With the trade deadline coming up, many are wondering if Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King will make a move within the next two weeks. Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, an Paul Pierce are some names that have been speculated as possible trade pieces – but one Nets asset that has been perhaps a bit overlooked is European phenom Bojan Bogdanović.
Bogdanović, a 24-year-old swingman who spent his early childhood in wartorn Bosnia and Herzegovina (in the same town that Mirza Teletovic is from, oddly enough), has played for the Turkish club Fenerbaçhe Ülker since the 2011-12 season. Before that, he played a bit in Croatia and Spain. Originally drafted in 2010, Bogdanović's NBA rights have been traded a few times before landing with the Nets.
Last summer, Brooklyn attempted to finally bring the skilled wing player over the Atlantic, but were thwarted when Fenerbaçhe and the Nets could not agree to the terms of a contract buyout.
The 6'8" athletic Croatian is considered to be one of the best players in European leagues. Though his NBA future is uncertain, he remains a valuable piece because of his dynamic offensive play. Scouts across the world think that he is ready to play in the United States – his offensive game is versatile. Unlike many European prospects, he is not just an outside shooter. He has a high basketball IQ and can put the ball on the floor.
All of this is great, but it's ultimately meaningless unless the Nets can either bring him overseas to actually play for them or trade away his rights.
Which is why the Wall Street Journal's Alex Raskin is projecting that Brooklyn may trade his rights to another team.
"I would say 20 out of 30 teams have interest in him," said a league source "who has knowledge of the team's thinking," according to Raskin.Bogdanović is young and skilled enough to warrant a first-round draft pick, but with teams hoarding picks like misers, it could prove nearly impossible to squeeze one away. Raskin writes that Brooklyn would likely look to target a veteran presence that will make a difference come playoff time. He listed Kyle Lowry, Arron Afflalo and Pau Gasol as possible acquisitions, but admitted that none of these options is really likely.
"In the end, the Nets may not make any trade at all," Raskin says. "...it's hard to envision the Nets landing a true impact player."The top two seeds in the Eastern Conference are clearly defined, but the Nets are in a race with about eight other teams fighting for the final six spots in the playoffs. Brooklyn already has plenty of veteran presence (some might say too much), but adding another piece could give them the final push into a top four or five spot.
What say you, Nets fans? Is Bojan Bogdanović someone the Nets should consider trading away? Should they just hold onto his rights and hope he'll come over next season? Should the Nets make a trade at all, or stand pat? Let us know in the comments.