Feeling restless in Sacramento, Bodgan Bogdanović is equipped to give the New Orleans Pelicans a two-way boost if the team can strike a trade with the Kings.
The New Orleans Pelicans are off to a 1-6 start, which is starting to turn the fan base from excited to angry, even as the team struggles with injuries and chemistry development. However, there’s been enough evidence through seven games that the team certainly has some holes, enough to start thinking about potential trades.
Left with bad feelings to start the year with a 2-5 posting from the Sacramento Kings, two-way forward Bogdan Bogdanović is apparently interested in how the organization can trade his services to another squad.
The Kings entered the season as Western Conference Playoff hopefuls, one of the handfuls of teams alongside the Pelicans who are competing for a bottom spot in the bracket. However, they look more like the Pelicans in that it’s taking more time to get their team to gel than expected.
After giving the Kings indication that he wasn’t in a hurry to get his rookie-scale contract extension done before the season, it seems that Bogdanović is one of the first rumored trade candidates of the year.
Granted, it’s partially due to his non-starting role for the team, a role that continues to shrink as the team extended Harrison Barnes on a pricey, four-year deal in the offseason.
Seemingly, if Bogdanović isn’t keen to resign in Sacramento, it would make a lot of sense for the team to seek a trade, as they keep trying to load up to become a contender of the future. They’re not quite ready to make a leap yet and will need to keep adding assets to push their build.
Per Heavy.com, the team is “not yet” shopping the third-year Latvian forward, but if he does become more actively available, there will likely be a sizable list of shoppers.
When the time comes for the Kings to find a new suitor, the Pelicans should strongly consider being at the front of the line. The forward provides steady three-point shooting and solid defense that could help the team’s issues across the board.
The New Orleans Pelicans’ second unit would certainly find a boost with Bogdanović in their rotations.
Alvin Gentry has already tried quite a few different lineup combinations. According to NBA Advanced Stats, the experimentation has been to the tune of 108 different five-man combos through seven games.
While many members of the second unit are playing well, both the starting five and bench lineups could use an extra two-way presence in the mix.
Bogdanović could bring solidarity to the team’s rotation as a bigger floor spacing option than J.J. Redick and also one who could bring a little more defensive versatility.
Off to his own slow start, Bogdanović is averaging 9.4 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.4 rebounds while playing 23.4 minutes per game. What’s concerning is his shots aren’t falling, as he’s shooting a lowly 31.4% from the floor and 30.2% from the floor, coupled with an 8.9 player efficiency rating.
Perhaps it’s his dissatisfaction with either the organization or with coach Luke Walton, but the start has not been reflective of what’s been a productive NBA career for the 27-year-old forward.
Last season, Bogdonović was posting 14.1 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds, while hitting 36.1% from three with an effective field goal rate of 49.6% with Dave Joerger as head coach.
The forward plays well on a team moving at a fast pace, a system Joerger employed last season and similar to the one Gentry runs with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Joining the Pelicans, Bogdonivić would have a pretty good chance to start in the short term but will be a quick option off of Gentry’s bench once Zion Williamson is back in action.
With a smorgasbord of assets acquired from the Anthony Davis trade to the Los Angeles Lakers and from sending the Lakers’ fourth-overall pick to the Atlanta Hawks, the New Orleans Pelicans’ front office can certainly afford to sacrifice their rights a future draft choice.
Lacking their own trade candidate, perhaps outside of someone like E’Twaun Moore, the Pelicans will likely have to use draft assets to complete any trade this season.
Even if the New Orleans Pelicans have to cough up a future first, Bogdanović seems like someone who will both be in the league and contributing for a long time. Getting him now allows the team to extend him after the season, where he can be a marquee man off of the New Orleans bench.
Whether or not the New Orleans Pelicans can strike a trade with Sacramento, they’ll need to find a boost somewhere on this roster, otherwise, it could get ugly for the team’s coaching staff. However, Bogdanović could make their struggles clean up quickly if he’s the player the Kings depended on last season.