January 17, 2018, 5:45 pm
Bogdan Bogdanovic is anything but a conventional rookie.
A 25-year-old rookie is quite the uncommon occurrence in an NBA so loaded with one-and-done prospects. For example, the first 14 picks in this year’s NBA Draft are all 21 years of age or younger.
Bogdanovic may not be as athletic as some of the younger players entering the league, but his basketball IQ and skill set makes him one of the most interesting players on an extremely young Kings roster.
The Serbian-born forward was selected in the 2014 NBA Draft but remained overseas for a few years before joining the Kings this season. Since joining Sacramento, Bogdanovic has been looked at under a different type of microscope than the other rookies on the roster.
While many have brought up the fact that Bogdanovic can shoot the rock, he’s proven to be much more than just the typical catch-and-shoot player but more so an incredibly well-rounded — almost veteran-like — talent.
Vince Carter, before the season started, stated that Bogdan was “well-polished.” This has rung true in almost every instance. He doesn’t make typical rookie mistakes.
Bogdanovic’s crafty style of play and high IQ has helped with his transition to the NBA, a transition some rookies struggle with.
As the season has progressed, Bogdanovic has only grown more comfortable within the Kings’ offense. Despite missing games with an ankle issue to begin the season, the rookie found a rhythm from the get-go.
In his first game for the Kings he dropped 12 points in 25 minutes of action whilst posting a plus-15 in a loss, an impressive feat. His first full month of action came in November when he played in 14 games with eight starts. Bogdanovic played just 22 minutes per game and averaged 8.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists.
From there, his stats have only trended upwards. In December he averaged 11.0 points, 2.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 28 minutes per game (15 games).
His best month, although not done, has been January and it’s not even close. Bogdanovic’s minutes have only increased slightly but his production has taken a major leap. In eight games he’s averaging 16.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 30 minutes.
All this comes while Bogdanovic has increased his offensive rating from 95 in November to 130 in January. And while all of his stats have gone up on the offensive end, his usage percentage has actually gone down, from 19.9 in November to 18.9 this month.
Bogdanovic has flourished no matter what role he’s given. Whether that’s as a ball handler operating the pick-and-roll or as a scorer.
And with coach Dave Joerger stating that 2-to-3 veterans will sit out each night, Bogdanovic could see even more time on the floor.
One game into the “youth movement” in Sacramento and Bogdanovic is impressing. On Wednesday, he had career highs in points (25) and 3-pointers made (six).
Bogdanovic has continually been a bright spot for the Kings during an underwhelming season for the team.
There’s more to Bogdanovic’s game then shows up on the stat sheet, though. His court vision is unique and his IQ is ahead of the curve.
While the Kings have a ton of talented players with immense amounts of potential, Bogdanovic has placed his name right near the top of the list.
His best all-around game of the season came against the Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers when he dropped 16 points, eight assists, three rebounds and four steals. It was the type of highlight reel game that exemplifies his abilities. He was creating for his teammates, hitting shots off the dribble and showing the kind of patience that isn’t shown by most rookies.
Ability to free himself up:
Waiting for the defenders to ease up:
But Bogdanovic isn’t like most rookies.
When second-year man Buddy Hield was asked about Bogdanovic in December, he had nothing but good things to say about his teammate.
“It’s a selfish game – (the mentality is) I’m trying to get my own. But he’s been one of the few that really helped me to expand my game.”
That’s not the typical statement from a sophomore player when speaking on behalf of a rookie.
If there is one negative that Bogdanovic has come under fire for, it’s his hesitancy to shoot at times. However, that may be a factor of him either not trying to do too much or his openness to get others involved. Either way, it’s a minor criticism of an otherwise very comprehensive playing style.
At 25, Bogdanovic may not be the prototypical rookie in the NBA but he’s a player that fits the bill for Sacramento; a player that looks to vets to understand how to survive in the best basketball league on the planet but with enough insight to give younger players advice as well.
Bogdanovic is just scratching the surface. The Kings may have found themselves a one of a kind talent.
November 17, 2019, 1:49 amDelon WrightPG, Dallas Mavericks
Delon Wright scored an efficient 15 points off the bench for Dallas on 6-of-8 shooting, adding four rebounds, one assist and three steals in Saturday's win over Toronto.
Wright played well and was extremely efficient for the Mavs. The three steals are great and his value lies within his abilities to generate defensive statistics.
November 17, 2019, 1:46 amJerome RobinsonSG, Los Angeles Clippers
A career night for Jerome Robinson who scored 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, adding five 3's, four rebounds, one assist, two steals and two blocks in Saturday's win over the Hawks.
Robinson got an extended run in tonight's 150-101 blowout win over the Hawks. A nice game for the second-year player.
November 17, 2019, 1:42 amTerance MannPG, Los Angeles Clippers
Getting the start, Terance Mann scored a career-high 13 points in 33 minutes of action, adding six rebounds and eight assists in Saturday's blowout win over the Hawks.
With teammate Patrick Beverley out, Mann got the start and made the most of it earning career highs in points, rebounds, and assists. This is a great game for him, and something for him to build off of, but this type of output should not be expected again pending prolonged injuries to Beverley.
November 17, 2019, 1:37 amPaul GeorgeSF, Los Angeles Clippers
Paul George was on fire in Saturday's 150-101 blowout win against the Hawks scoring 37 points in 20 minutes, adding four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
In only his second game back from injury, George has scored 70 points in 44 minutes of total play. Needless to say he has already found his groove. Had the game not been a blowout from the start there is no telling how many more points he would have racked up. It is also worth noting that he shot 11-of-11 from the line tonight-coupled with the 10-of-10 from last game- he has not missed a FT yet. This torrid pace is probably not sustainable but the high usage and excellent efficiency, paired with "load-management" nights for teammate Kawhi Leonard, make George a possible top-10 player this year pending any re-occurring shoulder issues.
November 17, 2019, 1:31 amTrae YoungPG, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young scored 20 points (4-of-16 from the floor and 10-of-12 from the line) on Saturday with six assists and two threes in a 150-101 blowout loss vs. the Clippers.
The Hawks were destroyed on Saturday so throw this game out the window. Young is a top-30 player so far with averages of 26.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 3.3 threes. Forget about this game and enjoy watching Trae post top-20 value this season.
November 17, 2019, 1:23 amIvica ZubacC, Los Angeles Clippers
Ivica Zubac fouled out in only 17 minutes of play after scoring seven points, nine rebounds, four assists and four blocks in Saturday's win over the Hawks.
In less than 16 minutes a game this season Zubac is providing top-100 value thanks to highly efficient FG and FT percentage, high rebounds and good blocks without hurting owners anywhere. He is an easy player to own that can be picked up and dropped on the waiver-wire without raising too many eyebrows.
November 17, 2019, 1:20 amDe'Andre HunterSF, Atlanta Hawks
De'Andre Hunter struggled from the floor on Saturday, shooting 5-of-14 on his way to scoring 12 points.
Hunter added a steal and a three but he is hurting more than he is helping by shooting .369 from the field this season. The drag on field goal percentage is too big to warrant rostering Hunter right now outside of deeper leagues.
November 17, 2019, 1:17 amMontrezl HarrellPF, Los Angeles Clippers
Montrezl Harrell scored 17 points in a blowout win over the Hawks, adding four rebounds, two assists and a block in 23 minutes off the bench Saturday night.
Harrell would have picked up a few more boards and points had the game been tighter but found his services not needed in this blowout win. He will continue to provide great energy off the bench for the Clippers and a high FG percentage, points, and rebounds for fantasy owners.
November 17, 2019, 1:12 amLou WilliamsSG, Los Angeles Clippers
Lou Williams scored an easy 25 points off the bench in Saturday's win over the Hawks on 5-of-13 from the field and a perfect 15-of-15 from the line, also adding six rebounds and six assists.
In 23 minutes off the bench Williams scored 25 points, making more free throws than shots attempted. In this crazy game Williams was able to get to the line with ease and made a mockery of the Hawks' young defenders, who failed to adhere to the scouting report and fell for pump-fakes. This was an excellent game for the 14th-year guard.
November 17, 2019, 1:11 amDamian JonesC, Atlanta Hawks
Damian Jones started and scored 11 points (4-of-7 from the field) on Saturday with three rebounds and four blocks in 23 minutes.
Jones and Alex Len (five points in 18 minutes on Saturday) are currently fighting for playing time at center. Jones and Len are both low-end streaming options for big man stats, but neither player can be relied on right now.