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How Will Bojan Bogdanović Fit In With Utah Jazz?

Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Utah Jazz drives past Jack McVeigh #9 of the Adelaide 36ers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 5, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – There are a number of new Utah Jazz players this year. One of the bigger names acquired during free agency was Bojan Bogdanović. The Jazz brought him in to help improve their shooting prowess, specifically the three-point shot.

Bogdanović is a career 38.9% shooter from beyond the arc. He has steadily improved nearly every year in the NBA with his prior two seasons eclipsing 40%. He had a career-best last season with the Indiana Pacers at 42.5%.

Shooting is definitely what he brings to Salt Lake City, but there are other aspects of his game that will help the Jazz achieve its goals this year. One of those is passing the ball.

 

KSL Sports’ Ben Anderson joined KSL UnRivaled to discuss Bogdanović’s style of play. One area he said the small forward/shooting guard was under-appreciated is how he distributes the basketball. The skill set will fit in nicely as the Jazz are a team that want to whip the ball around on offense.

He had four assists in Utah’s first preseason game against the Adelaide 36ers – a good sign for things to come.

“Jeff Green talked about it after the [preseason] game when he caught a lob from Bojan Bogdanović, and that is that he is an underrated passer,” Anderson said. “The Jazz are a ball-moving team and want to beat teams with the pass. In that game, he took nine shots and six of those were from three and you love that, but he had four assists.”

He said having more players who can pass the ball helped Utah open up the court.

“The Jazz have not had a good passing big man in a long time,” Anderson said. “(With Bogdanović), the Jazz have a guy that can line up at power forward for long stretches. Give him the ball anywhere and he can put it on the floor or pull up for a wide-open shot.”

What Position Will Bojan Play?

The big question is where on the floor he will play. Bogdanović can shoot the three. At 6’8″ he’s in-between a small forward and power forward, but he also has a wingspan longer than he is tall, which allows him to defender bigger players.

However, he does not have the quickness and footwork to really defend guards or small forwards. That leads to the logical conclusion that his position will technically be a power forward.

“You are who you guard in the NBA now with the modern league, with everyone switching around. I think he will be burned by guarding shooting guards and small forwards,” Anderson said. “He is a big dude.”

It may not really matter where he plays on the court, but what really matters if he can guard other big guys. That might be the area of biggest concern.

“He is more of a liability than Derrick Favors, so that is a step back. That was expected, because Favors was one of the best defenders in the NBA,” Anderson said. “Asking Bojan to go and move his feet on the perimeter, he might get killed. If you are asking him to be a body against some of the power forwards in the league, Bojan should be just fine.”

It all depends on how Snyder wants to use Bogdanović. The team will not necessarily hide him against certain players, but will stick him in a position to succeed. More often than not, they’ll likely line him up against a power forward that plays closer to the basket. Defense is not the biggest concern for the Jazz since they have the NBA’s two-time defending Defensive Player of the Year in Rudy Gobert and others to help, and allow Bogdanović to just shoot the ball.

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