UTAH JAZZ

10. Jazz Forward Bojan Bogdanovic

Oct 10, 2021, 10:24 AM
Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (Photo by Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images)...
Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (Photo by Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz open their season on October 20, just 10 days from today. With the clock ticking, we look at 50 things for Jazz fans to be excited about leading up to the 2021-22 NBA season. Coming in at number 10, Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic.

Jazz Forward Bojan Bogdanovic

With the return of Mike Conley, the continued improvement of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, two Sixth Man of the Year candidates, and new additions in Rudy Gay, Hassan Whiteside, Eric Paschall, and Jared Butler, it’s easy to forget about Bojan Bogdanovic.

In fact, that might be why Bogdanovic became such a deadly weapon for the Jazz, where lost in the shuffle of the deepest backcourt in the NBA and a dominant defensive front, the Croatian forward quietly crushed opposing teams with his deadly shooting.

However, after suffering a wrist injury in his initial season with the Jazz, the forward missed the team’s playoff appearance in the Walt Disney bubble and was slow to return to form with the roster last season.

Over his first 46 games during the 2020-21 season, Bogdanovic averaged a solid 14.5 points on 41 percent shooting and 38 percent from the three-point line but was plagued by inconsistency as he struggled to return from his injury.

But over the final 26 regular season games, many of which came with both Mitchell and Conley out of the lineup, Bogdanovic saw a dramatic spike in play nearly a full year after undergoing surgery.

The forward averaged 21.5 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting a much improved 47 percent from the floor and 40 percent from the three-point line. That play continued into the playoffs when Bogdanovic averaged 18.1 points per game, 4.3 rebounds, and shot 46 percent from the floor and the three-point line.

The trick now for the Jazz is getting Bogdanovic to continue to play at this level, even with a healthy Mitchell and Conley back on the floor.

With both All-Star guards missing significant time down the stretch of the regular season, the Jazz turned to Bogdanovic to carry the scoring load. But can the forward find that rhythm when he’s not the focal point of the offense?

That’s an answer the Jazz haven’t been able to find in the preseason as Bogdanovic missed the team’s last two games as he recovers from a minor shoulder injury over the summer, but will be a priority over the final week of training camp.

The good news for the team is Bogdanovic has been cleared by the Jazz medical team and has been a full participant in practice each of the last two days.

The Bogdanovic signing has been an unquestionable success over the last two seasons, but there’s still room for the team to grow. How Bogdanovic is reincorporated into the team’s healthier lineup is one of the top storylines to watch as opening night approaches.

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10. Jazz Forward Bojan Bogdanovic