Hawks’ Bogdan Bogdanovic draws praise from former teammate

Atlanta Hawks, Bogdan Bogdanovic. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks, Bogdan Bogdanovic. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks underwent a lot of changes last season, including trading Frank Kaminsky and Justin Holiday to the Houston Rockets for Bruno Fernando and Garrison Mathews.

Both Fernando and Mathews are set to return to the Hawks next season. Holiday joined the reigning champion Denver Nuggets in free agency. As for Kaminsky, he is joining the Serbian club KK Partizan, in the Adriatic League.

His new team also has connections to the Hawks in sixth man Bogdan Bogdanovic.

“It was great to play with him,” Kaminsky said about Bogdanovic, per Eurohoops on August 18. “He is a fantastic basketball player and an even better friend. I called him first when the possibility arose to move to Partizan. He said a lot of nice things about the club and the city, which helped me make the decision to sign…the contract.”

“I am excited about the opportunity that has come my way,” Kaminsky said. “I know that I am coming to a club with a rich history and a mission to win trophies. I am very happy for the opportunity to play big matches. The support of the fans that this club has is crazy and I can’t wait to play in front of them.“

Kaminsky, 30, averaged 2.7 points, 1.4 rebounds, and nearly 1.0 assists per game in 26 appearances with the Hawks last season before being traded. The former No. 9 overall pick in 2015, Kaminsky shot 47.8% from beyond the arc, albeit on low volume.

He signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with Atlanta in free agency last offseason after stints with the Charlotte Hornets and Phoenix Suns.

The big man is of Serbian descent and noted that his family is “still close” with the Serbian community in Illinois where he is from and the Serbian National Federation which hosts a basketball tournament every year in June. This year, the event was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, about 90 minutes from where Kaminksy went to college.

Bogdan Bogdanovic key for the Hawks in the past and going forward

Bogdanovic, 30, started his professional career with the Black and Whites, as they are called, spending two seasons with the club. He then made the jump Fenerbahce S.K. of the Basketbol Super Ligi, spending three seasons there before coming to the NBA in 2017.

He was previously eager about a return to Europe, and Fenerbahce, in particular, to finish his career but has since cooled on that.

Perhaps he was swayed by the four-year, $68 million contract extension he received in March.

He was still effective last season posting 14.0 points on 58.6% true shooting and knocking down 40.6% of his three last season, and figures to be a big part of whatever success they have for the foreseeable future.

“Bogi brings so many of the qualities we are looking for in a Hawks player. In addition to his elite shooting ability, he has the versatility to thrive as a starter or sixth man, and a competitiveness that is invaluable to our team and culture,” Hawks general manager Landry Fields said, per NBA.com in March. “We are excited that he will remain a key part of our team going forward.”

Next. Hawks 2023-24 full 82-game regular season schedule. dark

Bogdanovic said the front office told him they want him to retire as a Hawk; that is a strong tell on how highly the organization views him.