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2014-2015 Brooklyn Nets Player Review: Bojan Bogdanovic

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

When the Nets finally came to terms with Croatian star Bojan Bogdanovic, he was set up as a replacement Paul Pierce, a Finals MVP and key cog to the Nets second-round appearance in 2014. The bar was set high for Bogdanovic, and looking back on his rookie season, he didn't quite reach it, but that's OK.

The future is bright for the Nets swingman who proved he has the tools to be a capable starter in the NBA. Bogdanovic had a volatile season that saw him go in-and-out of the rotation, but there was no denying his high basketball IQ and his deft three-point shooting.

With few exciting prospects in Brooklyn, Bogdanovic seems to be a long-term piece in Brooklyn.

STATS

2014-2015

Bojan Bogdanovic

Games Played

78

Minutes per game

23.8

True Shooting percentage

56.2

Assist rate

8.8

Turnover rate

10.1

Usage rate

17.2

Rebound rate

10.2

PER

11.6

Win Shares per 48

.062

Bogdanovic molded well into his role, a spot-up shooter who would feed off of ball-dominant players like Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez. Bogdanovic didn't do a lot of off-the-dribble work in his rookie campaign. He would follow the ball and either beat his man off of a cut or his beautiful three-point shot. The Croatian was a more than solid corner three shooter, hitting on 46% of his left corner three's, and 37.5% from the right.

"Bogie" did have a great disparity between his home and away shooting, but when he needed to be big he was. In April, when he won Eastern Conference rookie of the month, he averaged 14.4 points and shot 52.6 percent overall, 48.8 percent from three and 83.3 percent from the line, topping it off with a season high 28 in the season's most important win, the one over Orlando in the final game of the season.

Bogdanovic can be a long-term fit in Brooklyn because  he is easy to plug in. His dead-eye shot and ability to move off the ball makes him desirable to play with. His low usage rate, 17.2%, is on par with three-point threat Danny Green this season, so Bogdanovic does well without heavy usage.

Bogdanovic has an underrated defensive game. He is a big, big guy with a long wingspan --6'11", big hands with a  sneakily quicknews. Lionel Hollins counted on Bogdanovic to guard opponents' best wing player at times and the rookie struggled to keep up. That being said, Bogdanovic did a fine job defending three-point maven Kyle Korver through most of the first round. He uses his size to get physical with his opponent and his long wingspan to closeout strong. Can Bogdanovic be the 3-and-D threat for the Nets? Yes, he can.

SALARY SITUATION

Bogdanovic is under contract through the 2016-2017 season under the mini-MLE. He will be making in the range of $3.4-$3.5 million over the next two seasons. Bogdanovic becomes a restricted free agent when his contract is up.

BEST MOMENT

With the Nets in need of a win to keep their playoff hopes alive and put the pressure on the Indiana Pacers, Bojan Bogdanovic, or Big Shot Bojan, stepped up. Bogdanovic dropped 28 on the Orlando Magic off the bench on 12-of-17 shooting en route to the Nets a little too close for comfort win. Bogdanovic was electric in this one, and it wasn't that surprising. Bogdanovic had multiple 20-point games in Brooklyn, where he thrived much more than on the road.

NEEDS TO

Become more consistent. As noted before, Bogdanovic was in-and-out of the Nets starting lineup and rotation. Something I've picked up on is that he is a confidence player. When the Croatian hits his first shot, one can tell that this might be a great game from him, but if he misses, one can see the struggle coming. The ceiling is high for Bogdanovic, who figures to be part of the Nets long-term plans, but he needs to be able to be a game-to-game threat.

Another part of the problem was his road woes. In the friendly confines of the Barclays Center, Bogdanovic shot 48% from the field, 38% from three, and averaged 10 points. However, outside of Brooklyn, Bogdanovic 41% from the field, 31% from beyond the arc, and averaged seven points.

Consistency and confidence are the two big words for Bogdanovic entering his sophomore campaign.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Bogdanovic is a superstar in Croatia, believed by his native people. Here is a compilation of his top 20 plays made by a YouTube user CroPETROforeverNBA:

IN THE FUTURE

Bogdanovic is going to be more and more involved with this Nets team. He is about to enter his prime, he turned 26 in April, and is going to be given more and more responsibilities as the Nets transition from the Deron Williams and Joe Johnson era in the coming years.

Bogdanovic has the size to play the two and the three at a high level. He has a solid post up game already and every three-point shot he takes looks good coming off his hands. As long as he continues to get more affiliated with the NBA game and develop his ball handling abilities to become an off-the-bounce threat, Bogdanovic is going to be a key cog to the Nets future roster.

Grade: B

Bogdanovic became a fan favorite with his pretty shot and hard play and helped soften the blow of losing Paul Pierce. In his first year in the league, Bogdanovic proved to be a future starter and that there does not need to be any learning curve for him. Was it better for the Nets to move on from Pierce and begin to develop new talent? Maybe, maybe not, but Bogdanovic proved to be one of the Nets best players when on the floor which can't be ignored.