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Player Grades: Bogdan Bogdanovic

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Our seasoned rookie was the most complete player on the roster.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Grading anything as subjective as an entire NBA season is always a tough gig. Different people have different goals for an individual as well as different techniques for assessing a seven month long journey. To keep things moderately simple, I will be using the expectations we had heading into the season for each player as the barometer for how well their season went. These grades won’t necessarily tell us where they rank among their fellow NBA players or what their career trajectory may be, but rather it will help assess where we stand with that prospect today compared to where we stood in October.

Player: Bogdan Bogdanovic

Grade: B

Reasoning: Bogdan Bogdanovic was the most complete player on the Kings this past season. He successfully played three positions, was the most dynamic passer on the team, and knocked down a variety of shots around the court. His transition from Euro-ball to the NBA was much smoother than expected, and Bogi looks like a key piece of the core moving forward.

Areas of Strength

Bogdan Bogdanovic’s offensive versatility helped him to transform from unknown quantity to one of Dave Joerger’s most trusted players this season, accruing the most minutes on the court of anyone on the roster. When playing with the younger crew, he was often a bastion of tranquility in a sea of basketball chaos, while the maturity of his game also paired well with the slower paced veterans. Although he was rarely assigned traditional point guard duties, Bogi displayed an important ability to facilitate and create from an off-guard role. He was second on the team in assists, averaging 3.3 per game, and also placed third on the squad in assist percentage, behind Fox and Mason, and noticeably ahead of George Hill.

Bogdan’s court vision was also demonstrated in the success rate of his passes. He made the third most passes on the team this year (2,747), but had the best pass to assist percentage at 9.4%, meaning that almost 10% of his passes led to buckets. Bogi wasn’t just moving the rock around aimlessly; he managed to create valuable possessions from his passes.

The Serbian Sniper also showed off an above-average shooting stroke from the perimeter, as he knocked down a team-leading 47% of his mid-range jumpers, ranking 23rd out of 146 qualified players in the NBA. He was also successful from three-point range, nailing 39% of his shots from deep, second best among rotation players and in the 79th percentile in the league. Bogi was also one of only two players on a team chock-full of shooters who shot above league average (36.2%) from all ranges beyond the arc: the right corner (41%), the left corner (60%), and above the break (39%).

His facilitation and shooting skills enabled him to successfully run the Kings most commonly used offensive sets. Here are the most frequent scoring options utilized by Sacramento this past season:

Play Types

Play Type Frequency
Play Type Frequency
Pick & Roll 24%
Spot-Up 18%
Transition 14%
Post-Up 9%
Cutter 7%
Isolation 7%
Other 6%
Screen 5%
Putback 5%
Handoff 5%

56% of the Kings offensive plays were generated through either pick and roll, spot-up shooting, or transition. Bogdanovic was the best player on the team in both pick and roll and spot-up shooting, and he was the best guard in transition as well:

Successful Offense

Play Type PPP Team rank League Percentile
Play Type PPP Team rank League Percentile
Pick & Roll 0.83 1st 56th
Spot-Up 1.18 1st 88th
Transition 1.25 5th 79th

Bogi’s ability to act as a secondary ball-handler, fill in as a point guard, knock down jumpers, and find cutting big men will be a huge advantage for Dave Joerger in the years to come.

Areas of Opportunity

One frustration that popped up consistently was Bogdan’s tendency to become passive as the game’s rhythm was discovered. He often started the night aggressively, establishing himself as both a scoring and passing threat, but then would go long periods of time without taking a shot, foregoing good looks for ball movement. Too many games saw Bogdan walk into halftime with 10 points on 4/5 shooting and then fail to take a field goal attempt in the third period. His shot attempts decreased each quarter of the game when observed on a per-12 minute basis:

FGA Decline

Quarter FGM/12 min FGA/12 min FG%
Quarter FGM/12 min FGA/12 min FG%
First 2.1 4.6 45%
Second 2.1 4.3 51%
Third 1.7 4.1 42%
Fourth 1.9 3.7 53%

Although he led the team in total minutes played, Bogdanovic’s field goal attempts are nowhere near the top. He took the fifth most shots per game, averaging only 9.9 attempts per contest, and that number drops even lower when accounting for an even minutes distribution. Zach Randolph, Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox, Frank Mason, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Skal Labissiere all took more attempts per-36 minutes. His 12.8 shots simply aren’t enough for an outside shooter of his caliber.

Bogdan also needs to work on his interior game, especially his accuracy at the rim. He only managed to make 58% of his shots in the restricted area, which was behind only Vince Carter (57%) and Frank Mason (43%). As a bigger guard, he must be able to finish inside the paint with more consistency. Bogi’s success from the floor increased dramatically as he moved toward the perimeter, and decreased greatly as he gravitated toward the rim:

Strong Perimeter Game

Area FGM FGA FG% Team Rank
Area FGM FGA FG% Team Rank
Restricted 79 135 58% 10th
Paint (non-RA) 48 120 40% 5th
Midrange 90 192 47% 1st
Three-Point 129 329 39% 2nd

Increasing his total shot attempts per contest, along with developing his inside game, will help Bogi to become an even scarier threat to opposing defenses.

Final Thoughts: Bogdan Bogdanovic is a renaissance man of the basketball world, a jack-of-all trades who can do a little bit of everything for the team. Even though he was often playing outside of his true position as a shooting guard, with only 38% of his time coming as the off-guard and 59% of his minutes spent at small forward, he was still able to show his ability to impact the game on a nightly basis. He’s the most natural passer on the roster and was able to use that talent to open up the floor for everyone, especially big men as they rolled toward the basket.

Next season, he should look to be more aggressive with his perimeter shot, while improving his touch at the rim as well. In just a single season, Bogdanovic was able to morph from a bit of a question mark into the most valuable asset coming out of the 2016 draft night trade. At 25, he doesn’t have quite the long runway prior to reaching his prime as some of his counterparts, but the advanced nature of his game indicates he’ll develop into a high-level player in the near future.