per game.

In 87 career Euroleague games (57 starts) split between Fenerbahçe Ülker, Cibona Zagreb in Croatia (2009-11) and Real Madrid in Spain (2007-08), Bogdanović has posted averages of 13.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 27.9 minutes per game. He also captured an A-1 Liga championship and earned A-1 Liga All-Star recognition with Cibona Zagreb in 2010. Bogdanović has been playing professionally since 2004, when he joined his hometown team, Zrinjski Mostar, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Last summer, Bogdanovic was named to the FIBA Eurobasket All-Star Team, along with four NBA players: Tony Parker, Marc Gasol, Goran Dragic and Linus Kleiza. Bogdanovic led Croatia to eight straight wins in an unlikely run for fourth place in the European championship.

Twice, in the last two years, Bogdanovic has played against NBA teams in preseason contests, scoring 11 vs. the Celtics in a win in 2012 and 19 in a loss to the Thunder in 2013.

Bogdanovic, 25, was drafted by the Nets with a purchased pick, Miami's, at the top of the 2011 NBA Draft while the Nets were still playing in New Jersey.  He had only recently signed an three year deal with Fener, dropping his draft stock.  The contract had an NBA out, but with a $2 million buyout after the second year.  The Nets wanted to offer him the mini-MLE last year but talks fell apart when he couldn't get Fener to reduce the buyout.

The Nets have been high on him ever since the 2011 draft, with Danko Cvjeticanin, the Nets international scout, then calling him a cross between Peja Stojakovic and Carlos Delfino.  Mike Fratello sang his praises in 2012, saying he was a big fan, adding, "Fans are going to be happy when he comes over."

Well, he's another versatile player," Lionel Hollins said after watching tape of him with King. "He's a 2-3, a 3-2 basically and he can shoot the ball and he can put the ball on the floor. And the more shooters you have, the better. The more versatility, the more playmakers you have, the better your team can be."

Bogdanovic has long been one of the Nets' biggest trade assets.  Joked one Nets insider, "we must have come close to trading him 20 times."

In April, Bogdanovic was quoted as saying he was excited about playing for Fener against the Spurs in preseason game this October.  He expected that he would be re-signing with the Turkish club. Then, with Shaun Livingston moving on to Golden State, the mini-MLE became available and negotiations between he and the Nets restarted. Last month, at the NBA Draft in Brooklyn, Bogdanovic's highlights were mistakenly shown after the Suns took Bogdan Bogdanovic (no relation) at no. 27.  It may have been an omen.