As with other players acquired in trades by Troy Weaver during my time with Detroit Bad Boys, I am not writing this article with the intention of grading or giving my opinion on the actual trade that netted Bojan Bogdanovic. All I want to do is give the fanbase an idea of the player that Bogdanovic is at this point in his career, based on my film study from him last season.
So what does Bogdanovic bring to Detroit? Shooting, Shooting, and, umm, MORE SHOOTING!!! This guy flat out makes shots from beyond the 3-point line, pouring them in at over 40% from 3 the last 5 seasons combined. What I really liked seeing from the film study is that it is not strictly of the catch and shoot variety. Yes, almost 50% of his overall 3-point attempts were catch and shoot, but he was also doing it off movement coming off screens and with the ball in his hands as well.
Furthermore, the shot making will be a major benefit to the young Pistons core development because of the amount of gravity Bojan will have and the floor spacing it will open for them to operate. The opportunities Bogdanovic will create for his teammates simply by being on the floor is the thing I think I started to realize the most throughout my breakdown. Just like with the shooting, he can also do this with the ball in his hands. He uses an effective shot fake to attack defenders and is very savvy curling off screens to get himself in the lane, and then is plenty unselfish to find the open teammate.
Although I didn’t find any major concerns on the offensive end, he is not a perfect player on that end of the floor. He wasn’t quite as strong with the ball as I would have liked, leading to more turnovers, at times, than you would want. I also have questions about how effective he will be finishing around the rim as he continues to age and the lack of overall athleticism.
If Bojan will come in and provide IMMEDIATE value to the Pistons offensively, the opposite will probably be true on the defensive end of the floor. This end of the floor has been much talked about with Pistons fans since the trade and I have to admit that I do feel the film showed some of the same concerns that the metrics do.
One of the biggest questions that I can’t wait to be answered is what the Pistons will do with Bojan in terms of ball screen coverage. Working under the assumption that he will be playing the “4” for the vast majority of the season, something he did last season with the Jazz. The Pistons were a VERY switch heavy scheme last season and Bojan seemed to like to “hard hedge and recover.” I am not sure what new Defensive Coordinator Jerome Allen will want to deploy, in general, but it will be interesting what he decides to do with Bojan in those possessions.
Off the ball, Bojan shows solid awareness, but just lacks the physical capabilities to really make an impact. He will be in the right spot and he will make the correct rotations. He just can’t cover enough ground to really contest shots and as a possible weak side rim protector, which could be a possibility playing at the “4”, he had ONE total blocked shot last season. He did average 3.5 defensive rebounds last season, but on the boards is another area that could be exposed if he is playing the majority of his minutes at the “4”.
Quickly, I know a lot of people will say “then just play him at the 3,” but I think you run into issues with him staying in front of those types of wings AND chasing them around the perimeter. Simply put, Bojan Bogdanovic wasn’t brought here to make a defensive impact, and I don’t think he will be a net positive. If he is close to a net neutral, that would be a win for Detroit.
Bojan was brought here to make an impact on was shooting and floor spacing and he will absolutely do that at a high level barring some unforeseen drop off in his shooting. I am excited to see how players like Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and Killian Hayes will benefit from and grow in their development based on sharing the floor with Bojan this season (at least, until the NBA Trade Deadline).