Indiana Pacers: Bojan Bogdanovic’s ascent reflects 3 franchise mistakes

Bojan Bogdanovic (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Bojan Bogdanovic (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
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Indiana Pacers, Bojan Bogdanovic
Indiana Pacers, Bojan Bogdanovic – Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers could’ve found earlier relief for their big man conundrum with Bojan Bogdanovic

In a league hoarded by small-ball aficionados, the Indiana Pacers are bucking the trend. By regularly trotting out and even starting two centers in a pace and space league with Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, the team is stuck at a crossroads, and with the way the franchise is operating, a breakup doesn’t loom so big this offseason either.

When the Pacers pried TJ Warren away from Phoenix, it was deemed as a move to soften the blow for Bojan Bogdanovic or Thaddeus Young’s possible exit. However, both players decided to leave town as Indiana was decided on pushing the boundaries with their big man tandem at the starting slots despite meager initial results for the pairing. While the one-two punch at the frontcourt is nowhere near unplayable in the present, it’s far from a perfect combo.

A small-ball troika of Bogdanovic, Warren, Turner/Sabonis in the frontcourt could’ve brought a more dynamic offensive lineup. However, external factors and existing philosophies prompted Indiana to not even look at this direction. With a defensive-minded coach in Nate McMillan, the front office pushed for the big man pairing, which was still logical with the two bigs still improving.

This one is pretty much in retrospect, but it bears heft to note that zagging as the league zigs has not been a kind trek for the Indiana Pacers. Investing on a core more fitting for the modern game didn’t impress the Blue and Gold enough to jettison the idea of cultivating two overlapping, yet talented big men. A personnel tweak such as this may not have swung the fences much, but their actual investment has not been rewarding, or at least, not yet.