H: 6' 9"|
W: 210 lbs
(31 Years Old)
|Agent: Misko Raznatovic ||
Hometown: Belgrade, Serbia
Best Case: Poor Man's Peja Stojakovic
Worst Case: Bostjan Nachbar
A player that was once considered a highly touted prospect with a chance at possible becoming a first round pick has fallen completely off the radar due to the lack of improvement he showed in the past two years. Bogdanovic is a bench player for Partizan, and his role and minutes havenít increased since he signed with them two seasons ago. In fact, he was getting more touches and playing time in the beginning when he came to Partizan from their rivals Red Star as a big-time signing. Earlier in his career he played more on inside, being a combo forward who got most of his playing time at the Power Forward spot. Because of his lack of size, Bogdanovic was forced to make the transition to the wing and play on the perimeter, which has not been easy for him. Luka is an intelligent player, but has become a one-trick pony at this point in his career-- heís a terrific outside shooter with almost flawless mechanics and swished most of the open looks he gets.
Adaptation to the perimeter has been tough for him since he has poor athleticism, especially in terms of quickness. Lukaís lateral quickness is poor and so is his effort on the defensive end, where he gets beaten off the dribble on a regular basis. That is the part of the game which keeps him from getting more consistent playing time. Despite his very good size and the nice elevation he gets off the ground, Bogdanovic doesnít participate much in the rebounding department, as his passion for the game and toughness has been criticized throughout the season.
Offensively, outside of his shooting ability, Bogdanovic doesnít show much in the half-court. His lackluster ball-handling ability prevents him from attacking the basket, and his slow first step doesnít help either. He rarely creates off the dribble and is almost strictly a finisher. To his credit, Bogdanovic has a good feel for the game and is a nice passer. He is good in transition play, where his good leaping ability enables him to throw done some impressive dunks.
As far as the draft goes, Bogdanovic appears to be an extreme long shot. It would take a major showing in private workouts leading up to the draft to get him picked. Even if Luka once looked poised for at least European stardom thanks to the outstanding level of play he showed in youth categories, that is not the case anymore, as he isnít considered an exiting prospect even for European competition. Unless he starts to improve his game significantly, Bogdanovic will hardly develop into a more than a one-dimensional shooter at the Euroleague level.
Luka Bogdanovic continues fading in the draft sky, to the point that he probably doesn't have even the slightest chance of being selected in June. From winning MVP honours at the U-16 stage while playing with Darko Milicic and Kosta Perovic, going through a positional change from PF to SF, he hasn't been able to live up to expectations. His production has decreased in each of the last three seasons, he hasn't sorted out his biggest weaknesses (particularly his very poor ball-handling skills that limit his skill repertoire) and he increasingly tends to disappear from the court, lacking aggressiveness and fire in his game. Another wasted Balkan talent? It could be.[Read Full Article]
Another prospect from Partizan, Bogdanovic was getting the most hype of them all early on, but his success in junior categories didnít translate completely to senior competition.
In the last two seasons Bogdanovic had made the full-time transition from PF to SF, and is looking more confident playing on the perimeter lately, but still hasnít proved that he can defend outside players well and play off the dribble on offense, two things that hurt his chances of getting drafted mightily.
Bogdanovicís biggest weapons remain his great size and beautiful shooting stroke. He added some bulk to his frame this year and improved his vertical leap, helping him show off some nice dunks in the process, but his footspeed is still his biggest opponent on both sides off the floor. After seeing how fellow shooting specialists such as Steve Novak and Kevin Pittsnogle fare in this draft and possibly in the NBA next year, weíll probably be a lot smarter regarding Lukaís chances of being drafted and playing in the NBA. He is still an inconsistent player who can be very dangerous when he gets hot, but he also has a tendency to disappear from game after he misses his first couple of attempts.
One of the better things he showed this year is that he is capable of taking advantage of his size by taking smaller opponents into the post and scoring over them with turnaround jumpers and jump-hooks. This is important for his offensive versatility, since he is unable to slash to the basket if the lane isnít completely open and his defender is off balance. At the end of the day, Bogdanovic is a 6-8 player with a great stroke and high basketball IQ. There are at least a dozen players with similar characteristics contributing to their respective NBA teams, so Luka also can hope to see him name called in the 2nd round of the 2007 NBA draft and come in as a hired gun.
Going unmentioned in our preseason Euroleague article, Bogdanovic never had that much draft hype around him, even when he put up a great stat-line in the Nike Hoops summit game a year and a half ago. He doesnít seem to have an NBA position or NBA type athletic ability, and his performance in the Euroleague so far hasnít changed much in our eyes.
Bogdanovic has struggled both trying to create his own shot on offense or effectively guard his perimeter opponent on defense. The reason for that is the poor foot-speed he suffers from matching up against quicker players on both ends of the floor. On offense he is a one dimensional shooter who takes more than half of his field goal attempts from behind the arc. Besides his jumpshot, he can score at times by posting up smaller players, but even that is inconsistent. He is at his best in the open floor, where he shows good ball-handling ability and leaping ability.
Speaking of the good sides of his game, he is also a fairly good rebounder thanks to his size and is effective moving off the ball in half-court sets. Luka has a high basketball IQ and will not force any shots. His passing skills are limited due to his inability to play off the dribble, but he does have good court vision from static positions.
Shooting almost 50% from behind the arc in the Adriatic League, Bogdanovicís main calling as an NBA prospect is his ability to knock down shots as a 6-9 small forward. Unfortunately even that has escaped him at the Euroleague level, going only 5/20 on the year so far.
Bogdanovic seems more comfortable playing at the SF position than at the start of the season, but he has still way to go to be considered a potential SF for the NBA level. Offensively, he has become strictly a spot up shooter. And while he does this very well, he should add some versatility to his game offensively. He is not comfortable driving to the basket, mostly because his handles are not good enough and his first step is also not off the charts. He showed good passing skills on occasions, but his perimeter shooting is how he did most of his damage. He has great elevation on his jumper and was accurate from downtown. Luka was exposed on defense and suffered against the perimeter players he went up against. There is some doubt whether he will ever be able to defend his position and guard perimeter players in the NBA, which limits his NBA potential. His defensive movement and footwork are just average for a player of his size. He did not show any interest in rebounding at all, as his one rebound in 66 minutes would indicate. Bogdanovic really lacks upper body strength at the moment, while his lower body looks strong enough. In my opinion he is a 2nd round prospect and could have a future in the NBA as one-dimensional player off the bench.[Read Full Article]
Bogdanovic missed the first part of the season due to injury. When he came back he started to play at the PF spot, but after a couple of games coach Vujosevic moved him to the SF position. During the season Bogdanovic lacked consistency and was having trouble defending perimeter players. He improved his ballhandling and now he's a more complete offensive player who just needs to be more aggressive. Defensively he didn't show much improvement and is still an average defender at this level, which means that he will be a defensive liability in the NBA. This season didn't help him much and he is still most likely a 2nd rounder at this point.[Read Full Article]
Bogdanovic is a talented, skilled, and fundamentally sound small forward. He's one of those players who bases his game on his basketball abilities over his physical capabilities. To start with, Luka has a sweet touch from all over the court. He can nail the three pointer and the mid-ranger on a regular basis and shows a soft touch around the basket. His good ball handling skills allow him to penetrate easily and he can usually stop and finish with his very reliable mid-range shot. He can also post up his defensive matchup to deliver a slight fade-away shot off a spin movement. The quality of his movements is very impressive, and it's quite clear he has put in a lot of work into them.
Luka has a great basketball mind. He sees the court really well and shows a remarkable passing ability facing the basket from the perimeter area. It would be hard to ask him for better decision making as he typically chooses the right option. He always plays under control and with an unusual composure for a player so young. A good example is his ability to finish under the basket against bigger rivals, faking, waiting for the best moment and not feeling intimidated. His movement without the ball also deserves to be mentioned. Although not very prolific, he knows where and when to make a cut in order to get good position. Definetly, a great basketball IQ.
Physically, he has very good height for a small forward, he also benefits from a nice wingspan and a decent vertical leap. In fact, he's usually in charge of the tip-offs in his team's games. Besides, he's stronger than his age and weight would lead you to believe. His coach uses him to defend post players quite often and Luka doesn't shy away when it comes to looking for an offensive rebound. Quite a tough guy, we could say.
Like many European players, the athleticism is a big issue for Bogdanovic. His quickness is average at best, and it will certainly be a problem for him in the next level. For example, he will suffer defending threes in the NBA as his lateral defensive movement is poor. His offensive game will also be affected. He's not a player who's used to creating his own shot, although he's capable of doing so if needed. However, he might have a tough time doing it in the NBA. His first step isn't up to par, nor does he have any other ability right now to get his own shot other than his post-up movement that won't be so easy to perform against the bigger and more athletic big men that crowd the NBA.
Regarding his offensive game, it's hard to find any flaw considering his athletic standard. Perhaps he could take advantage of his skills more often to improve his scoring numbers, but it's understandable as he's one of the youngest players on his team. The truth is, he doesn't show the scoring hunger that characterizes other players. Just for the sake of splitting hairs, when penetrating he usually chooses the left side, and might become some kind of predictable. Not a big issue anyway.
The coolness Luka shows might seem sometimes excessive. Besides the scoring hunger, his defensive willingness, basically team-wise, is not that great. He shows some intensity when trying to stop his own man, but not the same determination when it comes to defensive rotations.
Finally, being a versatile forward who doesn't avoid the paint area when given the chance, he could benefit from adding more strength and bulk to his frame. Although as we have explained in the strengths section, he's not a weak player, and the simple maturing process combined with proper work at the weight room will probably provide him the right tools to make his trips to the paint more comfortable and productive.
Bogdanovic had been playing in two separate leagues during the past year and was getting a good amount of playing time in both of them. Bogdanovic was then picked up Red Star Belgrade, where he played during the past couple of seasons and had been teammates with former Timberwolf, Igor Rakocevic.
He played the ULEB Cup, the league in which the good but not so great teams from all the leagues around Europe go to play. In this league Bogdanovic averaged 25 minutes per game, good for second best on the team after veteran and former Minnesota guard Igor Rakocevic. In those 25 minutes he averaged 8.6 points (68% FG, 32% 3P) 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1 turnover per game. Red Star finished 5-5 in this league which was not good enough to advance to the next round. Some of the players his team played against in that Cup include Pavel Podkolzine, Tahirou Sani, and former NBA player, Predrag Savovic.
The second league he had played is the Adriatic ''Goodyear'' League, which is a league composed mainly of teams from the area of former Yugoslavia. Here you will find many teams that used to sport fantastic squads in the past, but the NBA and richer teams from Western Europe have cut deeply into their talent. Most teams here have a lot of youth, and young Bogdanovic got plenty of playing time here. He averaged almost 27 minutes per game, scoring 10 points (64% FG, 48% 3P, 80% FT) 4.5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover. His team finished 4th in the league at 18-8 and lost to eventual champion, KK Reflex in the semi finals of the playoffs.
Bogdanovic has a good amount of international experience, playing on Serbia and Montenegro's national youth teams since he was very young, and he has been on the radar for quite some time now.
In 2001 at the European Championships for Cadets in Latvia he was named to the All-European Cadets first team after averaging 15 points (61% FG, 32% 3P) 6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 turnovers in 32 minutes of action over 8 games. Luka was the top scorer for the Serbians and helped them win the championship with a win over the Russians. Also on the team were Darko Milicic and Kosta Perovic amongst others.
After transferring from Red Star to Partizan, Luka will now have an opportunity to play against Europe's best, in the Euroleague. He is expected to receive plenty of playing time, considering Partizan lost its top 2 swing men from last season, Scepanovic and House. Luka returns to the Adriatic ''Goodyear'' League this year with Partizan, which hadn't played there last season.
Bogdanovic had declared, through his agency SFX, for the 2004 draft, but decided to pull out considering he can only improve his stock by playing in Europe for another season. His other reasoning was that Red Star finished its season right around the time NBA Finals were going on, which didn't leave him enough time to rest and prepare for pre-draft workouts in the United States. He had been a projected 2nd round pick.
Bogdanovic is the kind of player that pros are not too deeply in love with. Although rather tall, his athleticism is not what it takes to be cosidered a top prospect. I think his talent will make up enough to become a decent player in the League, but he probably chose the right path in deciding to prove himself in Europe before moving on.
Won the gold medal at the 2001 European Cadets Championship and was named to the All-European Cadets 1st Team. Won the National Cup of Serbia and Montenegro with Red Star in 2004. He had been a member of the Serbia and Montenegro under-20 national team until he was kicked off for not showing up for the start of camp in preparation for this past summer's European Championship.
Darko Milicic and him are reportedly good friends. They were roomates together while playing for the Serbia and Montenegro Cadet national team. Milicic still calls him the player of his generation he feels has the biggest chance to make a jump to the NBA. That generation coincidentaly includes probable lottery pick Kosta Perovic. Bogdanovic actually asked for a release prior to this season because of his concerns with lack of playing time, but withdrew that request on time and played the season with Red Star Belgrade. That was only the calm before the storm, however, as there has never been a more contraversial transfer in the history of Serbian basketball as was Luka's case.
Naming reasons of sports nature, such as his discontent with his position on the floor (he wants to be on the wing, the coach wanted him in the paint) and playing time, Luka Bogdanovic signed a 3 year contract with Partizan Belgrade, Red Star's long time and arch rival.
The only problem was that his contract with Red Star had still been valid and ongoing, despite claims by Luka and his father that wasn't the case. Red Star filed an appeal with the Registrary Commission, which typically handles these kinds of cases and its panel consists of legal experts which study the clauses of the contracts. The Commission ruled in favor of Red Star, meaning Luka was still its player.
That wasn't the end of it, however. The federation's Board of Directors voted 7-6 to overturn the Commission's decision, and make Luka's contract with Partizan valid. This prompted the Commission's president, Goran Dajevic, to resign naming lack of legal support of the Board's decision as his reason for doing so. He went on to say that the Board ''made no legal sense whatsoever, because they've justified one legal decision with sport motives.''
The Board's decision still stands, as Bogdanovic has already played a couple of pre-season games with Partizan.