Pacers salary series: The consistency of Bojan Bogdanovic

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 04: Bojan Bogdanovic
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 04: Bojan Bogdanovic /

In this series, 8p9s writer Tony East breaks down the contract situation of each Pacers player. In this edition, we’ll look at starting small forward Bojan Bogdanovic.

I will open this article with an opinion, which is both bad practice and bad writing, but I need to set something straight here: I love Bojan Bogdanovic. At the present moment, he is my favorite player on the team. All that said, I’m sorry if a small bit of bias rubs out into this post. Anywhom…

The new starting small forward in the post-Paul George era, Bojan Bogdanovic has some pretty massive shoes to fill. Thankfully, it looks like Bojan will play a largely different role than George did, with far less shot creation.

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Bojan is here to space the floor and help the Pacers transition to a more modern brand of basketball. Of course, the overall comparison is unfair. He and PG have essentially identical shooting percentages from 3-point range for their careers. They both average the same 3-point attempt rate per 36 minutes, so don’t expect any shooting drop off from the George to Bogdanovic. If he is in the game at small forward, you have to guard him behind the 3-point line, and that floor spacing has a huge impact on the offense.

Unfortunately, that is where the comparisons between the two players end. Outside of free-throw percentage, George is better than Bogdanovic at every facet of the game you could think of, especially defense, where Bogdanovic is markedly terrible.

Fortunately, he wasn’t brought in to replace George, he was simply brought into town to be a solid contributor and shooter. He can do both of those things. He is absolutely money from the right corner, and his form is beautiful:

Just put Bogdanovic in the corner and watch him go, baby.

2017-18 season

Bojan signed a two-year, $21,000,000 dollar contract this offseason with no raises. This coming season, he will make $10,500,000. At that figure, he is the third highest paid player on the team, behind Victor Oladipo and Thaddeus Young. He carries a cap hit at the same amount as his salary.

2018 summer and beyond

If only two-year contracts with no raises were simple.

Next season, Bogdanovic has $1,500,000 of his salary guaranteed. The guarantee date for his contract is June 29, 2018, which is in a unique period: before 2018 free agency but after the 2018 draft. It is possible that Bojan is traded after the season, but during the draft, to a team that wants to use his skills next season, or wants to waive him. It is an odd, and unique, guarantee date.

If he makes it beyond that date, his full $10,500,000 salary becomes guaranteed. For simplicity purposes, you could look at his current contract as a one-year, $12 million dollar contract.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – SEPTEMBER 25: Bojan Bogdanovic /

Prediction time

I think Bojan will play well this season, I really do. He has been very consistent his whole career, averaging between 23 and 25 minutes every season and scoring between nine and 13 points per game. You know he is going to shoot well and have a nice offensive impact while being awful on defense.

All that impact is great but it is also replaceable, and it is replaceable by Glenn Robinson III, who shot 39 percent from deep last season and is on the precipice of becoming a solid contributor, as soon as he comes back from injury, that is.

Because of that, you will probably see a decline in minutes for Bogdanovic as the season goes on, before he is supplanted by Robinson in the rotation and ultimately waived.

Because of his non-guarantee next season, Bogdanovic is imminently tradeable all season long.

Next: Victor Oladipo isn't feeling pressure to replace Paul George

We can all hope Bogdanovic has a $10,500,000 impact on the team. I believe his floor spacing and shooting are worth that much, but until the season starts, nobody really knows.