Washington Wizards 2017 Season Review: Bojan Bogdanovic

Washington Wizards backup shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovic came to Washington just before the trade deadline. As the team was looking to a bench scorer, Bojan came in and immediately proved his worth. He’s a restricted free agent this summer, so Washington will have to money up to keep him in a Wizards uniform.

Regular Season Stats: 26 Games, 12.7 PPG (45.7 FG%, 39.1 3P%), 3.1, 23.1 MPG

Playoff Stats: 13 Games, 8.8 PPG (41.4 FG%, 35.6%), 4.3 APG, 20.3 MPG

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be posting individual player reviews for the guys that ended the season in a Washington Wizards uniform. So far we’ve reviewed:

Kelly Oubre, Jr.

Jason Smith

Tomas Satoransky

Trey Burke

Brandon Jennings

The second to last of the bench players among the Wiz 12, Bojan Bogdanovic. Bojan came to Washington in a trade for Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton, and the Wizards’ 2017 First Round Pick.

The Croatian Sensation came to Washington at the right time. The Wizards were second to last in bench scoring, and lacked any experienced or trustworthy scorers in the second unit.

In Brooklyn, Bogdanovic was the main offensive wing threat, as the starting shooting guard. Although he averaged 14 points, the large workload and the fact that he was the number one creator, lead to poor shooting percentages.

His shooting numbers increased once he came to Washington, a clear result of playing alongside the best point guard in the East, John Wall. His true shooting percentage increased by 4%, and his three-point percentage increased by 3%.

In Washington, just as with his entire career, Bojan was a streaky shooter. In three of his first seven games in Washington, Bogdanovic scored at least 27 points off the bench. He, for the most part, and Bradley Beal led to the Wizards beating the Orlando Magic on March 5th.

Initially, I was somewhat skeptical of the trade, just because of the fact that Washington would be trading away its first round pick for the third time in four years. However, that feeling was more about the fact that the Wizards had signed Andrew Nicholson in the first place.

Bojan played so well in his first seven games, that soon to be max player Otto Porter ended up sitting on the bench for many fourth quarters.

However, as the season progressed, Bogdanovic’s performance declined. Wizards fans weren’t sure why, but it was evident, that when he was not making, or taking three pointers he was not the same player. In the playoff especially, he looked too passive in many instances.

His defense was also a problem, and part of the reason his minutes diminished over the course of the season. Brooks simply couldn’t trust him in a variety of scenarios.

In the end, the issue that plagued the team early in the season, was its downfall. In Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Washington’s bench was outscored 48-5 against the bench of the Celtics. The lack of bench production, led to the starters playing extended minutes, and ultimately the team falling.

Bench scoring and playmaking will be the team’s number one priority this summer. Bojan is a restricted free agent, meaning that the Wizards will have the ability to match any offer Bojan gets. Soon after the trade I would have said that his value would be too high for Washington to keep him, but as the season progressed, Bojan certainly lost some money.

Although the team has limited cap space, they should re-sign Bojan, and hope that he can build on the best season of his career. He’s in his prime at 28, and is a great fit on the team.

He’s 6’7″, can play multiple positions, is a knockdown shooters. With a great passing guard like Wall leading the way, the team needs to surround him with shooters. Additionally, Bojan has shown that he can handle the ball adequately as the lead bench scorer, and get to the line at a high rate.

Grade: B-

Bogdanovic has said he’d prefer to find a team that he can start on, but that may not be a realistic possibility, with the Nets likely out of the race. If the Wizards re-sign Bojan, they will have a legitimate chance at having the 2018 sixth man of the year.