The Washington Wizards were looking to bolster their bench during the NBA trade deadline, and they received even more than they could have imagined with sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic. The Wizards sent a first-round pick, Andrew Nicholson, and Marcus Thornton over to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Bogdanovic and power forward Chris McCullough.
Since entering the Wizards’ lineup, Bogdanovic has sparked an offensive resurgence for a second unit that had struggled mightily throughout the season. In four March games, Bogdanovic has scored 27-plus points three times. The Wizards have won all three games.
In March, Bogdanovic is shooting 68 percent from beyond the three-point line. In a 131-127 win over the Phoenix Suns, he exploded for 29 points and nine rebounds in just 29 minutes.
“We’re excited to bring him into the mix,” head coach Scott Brooks said following the trade. “He’s going to add to our group of how we play and how we want to play going forward. He gives us another dimension to our team.”
While the deal seems like a steal, the Nets had their reasons for making the trade. Bogdanovic, who is 27 years old, is set to be a restricted free agent and should garner a considerable salary–especially given his recent performances. In addition, the Nets lack the proper personnel to exploit Bogdanovic’s strengths. Outside of Brook Lopez and Jeremy Lin, the Nets do not have players that will attract significant defensive attention.
The Wizards, on the other hand, have star players who will take coverage away from Bogdanovic. John Wall and Bradley Beal will lead the Wizards, and even Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat are more than capable scorers. With Wall handling the ball, the former Net receives more open looks than he ever did in Brooklyn. As Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel recently said, Wall is “one of the best point guards in the world.”
Bogdanovic is also lackluster on the defensive end. The Nets feature a roster full of those types of players, whereas the Wizards can cover for him with the likes of Markieff Morris, Otto Porter, and the talented backcourt.
Washington represents a better situation for Bogdanovic, and Brooklyn will take all the draft picks it can get. General manager Sean Marks will try to capitalize on the extra pick, similarly to how he acquired promising rookie Caris LeVert.