The Wizards had been looking to improve their below-average bench by bringing in a player that can create some offense. The question is, how will this deal work out for Washington?
Article continues below ...
What Bogdanovic Brings
Bogdanovic is a scoring wing, the exact position Washington needed. With the backup point guard spot being manned by Trey Burke and Tomas Satoransky, and a defensive wing/small-ball 4 in Kelly Oubre, Bogdanovic can slide right into the rotation to provide some much-needed offense.
This year Bojan is averaging a career-high 14.2 points per game while shooting nearly 36 percent from deep. With 45 percent of his career shots coming from behind the arc, Bogdanovic will be another great kickout option for All-Star point guard John Wall.
His offensive capabilities will allow second-year man Oubre to continue his role with the team. The Wizards drafted Oubre for his defense, but also his potential to have a solid three-point shot.
To this point the jumper has not developed (career 30 percent shooter) but his defense has gotten him into the rotation and even some crunch time minutes. Despite playing the same position, the acquisition of Bogdanovic will likely not hurt Oubre going forward.
Timing Is Key
Bogdanovic comes at a point that fits nicely with the Wizards timeline. He is 27 years old and a restricted free agent, meaning two things:
He is in his prime, so the team does not have to wait for him to develop
His RFA status will allow the team to go over the cap to re-sign him
These are key factors because the team is ready to win sooner rather than later with Wall in his prime. The Wizards also don’t have much cap flexibility for the next few years, until basically everyone is a free agent.
At What Cost
The cost of Bogdanovic was also fitting. While giving up a first hurts for Wizards fans, who have seen it all too often, here it was the right move. It appears to be unlikely that any wing drafted in the mid-20s in 2017 can come in as ready as Bojan right now (similar to the Markieff Morris trade last year).
During the first two months of the season I would not have traded a 2017 pick if I was Washington. But now with the team winning games it is easier to part ways with it. Considering it would have taken a similar package to obtain Lou Williams, the Wizards made the right call in spending that on Bogdanovic.
While I really liked the Andrew Nicholson contract this summer, it is clear he did not work for head coach Scott Brooks. Being able to move him and his long-term deal off the end of the bench was a no-brainer.
What About Chris McCullough?
While the attention will be on Bojan, McCullough shouldn’t just be viewed as just a throw-in by the Wizards. This summer the team had a plan involving Nicholson at the 4, it just didn’t pan out. A little younger and with a little more potential, McCullough could fit the bill for that plan down the road.
Remember if it weren’t for his injury coming out of Syracuse in 2015, McCullough could have been a much higher pick. His progress with the team over the next year or two will be very interesting to keep track of.
Where They Go From Here
Hopefully, straight to competing in the Eastern Conference Finals. It should be a tight race between Washington, the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors, but this is now the right roster that can really compete in the later rounds of the postseason.
Looking over the next couple of years, the team is hoping Satoransky is the final piece to make them a contender as the solid backup point guard every team needs. Maybe McCullough will provide some real value as a rotation big. But as for today, Bogdanovic brings the team that much closer to its ultimate goal.