Bojan Bogdanovic is headed to All Star weekend to take part in his second consecutive Rising Stars Game. But despite the symmetry, his sophomore season finds him at a far different place than a year ago.
The now 26-year-old came into league with tempered expectations. Three years after being drafted by the Heat, traded to the Nets, and stashed in Europe by Brooklyn, Bogdanovic came into the league as an intriguing case. He was older than the typical rookie but had to adjust to the American game. By the end of the 2014-15 season, the results were solid. Bogdanovic averaged nine points in 23.8 minutes per game.
But in expanded minutes this season, Bogdanovic has been hit or miss. According to Basketball Reference, he has nearly as many negative game scores (six) as he has posted a double digit positive game score (nine). His point per game production is similar (9.5 per), but in more time on the floor (27 minutes), essentially equating a net negative. The comparison isn't necessarily fair, with the Nets' point guard position in great upheaval, but it's still notable enough regression that makes some wonder if the Croatian is indeed part of the long-term solution in Brooklyn.
That's a question that the Nets' new braintrust -- whoever it winds up being -- will have to answer in the coming weeks or months. With another season of team contract in hand at a reasonable $3.5 million, Bogdanovic is certainly one of Brooklyn's most attractive trade chips.
What kind of haul he would bring from a contender looking to upgrade their bench is the question. And if a contender is looking to bring Bogdanovic into the fold, is the potential package worth both giving up on a player who clearly still has a high ceiling and the 15 percent trade kicker it would trigger?
It certainly matters to Bogdanovic. The risk of being overexposed in the Nets' lackluster offense could certainly bring down his value when he hits free agency. Certainly a season and a half fitting into a well-oiled machine of an offense would make him more attractive. But this is all of the U.S. game Bogdanovic knows, and he might not be too eager to move on this early into the process.
And thus, the mixed bag for Bogdanovic, who is finding out that being a Rising Star on a sinking ship has its drawbacks.