A late summer knee injury cost Bogdan Bogdanovic the first 10 games of the 2018-19 season and his starting job. It didn't stop him from having a quality second season in the NBA.
Once healthy, the Serbian-born scorer bounced all over the court for Sacramento, spending time at the point guard, shooting guard and small forward positions. He started 17 games at the wing and proved to be the Kings' most versatile player.
Without a training camp to adjust to the team's new pace, Bogdanovic appeared to run out of gas in the middle of the season. He stayed healthy throughout the season, but his numbers were a little all over the board.
Stats: 14.1 points, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 41.8% FG, 36.0% 3pt, 27.8 min
One of the best playmakers on the roster, Bogdanovic helped stabilize the Kings' second unit for much of the season. He posted a career-high 3.8 assists per game, while playing multiple positions and roles.
Bogdanovic increased his scoring numbers, but it came at a high price. His field goal percentage dropped from 44.6 percent as a rookie to 41.8 percent in Year 2 and his 3-point percentage fell from 39.2 percent to 36 percent.
It appeared that Bogdanovic lost the bounce in his legs in January, February and March, before returning to form in April. After recovering from preseason knee surgery, he was thrust into an uptempo offense that not only didn't fit his play style, but seemed to wear him down.
As a starter, Bogdanovic posted a negative 7.9 per game in the plus/minus category in 17 games. In 53 games as a reserve, he posted a plus two points per game average. It should be noted that Bogdanovic was forced to play as a small forward with the starting unit versus playing predominantly in the backcourt off the bench.
Bogdanovic improved on his 3-point defense and from 15 feet out, but he took a step back in other spots on the floor. Behind the arc, he held his opponents to -1.4 percent in his sophomore season after allowing a +2.8 percent as a rookie. He posted a similar improvement from 15 feet out, improving from a +3.3 percent to a -2.3.
While he improved on the perimeter, the closer to the basket, the worse it got for Bogdanovic this season. He allowed his opponents to shoot 72.5 percent from the field inside of six feet and 62.9 percent from inside of 10 feet. Not only did he show declines in these two areas, but his percentages allowed more than doubled.
Sacramento's perimeter players need to do a better job of staying in front of their opponents, but stabilizing the defensive rotations behind them is a must if the team is going to improve. Bogdanovic spent plenty of his minutes playing with inexperienced players and it showed in his defensive numbers.
Bogdanovic improved his steal numbers slightly and bumped up his rebounding totals by .6 per game. He is an instinctual player that is often in the right place at the right time. While he lacks elite lateral quickness, he makes up for it with an extremely high basketball IQ.
There is a lot to unpack when it comes to Bogdanovic. While his teammates were running wind sprints in training camp, he was rehabbing a knee injury. When he returned to the court, he instantly made an impact in November and December, but his efficiency started to dip dramatically through the final three months of the season as his roles changed and the pace of the play appeared to wear him down.
Bogdanovic was asked multiple times if he was fighting through injury in January, February and March. Despite sitting in his locker stall with ice on his shoulder, both knees and his feet in ice buckets, his answer was always the same -- no.
For much of the season, Bogdanovic was playing with two rookies on the floor. The other two positions were constantly in flux with players like Yogi Ferrell, Alec Burks, Justin Jackson, Corey Brewer, Frank Mason, Troy Williams and Kosta Koufos moving in and out of the rotation constantly.
It's clear that Bogdanovic still has a tremendous upside. A light summer of hoops would help, as would a full training camp. There is hope that the Kings will solidify the rotation around him and allow him to settle into a specific role.
Either way, he is a talented, multi-positional player that still has room to grow on both ends of the court. He's entering the final year of his contract with the team and has a lot riding on the upcoming season.