Atlanta Hawks: Grading Bogdan Bogdanovic’s first season with the team

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks pounced on a mistake made by the Sacramento Kings prior to free agency starting last season. The Kings tried to execute a sign and trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic with the Milwaukee Bucks which was not legal to do when they were trying to do it.

The Hawks then moved in when teams were legally allowed to offer players contracts and offered Bogdanovic a four-year, $72 million deal which included a player option in his final season. Needless to say, Bogdanovic signed this deal and the Hawks benefitted from his play.

It was not always smooth sailing for the pairing though, Bogdanovic struggled with his shot early under the then head coach, Lloyd Pierce. Part of this was that Bogdanovic was not in the play enough to start feeling confident with his shot. Then Bogdanovic hurt his knee in a freak incident on the court and was to miss two months with a fractured knee cap.

How the Atlanta Hawks season was saved by Bogdan Bogdanovic

The Hawks season was going nowhere under Pierce. On the day that Nate McMillan coached the Hawks for the first time, Bogdanovic came back onto the court, almost like a gift for his new head coach. It was a little like fate for the franchise.

Bogdanovic turned his shooting around, going on to have his best season in the NBA. Bogdanovic averaged 16.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.1 steals in 29.7 minutes per game. He had career highs in all shooting categories with a slash line of .473/.438/.909, with his 3-point percentage being good enough for 11th in the league.