With the 2016 NBA Draft just nine days away, the Phoenix Suns need to know if they already have a rookie shooting guard coming to camp next fall before committing any draft picks to the same position.
The Suns hold four of the top 34 picks in next week's draft, yet might already have the shooting guard position overloaded with youth if Bogdan Bogdanovic (24 next season) joins the Suns as a rookie next season alongside Devin Booker (20) and Archie Goodwin (22), behind starter Brandon Knight (25).
Bogdanovic's Turkish team, Fenerbahce Ulker, just finished a whirlwind month of championship tournaments, winning the Turkish League Championship last night while coming up just short in overtime of the Euroleague Finals a couple weeks ago.
Bogdanovic is the youngest major contributor on Fenerbahce as a sharp-shooting, playmaking wing on a veteran team laden with former NBA roster fillers. Now, he has an opportunity to realize his NBA dreams, as long as he wants to take a pay cut to come to the US. His NBA salary would be comparable to what he makes for Fenerbahce, but his buyout would eat in next year's salary and would stick him on the NBA rookie scale for the next 2-4 seasons.
If Bogdanovic joins the Suns, you can bet that one or both of Knight and Goodwin will be moved this summer to make some room for the Serbian, even if his value as an NBA player is unknown. There's no point bringing over a rookie who would be 4th on the depth chart, right?
Of course, this is the Phoenix Suns so you can't put anything past them. The Suns have come out of each of the last two summers with too many shooting guards on the roster, squeezing out raw, young Archie Goodwin each time in the process. In 2014, they added Zoran Dragic at the last minute and ended up paying him more than a million just to appear in a half-dozen games over three months.
But Bogdanovic is much much better than Zoran Dragic, and would be better than most any like-sized wing in this year's draft over the next season or two at least. Comparable prospects like Timothe Luwawu and Furkan Korkmaz, who barely played on the championship series opponent Efes, are in the draft as well but are not as NBA-ready as Bogdan.
But the reality is that If Bogdanovic doesn't come over to the NBA this year, you might never see him in a Suns uniform. The Suns will have to make some decisions on shooting guard prospects next week, and would be hard-pressed not to take a prospect at the same position with at least one of their four picks in the top 34. The Suns could end up trading Bogdan's rights as a throw-in sweetener to a larger deal before he comes to the NBA.
The Suns will find out some time in the next few days if Bogdan will join them for the 2016-17 season.
For now, Bogdan seems to be enjoying his time with Fenerbahce. Here's some social sharing of their off day before closing out the Turkish League Championship.
Because Bogdan asked me @LeaderOfHorde #OneDayVacation #najgoriodsvedece pic.twitter.com/uiRBF0uHNC— Nikola Kalinic (@nikola_kalina) June 14, 2016