The Phoenix Suns drafted 6'6" Bogdan Bogdanovic in 2014 with the hopes that he would eventually develop into strong contributor off the bench as shooter, slasher and secondary playmaker. They agreed that he would continue to mature overseas for 2-3 more seasons before joining the NBA.
In those two seasons, Bogdanovic has been named the Eurloeague Rising Star two years running and has played for one of the best clubs in Europe and has seen his role grow as the stakes got higher. For the second year in a row, Fenerbahce has qualified for the Euroleague Final Four and this time Bogdan Bogdanovic is one of the biggest reasons why.
Bogdanovic has upped his production at every stage, from 9.9 points, 2.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game in regular season to 11.9, 3.5 and 3.3 in "Top 16" play to 16.7, 2.7 and 4 in the playoffs. He is the team's leading scorer in the playoffs and he's got a flare for the dramatic too. We've previously posted his two game winners this season.
After Fener beat the mighty Madrid in the playoffs this week, this is what eurohoops.net write of Bogdan's contributions.
After relative balance, especially on defense, in the first half, the game was essentially decided in the third quarter. That's when Bogdan Bogdanovic showed up and started scoring his favorite shots behind ball screens. Madrid didn't have a center who could run at him on switches and Bogdanovic took advantage by shooting well but also driving to the basket at every opportunity. He scored 17 points, all of them in the second half and, together with Luigi Datome made big shots of great difficulty that murdered their opponents. With their defense still strong on every level, Obradovic's team even reached a 17-point lead on the way to a 63-75 victory that marked Madrid's lowest offensive output at home this year.
It's important to note that Fener has a number of high quality players on their roster, including former NBA player Ekpe Udoh who's been a great athletic contributor to their cause. Pero Antic, Jan Vesely and Luigi Datome are also players on the squad. But that list also tells you that the competition is a bit below that of the NBA.
On the whole season, Bogdanovic is third on the team in scoring and second in assists in his role as shooting guard and secondary playmaker. A look at the stats shows that the team is very balanced in their scoring, with no player putting up more than 12.4 points per game on the whole season.
In the playoffs, Bogdan is the team's leading scorer as they knocked off Madrid 3-0, considered the best team coming into the playoffs. Fenerbahce will be competing in the Euroleague Final Four in the coming weeks.
Then maybe after that, the Suns and Bogdan will have another chat about the benefits of coming over to the NBA, where Bogdan has wanted to play for a very long time.