Bojan Bogdanovic had a decent first year in Brooklyn. Billed as driver and shooter, he finished the season averaging 13.6 points per 36 minutes, shooting 35.5% from three-point range. He also close to single-handedly kept the Nets playoff hopes alive, with a season-high 28-point outburst coming in the team’s final game when a loss would have eliminated them from the playoffs.
But Bogdanovic’s role with the team was shaky all year. It was a transition year, for one: he went from being a top scoring option in Europe to bouncing in and out of the starting lineup, even racking up a few DNP-CD (Did Not Play — Coach’s Decision)’s along the way.
But Bogdanovic expects more touches and a bigger role in next season’s offense, specifically with how often he has the ball in his hands, according to a post on his official Facebook page:
I expect a whole new role, however not concerning the minutes spent on the court, but regarding ball allocation. I expect to have the ball more often in my possession, and thus a better season than the previous one.
Bogdanovic touched the ball very little in his rookie season. He averaged just 19.7 front court touches in almost 24 minutes per game last season, among the lowest of wing rotation players, according to NBA.com. That was mostly by design: Bogdanovic’s primary role last season was to space the floor, wait for his shot, or make a backdoor cut towards the basket at appropriate times.
But there’s a few reasons to think that’ll increase this year. For one, Bogdanovic has a year in the NBA under his belt, which means a year getting used to the various schematic and tangible differences between European and NBA basketball. You can debate whether or not that makes a huge difference in reality, but if the Nets believe it does, he’ll get a longer leash. Given Mirza Teletovic’s leap forward from Year 1 to Year 2 in a similar situation, they have reason to believe it does.
Secondly, he put out this statement just two days after posting a photo with Nets assistant coach Tony Brown. It’s not a stretch to speculate that Brown told him he’d have a bigger role in the offense.
There’s also the departure of Deron Williams, which could open up a few opportunities to run the offense or look to take advantage of various mismatches. This also puts a bit more pressure on Jarrett Jack, a shoot-first point guard that has a lot of scorers to feed around him.
Only two months and two weeks left until the season starts.