The Nets bought the No. 31 pick in the 2011 NBA draft, selecting Bojan Bogdanovic.
Bogdanovic – not to be confused with Bogdan Bogdanović, who was choked by his coach and then drafted by the Suns at No. 27 this year – has played in Turkey since.
Now, the Croatian will join the NBA.
To sign him, like any second rounder, Brooklyn must use cap space or an exception. Cap space is off the table for the Nets, who are headed toward another year deep in the luxury tax, and the minimum-salary exception is not enough to lure Bogdanovic.
That means Bogdanovic will take the Nets’ primary tool for upgrading their roster.
A league source told ESPNNewYork.com’s Ohm Youngmisuk on Monday that European sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic will sign a three-year contract with the Nets for the taxpayer’s mini mid-level exception. The deal includes a third-year player option, the source said, that could make it worth $10.3 million.
The full taxpayer mid-level exception (taxpayers’ and mini are redundant in that except) is worth $3,278,000 starting and $10,550,175 over three years. I’m not sure whether Bogdanovic got the full amount and Youngmisuk just rounded or whether Bogdanovic accepted slightly less.
Bogdanovic taking $10.3 million rather than $10,550,175 won’t give the Nets any more flexibility to sign free agents. They’ll still have only minimum-salary contracts to offer free agents.
Looking for more downside for Brooklyn? There’s no guarantee the 25-year-old Bogdanovic will even help the Nets. Though he shot 41 percent on 3-pointers each of the previous two years, Bogdanovic hit just 29 percent of his shots from beyond the arc last season. That’s a glaringly low mark for a supposedly strong shooter.
Bogdanovic has expanded his game, but with Brooklyn facing limited means to upgrade beyond him, he faces pressure to translate his other skills to the NBA. That might be an uphill battle.
If Bogdanovic is the best the Nets could do with their MLE, it’s probably time to pay Paul Pierce.