By now, Bogdan Bogdanovic is very much a known commodity to Atlanta Hawks fans. His 2022-23 season largely followed the script of the two previous ones: overcoming an injury setback to become a valued offensive piece in a sixth man role by the end of the season.
After dealing with knee inflammation throughout the 2021-22 season, Bogdanovic opted to have knee surgery on his right patella tendon last June. While he was initially expected to be ready by the start of the regular season, the recovery eventually knocked him out all the way until the 23rd game of the season.
With Dejounte Murray stepping in to form a partnership with Trae Young as the heart of the offense, Bogdanovic had less responsibility to run the offense than the two prior seasons. For the year, Bogdan Bogdanovic averaged 14.0 points, 2.8 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game. The sharpshooter knocked down 40.6% of his attempts from behind the arc to go along with 44.7% shooting from the field overall and 83.1% from the free throw line.
On the other side of the court, after crossing into his 30s with a number of knee issues already in his past, ‘Bogi’s’ lateral agility and overall on-ball defense suffered badly this season. It’s possible that aspect of his game bounces back some with a healthy offseason this time around, but he’ll continue to be picked on frequently by opposing offenses when mismatches present themselves.
“I’m really happy that I finished the season healthy,” Bogdanovic had to say about his physical health. “I really started to see the benefits the last month, where I can lift, practice. I didn’t need to think about any problems.”
“I played a little bit of point guard in Europe,” he continued, talking about his improvement during his NBA career. “But here in the NBA is ‘there is a role’. And if you’re a scorer, you’ve got to score. In a pick-and-roll situation, if I see my guy open — if we are both open, but he’s a little bit more [open], I’m going to pass it. That’s my instinct.”
Back in the 2020 offseason, Atlanta signed Bogdanovic to a four-year deal worth a total of $72 million dollars in restricted free agency. The contract included a 15% trade kicker and the final year of that deal was a player option — which made it as thorny as possible for the Sacramento Kings to match to retain their player. The Kings ultimately declined, and Atlanta had their man.
Leading up to this offseason, however, there had been the possibility that ‘Bogi’ could decline that final year player option and become an unrestricted free agent. But before the conclusion of the season, he and the Hawks reached an agreement on extension. The deal was eventually reported as a four-year, $68 million deal beginning in 2023 with a team option in 2026-27. The annual salary will decline year over year until that option season as well, which could be very valuable going forward.
So for now, Bogdan Bogdanovic’s place with the team seems secure. It’s always possible he is shopped around in the trade market, but his shooting and veteran leadership remain very important to the makeup of the team. Bogdanovic indicted his plans to play for Serbian national team in the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup. All hopes are that he can avoid injury this summer and hit the ground running the begin the 2023-24 season.