Pacers To Make Bojan Bogdanovic A Priority To Re-Sign This Summer
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INDIANAPOLIS – The Pacers preach culture and relationships.
It’s why Kevin Pritchard went to Croatia last summer to visit Bojan Bogdanovic.
The three-day trip to Bogey’s native land was not filled with much basketball-talk over wine-filled dinners.
But the trip for Pritchard was to let his starting small forward know what the Pacers thought of him.
Well, after a season in which Bogdanovic set career-highs in points (18.0), rebounds (4.1), field goal percentage (49.7) and three-point percentage (42.5), how the Pacers feel about Bogdanovic has only grown.
“We are going to make him a priority,” Pritchard said of the pending free agent this summer.
Bogdanovic’s 5th NBA season was a career-year as he now enters free agency with serious momentum.
The steady growth to Bogey’s NBA career has taken off in Indiana.
After being a reserve with Brooklyn or Washington, to becoming a starter for the Pacers, Bogdanovic flourished this past season, even when asked to handle a bigger scoring burden.
As the Pacers now head into such a critical summer, they talk like a bunch wanting to re-sign Bogey, who turned 30 years old in April.
But Pritchard also expects the market to be “highly competitive” in trying to bring back their starter on the wing.
“Bojan had an unbelievable year,” Pritchard says.
“We would like to have extensive talks with Bojan. Now, he’s going to have interest. We can feel that already. You can feel that on the trade deadline when people are talking about players. I’m optimistic we can keep him but we are going to have to be competitive to keep him.”
One of the biggest questions the Pacers will face in defining their exact stance on Bogdanovic will be what the market not only looks like for him, but other wing free agents, as well.
Can the Pacers find a young wing option, perhaps with more upside than Bogdanovic (which would obviously cost them more money)?
Or will Bogdanovic’s growing market, plus a combination of the Pacers having interest in other outside free agents, lead to this marriage ending after two seasons?
For now, those options seem unlikely.
“On July 1st (the start of free agency), I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a good conversation with Bojan,” Pritchard says.