Bojan Bogdanovic could turn in a career year for the Indiana Pacers in 2017-2018

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 01: Bojan Bogdanovic
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 01: Bojan Bogdanovic /

Bojan Bogdanovic is expected to be the starting small forward for the Indiana Pacers to begin the 2017-2018 season. Bojan could be poised for a career year in his first year as a Pacer.

When Bojan Bogdanovic signed with the Indiana Pacers, it came down to one key thing: opportunity.  He made that crystal clear when he was introduced to the media for the first time as a Pacer.

"“That was the biggest key of my decision to come here” Bogdanovic said when asked about potentially playing big minutes for the Pacers. “We all want to play, we all want to be big-time players, to play big-time minutes. So that was key to my decision.”"

Bogdanovic’s coming off a 2016-2017 campaign with the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards in which he averaged a career-high in scoring of 13.7 points per game. He’s improved his scoring average in all three of his years as an NBA player. He could keep that trend going with his new team.

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Whether he starts or comes off the bench for the Pacers, Bogdanovic will have plenty of scoring opportunities. With C.J. Miles now in Toronto, Bogdanovic should be known as Indiana’s best shooter on the roster. As everyone knows, shooting is a vital part of the game today. Bogdanovic shot 39.1 percent on three-pointers with the Washington Wizards last season.

Darren Collison has Bogdanovic beaten on three-point percentage. Collison shot 41.7 percent on three-pointers last season with the Sacramento Kings. However, he takes threes at a much smaller rate than Bogdanovic.

Another reason why Bogdanovic could have a breakout year is the minutes he’s drooling over. Bojan hasn’t averaged over 30 minutes per game yet in his NBA career, despite starting 121 games. His highest minutes average was 26.8 per game with the Brooklyn Nets in 2016. Per 36 minutes, Bogdanovic averaged 19.2 points per game that season. For his career, per 36 minutes, he’s averaged 16.1 points.

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With all that being said, Bogdanovic will be a key contributor for the Indiana Pacers next year. He will win them some games. In the Eastern Conference, which has lost a ton of talent, anything is possible. Don’t take this line very seriously, but maybe Bogdanovic will transform into an All-Star given the opportunity he’ll have.