5 Brooklyn Nets Offseason Questions: #2: What to do with Bojan Bogdanovic.
The Nets traded up in the second round of the 2011 NBA draft to snag the Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic, a 6'8" swingman with a good shooting stroke currently playing for Fenerbahce Ulker in Turkey. In 21 games in Euroleague, the 24-year-old Bogdanovic averaged 15.9 points in about 28 minutes per game, shooting 53.8% from two-point range and 40.5% from three-point range. In 28 games in Turkish League, Bogdanovic averaged 13.1 points in 25 minutes per game, shooting 57.9% from two-point range and 36.8% from three-point range.
How that adds up: in 49 games across both leagues, Bogdanovic averaged 14.6 points in 26.2 minutes per game, with shooting splits of 55.9% from two-point range, 38.4% from three-point range, and 83.1% from the line. Not bad at all.
But bringing over Bogdanovic isn't as easy as signing him to a rookie-scale contract. If that were true, he'd already be in Brooklyn.
Bogdanovic has to negotiate a buyout with Fenerbahce -- thought to be about $2 million, according to Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. The Nets can only directly contribute $575,000 to any buyout per the league's collective bargaining agreement, meaning that if the $2 million figure is accurate, Bogdanovic would need to contribute the remaining $1.425 million out of his own pocket.
That would be more money than Bojan Bogdanovic would make on a minimum contract with Brooklyn (a little under $500,000), and thus isn't feasible.
If the Nets hope to bring over Bojan Bogdanovic this year, it would almost assuredly be for the entire mini mid-level exception (valued at three years and roughly $9.98 million). They could technically break it up to sign multiple players, but after signing Bogdanovic to a reasonable price, the exception would barely cover a veteran's minimum salary. So it doesn't make sense for them to offer him less.
So if the Nets do bring Bogdanovic over, he would be their biggest free agent signing of the summer -- even though it would be for a player they own the rights to.
The Nets want to rush bringing Bogdanovic over not only because they like him as a player, but because his contract with Fenerbahce runs out after next season and he could sign with another European team for more money -- and an even higher buyout. If that happens, Bogdanovic may never make it to the NBA.
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Big IF. Elsewhere the buyout was mentioned as being reduced to 1 million and that Fener is going in a different direction and is motivated to push him to the NBA now. My thoughts are that the sudden excitement by Billy King is that Fener agreed to reduce the buyout to the NBA maximum ($570,000)because Fener doesn't want Bojan to go to the European competition next year. If that assumption is true, then we should no longer assume as Tim Bontemps did, that Nets would have to use the mini-MLE to sign him. That just doesn't make sense to commit to using the mini-MLE before signing Blatche and possibly CJ Watson. Did Bontemps speak with Billy King or with Bojan's agent? I'll wait until I hear more from Billy King.
I think Billy King knows more than we are learning about the buyout, or else this matter would not have come up now. If Bojan doesn't have to pay anything for the buyout, that changes matters. Its in Billy King's interest to not commit to using the mMLE if Kirilenko wants to force his way to Brooklyn, via trade. However, if King DOES give Bojan, say 1/2 of the mMLE, the other 1/2 may not be useful. I don't think it will keep CJ Watson with Nets, but who knows.