The Nets’ options in free agency are limited. That comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with their sky-high payroll. But they do have some room to spend beyond re-signing their own free agents.
That money in the form of the taxpayers’ midlevel exception — $3,278,000 available to teams whose salaries are well over the NBA’s luxury tax — looks as if it will be gobbled up by Bojan Bogdanovic, a 2011 early second-round pick whose draft rights the Nets acquired years ago. He will receive a three-year deal worth $10.3 million, according to ESPN.
Bogdanovic likely is an unknown to the vast majority of Nets fans, but here are a few facts. He’s a 25-year-old scoring-oriented swingman who has played professionally in Turkey during the past three seasons.
Bogdanovic likely will be the starting shooting guard for the Croatian national team at the FIBA World Cup in Spain in seven weeks. His history with the national team isn’t flawless, though. He was kicked off the squad for violating curfew.
That’s not the major concern for the Nets faithful who just want to know if the 6-foot-8 Bodganovic can play. Unfortunately, how well he will transition to the NBA game remains murky. His averages of 13.1 points over 28.2 minutes per game indicate he could be capable of burst offense off the Nets’ bench. However, his 3-point shooting dipped from 41% from 2011-13 to 30% this past season, and that’s behind the more friendly European 3-point arc.
Bodganovic could wind up taking over Marcus Thornton’s role, as Thornton has been the subject of trade rumors that would send him to the Cavs for point guard Jarrett Jack. If that’s the case, those additions would seem to make up, in part, for the loss of Shaun Livingston, who left to join the Warriors.