Suns GM: We’d like to bring Bogdan Bogdanovic to team next season

Mar 30, 2016, 4:05 PM | Updated: Mar 31, 2016, 10:26 am
Fenerbahce’s Bogdan Bogdanovic, right, struggles to get past CSKA’s Sasha Kaun during the Eurol...
Fenerbahce’s Bogdan Bogdanovic, right, struggles to get past CSKA’s Sasha Kaun during the Euroleague Final Four third place basketball match between CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
LISTEN: Ryan McDonough, Suns' General Manager

On Monday, a report surfaced indicating the Phoenix Suns were “serious” about bringing Bogdan Bogdanovic to the team next season.

One of the team’s three first-round picks in the 2014 NBA Draft, Bogdanovic has spent the last two seasons playing overseas, and this year is averaging 10.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game for Fenerbahce Istanbul in the Euroleague.

A 6-foot-6 wing player, he could be an intriguing addition to next year’s team as it looks to end a playoff drought that has reached six years, the longest such spell in the franchise’s history.

According to Suns GM Ryan McDonough, that’s essentially how they see him.

“So Bogdan’s having another good year for Fenerbache, they’re one of the top teams in Europe — they play in the Turkish League and they’re one of the better teams in the Euroleague, which is the best basketball league in Europe,” he told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “So we’re going to go meet with Bogdan after the season; he does have ways to get out of his contract with Fenerbache and come to the NBA.

“We’ll present a plan for him about how we kind of envision his role with the Suns.”

McDonough said the exciting thing for the Suns is how much Bogdanovic has produced, be it in the Euroleague or in international play. In the 2014 FIBA World Championships he helped lead Serbia to a silver medal by averaging 12 points, 2.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game. He scored 15 points in the gold medal game against the USA.

“He does have very high-level experience,” the GM said. “In terms of coming to the NBA, he’d obviously be a rookie by NBA standards but if we are able to bring him over this year, which we’d like to do if we can, that at 24 years old we think he’d be one of the more ready-made guys to plug in and be able to hopefully play right away.”

The trick will be getting him out of his current contract.

Long-time Suns fans may recall Iakovos “Jake” Tsakalidis, a center whom the team chose 25th overall and fell to that spot partly because of a tricky contract situation with his Greek club, AEK. The team was ultimately able to reach a settlement that allowed “Big Jake” to join the Suns immediately, but the situation was not without its share of drama.

That’s not to say the same could be true of Bogdanovic, though no matter what ends up happening, McDonough said he’d like for a resolution to come sooner rather than later.

“I think it would be better for us if we know going into the draft and as we approach free agency if we’re going to have him or not,” he said. “We’ll still determine what the time-table is for him to make a decision, but I know it’s something we’re focused on and as I mentioned, I’ll go over and meet with him as soon as our season ends and spend some time with him.

“If we can get a commitment from him and his agent that he’ll be in a Suns uniform next year, I think that would certainly help us with some clarity as we approach the draft and free agency.”

 

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