When Troy Weaver traded for Bojan Bogdanovic before the start of the season, some assumed it would be a half-year rental and the veteran would be flipped to the highest bidder at the deadline. Others thought the Detroit Pistons would simply let Bojan walk in free agency and utilize his mountain of cap space elsewhere.
As it turned out, Weaver did something few people expected, he actually gave Bogdanovic an extension. The GM of the Pistons inked the 33-year-old sharpshooter to a two-year contract at just under $40 million with the second year only guaranteed for $2 million.
According to spotrac, Bogdanovic will be on the books next season for exactly 20 million dollars and just over 19 million in 2024-25 if Weaver decides to fully guarantee the contract.
Of course there is nothing about this contract that makes the career 39% 3-point shooter any less of a trade asset if the Pistons chose to go in that direction. His scoring acumen would have great value to most any team and that includes the Pistons themselves.
I went to the film and watched every single field goal attempt from Bogdanovic so far this year to find out just how the nine-year veteran has been getting his buckets in Detroit.
Even with some rough outings in his last three games, Bojan is still averaging 19.5 points per game on 48-47-95 shooting splits. According to Cerebro Sports (https://cerebrosports.com/) Bogdanovic is No. 7 in the league in their 3-point efficiency metric and is even top-25 in their overall pure scoring prowess (players that have played at least five games AND at least 15 minutes per game)
You can not understate the importance of what Bogdanovic’s shooting ability brings to an offense and especially for the Pistons young guards. The sheer gravity he has opens up the floor spacing for Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey to attack the lane.
Furthermore, the fact he converts some of their drive and kicks into made shots provides value beyond just the points they register on the scoreboard. It is not always easy for young guards to continue to make the right play when they drive and kick if the shots are continuously missed.
Having a professional shooter like Bogdanovic helps to encourage these guards to stick with the right process as they attack the lane and to not get tunnel visions, only looking to score, because of missed assist opportunities they have created.
The thing that is most impressive about Bogdanovic’s 3-point shooting, beyond the attempts and percentage, is the variety of shots he is able to knock down. He makes the aforementioned catch and shoot but is also proficient with the side step after a shot fake, running off screens, in transition, and even as a pick-and-roll handler.
All of these qualities of his 3-point shooting combine to make an extremely valuable perimeter player scorer that not only helps the Pistons offense in the present but is also helping the development for the future.
The 6-foot-7 Croatian isn’t exactly Cunningham in the midrange, but he is good enough to make defenses pay when that is where the open attempt comes from.
Bogdanovic does a great job reading screens, and his shooting prowess enables him to get the “lock and trail” treatment a lot. He does a very good job of feeling this and curling off screens to get himself in the lane and is able to knock down pull up jumpers when necessary.
Giving Bogdanovic a bunch of midpost isolations, think Jerami Grant, is not something you want to build your offense around but he is good at turning unsuccessful drives into a quick post up and fade away jump shot.
At the Rim
This has to be the part of Bogdanovic’s offensive package that can surprise you the most. He is 6-foot-7 but is not what you called explosive or a high level vertical pop athlete.
What he is, is a very cerebral player that uses his ability to knock down shots to open lanes and opportunities to get to the rim. Just getting to the rim is not enough, though.
Throughout his career Bogdanovic has been able to develop an ability to capitalize on these opportunities with craftiness around the rim. He combines a soft touch around the rim with a sneaky ability to find angles on the backboard and a willingness to take contact when necessary to be a factor scoring in the paint.
When thinking about Bojan Bogdanovic and the contract given to him by Troy Weaver you have to ask this question. What of his offensive game is not sustainable for at least 1 (or 2) more seasons?
He is already finding success without elite athleticism and instead uses elite shooting ability to leverage opportunities that he can take advantage of with tremendous craft. There is no reason he should not be able to play at the same level offensively for the duration of his contract and the value that brings this Pistons team in the box score, and in aiding the young player development, is substantial.