This year there are a few European prospects, which could be interesting for Phoenix Suns. We already heard some voices about Clint Capela, Dario Šarić and Jusuf Nurkić. Quite surprisingly, at least in my opinion, there are almost none suggestions about another young prospect, Bogdan Bogdanović.
Bogdan is Serbian and he played for Partizan in Adriatic league and in Euroleague from 2010th. He was good last year and made a breakthrough in Eurobasket last summer. This year is his best season in which he was also proclaimed as Euroleague Rising Star.
Bogdanović is on the level of Šarič if we analyses his current contribution. With 21 years he is already in top statistical positions in regional Adriatic league and Euroleague. In Adriatic league he is 8th in total index, 5th in points, and 9th in assists. In Euroleague he is 36th in index, 13th in points, and 24th in assists.
His measurements of 6'6'' put him on SG position although this year because of the injuries in his team, he had to play also on PG position. His performance was satisfactory, but combo position is probably not an option for NBA – at least for now.
Even before we examine his virtues and weaknesses, I guess some of you already got some reservations. One is his inability to play PG (on the highest level), the other is his age. This are probably not crucial deficiencies, although also not really recommendations for McDonough. To satisfy him, we will have to find something to overcome the starting deficit.
I watched almost all games in Euroleague and some in Adriatic league where Bogdan played. And for the whole season I could not notice any big weaknesses (playmaking is out of consideration). I know, nobody is perfect, but I was really puzzled, what will I find in the second part of evaluations of draft professionals, when they start to break the romance, which they build in first part of the report. All reviews, which I watched recently, were made on the same Manichean principle: if player is a good slasher, athletic big man, good passer, then he can't shoot, and if he is skilful big man or deadly shooter, then his lateral quickness is nonexistent or he doesn't have the frame to put muscles on, or put it simply, his defence sucks. But let's start with the first part.
I think nobody will doubt in Bogdan's shooting skill. He was the best player of Partizan team, so prime target for opposing defense, but he still had 37% efficiency for 3pt and 43% for 2pt. He averaged 14,8 points per game (5th in Euroleague) and 2,17 made shots for 3 (3rd in Euroleague). This year he had a few epic games in Euroleague, like 27 points in a win over CSKA Moscow. Also, he is not limited to shooting in offense, he is fearless slasher. Besides numbers, his points were not easy ones, they are not the result of assists, because Bogdan was primary and also rare creative offensive force on the team – probably his shooting percentage could be higher if he would not have to force things sometimes.
Defense is not his weakness, he is considered a 2 way player. He is quick with 6'11'' wingspan, which he know how to use – he was 4th in Euroleague in steals (1,57 per game) and 8ht in fouls drawn (4 per game). He was also one of the best defensive players in Euroleague.
He became Euroleague Rising Star, the highest reward for young players in EU.
His draft projections are end of first round, quite near Clint Capela. I would see Bogdan as less risky option, because he showed he can play basket on the highest level in Europe. Regarding upside, there are no signals that he cant be a starter in NBA.
If somebody has become interested, I propose a blog post by Julien Rodger, where he compares Bogdan's potential with Joe Jonson's.
I'm really curious who will take Bogdan, will they be Spurs again?