The Nets are likely to have two rookies on the roster this season and they're thrilled with both the signing of Bojan Bogdanovic and the selection of Markel Brown in the draft. We know that's common for NBA front offices, but as of 10 p.m June 27, they weren't sure they'd have any.
Despite waiting three years for Bogdanovic, the Nets have always wanted the 6'8" swingman in a Brooklyn Nets uniform. Billy King recently told team insiders that he saw Bogdanovic as a "poor man's Peja Stojakovic" and others in the organization believe he would have been a lottery pick, all things considered, in either of the last two drafts. In fact, said one, the Nets had a chance to move into the first round two weeks ago, but would have had to include Bogdanovic's rights. They passed, no doubt realizing that Shaun Livingston might leave, permitting them to use the mini-MLE on their own pick.
They'll miss Livingston and in fact haven't found a replacement for him, but they're happy Bogdanovic is finally coming over. Best known for his outside shooting, Savas Birdal of Euro-Step.net, wrote of Bogdanovic back in February for NetsDaily, reporting that his offensive repetoire has expanded this season...
Once only a spot-up shooter with little else, the Croatian forward’s arsenal now involves an array of off the dribble moves in addition to his finest weapon, low post scoring, specifically on the left block. He’s turned into a so dangerous threat on the block that his outside shooting, what is generally considered his strongest weapon, is now only his second best option.
Birdal later wrote us during the Turkish League playoffs about his progress...
He's made good improvement on defense, defending opposition's primary ball handler, going through screens, challenging shots nicely. Coach is trying to initiate him more as a pick and roll ball handler in the second half of the season and he's a bit turnover prone there, still improving.
So, it's no surprise that Bogdanovic's deal -- $3.278 million in the first year -- is the equivalent of the fourth overall pick in the 2014 Draft, $3.326 million.
If, as expected, Brown is likely to be signed it will be to a rookie minimum contract, which will pay him $507,000 this season and $845,000 in 2015-16. Considering that the Nets considered him a mid- to late first rounder, that's a bargain. Writes Tim Bontemps on Wednesday...
With Shaun Livingston signing with the Warriors, the Nets have an opening for a perimeter defender, something Brown should be able to provide thanks to his length and athleticism. If he can be a consistent 3-point shooter along with it, he could give new coach Lionel Hollins an option off the bench. He has done nothing to dampen the team’s enthusiasm for him through the first three summer league games this week.
The Nets may get a little younger as free agency moves on. It's a priority. And Cory Jefferson has played well in Orlando too, although he's not yet guaranteed a roster spot. Still, considering that the Nets went into the last week of June with no picks, getting Bogdanovic and Brown is not a bad thing.
- Nets fans, get to know Bojan Bogdanovic - Scott Fontana - amNY
- Nets scored with ‘overlooked’ Markel Brown - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Mason Plumlee works on his shooting in Summer League - Rod Boone - Newsday