Bogdan Bogdanovic comes into his third season with the Atlanta Hawks with a few question marks surrounding him. Last season, the veteran guard had his role switched a few times from being in the starting five at the beginning of the season to being the sixth man off the bench by the end of the playoffs.
This season, he’ll definitely be coming off the bench with Dejounte Murray in the fold, but the main concern will be his health.
As media day rolled around for the Hawks, GM Laundry Fields said that Bogdanovic won’t be 100% for training camp, as the goal is to have him fully prepared for the regular season. Bogdanovic had surgery on the same knee that has been bothering him for the past two seasons.
When healthy, Bogdanovic has shown that he can be a positive scoring option for the Hawks, whether that’s starting or on the bench. He was a big reason the Hawks were a better team during the second half of last season, and played a big part in a few of the Hawks’ games against the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
On the other side, Bogdanovic had to miss a few games due to his knee, including one during the playoffs. Having surgery on the same knee numerous times is indeed a cause for concern, but if Bogdanovic can show that he can stay healthy for most of the season, he can be a real game-changer for the team.
With the Hawks departing from some of their best shooters in Kevin Huerter and Danilo Gallinari in the offseason, it would be imperative for Bogdanovic to be on the court for the Hawks. He’s shown throughout his time in Atlanta that he can go on a hot streak at any time, and he can keep it going for multiple games. Outside of Trae Young, he may be the next reliable three-point shooter on the team.
It will be interesting to see what Bogdanovic’s minutes will look like to start the season, or if he’ll be able to play in the first few games as he still recovers. During media day, Bogdanovic said that he’s “close to the last phase” of his recovery. He could end up sitting out all of the preseason games, but if he's able to play one or two, that's more of a positive sign for him being ready for the regular season. Nate McMillan and the training staff may bring him along slowly to start the season and ramp him up as he progresses.
If the Hawks want to be a successful team this season, there are a few things that must happen, but Bogdanovic being healthy is definitely a key factor. With Kevin Huerter and Danilo Gallinari out of the equation, Bogdanovic will be more important than ever to the Hawks as a second unit scorer/ball-handler.