NEW YORK — Nets General Manager Billy King has made it known that he would like to bring 24-year-old Croatian-born, Turkish Basketball League and Euroleague star Bojan Bogdanovic over for next season. It appears he may very well get his wish.
A source with direct knowledge of the situation told SNY.tv on Thursday afternoon that there is a '90-95 percent chance' that the 6-foot-8 swingman makes his NBA debut in Brooklyn in 2013-14.
"Billy loves him," the source said. "I would call it a 90-95 percent chance he is with the Nets next season. This time last year, it was probably 50-50."
Bogdanovic has one year left on his contract with Turkish club and Euroleague participant Fenerbahce, but has an out clause that would allow him to leave for the NBA this summer if the Nets and Fenerbahce can come to terms on the buyout.
Bogdanovic's buyout is roughly $1 million and NBA rules state that the Nets would only be allowed to contribute $570,000 towards the buyout, but in most instances, NBA teams simply end up paying the import enough to cover the remainder. It is also worth noting that buyouts for European players looking to make the jump to the NBA are often negotiable, so that $1 million is not written in stone.
Considered by many as ready to step into an NBA rotation at this point, Bogdanovic is a Euroleague star, having averaged 15.9 points on 48.9 percent shooting from the floor in 21 Euroleague contests this season. Fenerbache advanced to the Top 16 phase of the Euroleague season, but finished 2-12 once there.
Bogdanovic was chosen with the 31st overall pick (first pick of the second round) by the Miami Heat back in 2011. His draft rights were subsequently traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves before the Nets obtained them on on draft night in 2011. The Nets got Bogdanovic in exchange for their 2013 second round pick, now known to be No. 52 overall, and cash.
Having began his professional career with Euroleague squads Real Madrid and Cibona Zagreb, Bogdanovich signed a multi-year contract with Fenerbache in the Summer of 2011, ensuring he would not be appearing in the NBA immediately.
At 6-foot-8 and almost 220 pounds, the vision for Bogdanovic would be to crack the Nets rotation immediately, possibly spelling starting small forward Gerald Wallace when need be.
Bogdanovic is viewed as versatile and agile with good range on his jumper, evidenced by the fact he has shot 41.1 percent and 40.5 percent from 3-point range, respectively, over the last two Euroleague seasons.
"Bojan Bogdanovic I think is someone we're looking to bring over this year, this offseason after his contract's up," King told reporters on Sunday afternoon at the team's practice facility in East Rutherford.
"We've had the discussion with him about coming over."
Should this deal indeed get done, it is unknown whether or not Bogdanovic would be available to play for Croatia in the FIBA European Basketball Championship, which is slated for September in Slovenia. Bogdanovic's availability for the Nets' entrant in the Orlando Summer League, which is contested from July 7-12, is also unknown.
Current Nets Mirza Teletovic (Bosnia) and Toko Shengelia (Georgia) are both scheduled to play for their respective countries in September.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA.