Love/Hate: The Bojan Bogdanovic Experience

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05: Bojan Bogdanovic
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05: Bojan Bogdanovic /

The Pacers have perennially (sometimes chronically) lacked floor spacing, and lost shooters in Paul George (you may have heard of him), C.J. Miles, and Jeff Teague this offseason. Enter: Bojan Bogdanovic.

The Pacers signed sweet shooting swingman Bojan Bogdanovic to a two-year, $21 million deal, with the second year only partially guaranteed. He’s coming off a short stint with the Washington Wizards that saw him shoot 39 percent from deep during the regular season, and 36 percent during a Wizards playoff run.

We’re going to break down what we love and hate about Bojan’s game, and his fit for the blue and gold this year.

Love: Shooting 

The man knows how to shoot a basketball. After losing shooters this year, the offensive fit is fantastic. Bojan should get clean looks playing alongside slashers in Darren Collison and Victor Oladipo, and that’s when he can do what he does best.

Bogdanovic also has deep range. Not too many guys regularly take jumpers from far behind the 3-point line, but Bojan has no fear.

His fit alongside presumed starters Collison, Oladipo, Thaddeus Young and Myles Turner is good. The Pacers would be best served not relying on Bogdanovic to create offense; that’s not his role or what does best. He has some occasional verve off the bounce when defenders get out of position, and the ability to post up smaller matchups, but neither of those is a reliable source of offense. If the Pacers allow him to be a complimentary piece, Bogdanovic’s shooting should bolster the offense by providing real gravity off the ball.

Hate: Defense

Bojan does his best. Okay, that might be an exaggeration. Playing defense is not a strong part of Bojan Bogdanovic’s game. He lacks the foot speed to effectively match up with twos and threes, and he can be overpowered by stout fours under the basket.

More from Pacers News

The best defensive rating Bogdanovic has posted since his rookie year is 113. #NotGreatBob. As a sixth or seventh man, that can be mitigated to an extent, manipulating matchups and making sure he’s guarding backups whenever possible.

That being said, Nate McMillan has announced that Bogdanovic will be the starting small forward. He’s going to be matched up with players like LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Gordon Hayward. Bojan is going to struggle mightily when matched up with the league’s luminaries, and that’s something Pacers fans may have a hard time adjusting to.

Next: Love/Hate: T.J. Leaf

Bojan Bogdanovic should be fun. His contract is only two years, with the second year partially guaranteed, and $21 million for two years isn’t a bad deal regardless. He’s going to be overmatched on many nights, but he’ll have his hot nights, and he should keep the ball moving and, most importantly, going through the nets.