The only player for the nine-win Brooklyn Nets that gave the Wizards problems consistently was Bojan Bogdanovic, a 6-8 forward who was constantly in motion and beating them off curls and backdoor cuts to the basket.
The Wizards still won all three meetings, but he's a difficult cover; a stronger, more physical small foward than Otto Porter but with some of the same principles of moving without the ball to be effective.
Now, after a multi-player trade with the Nets on Wednesday, Bogdanovic is on their side.
"He can put the ball on the floor and play multiple positions, probably two through four. He's shooting a lot better. He's a strong guy who can post up and shoot threes," Bradley Beal said Wednesday, after CSNmidatlantic.com reported the deal that also included 6-11 big Chris McCullough.
"He can put the ball on the floor and guard, too. He's pretty good at rebounding and backdoor cutting. He got me a couple times before. I'm excited. We made some good moves. It's unfortunate when you lose teammates, but that's the business aspect of it. I'm looking forward to him and McCullough, as well. We're going to roll and hopefully they can jump on board and help us out."
Bogdanovic is averaging 14.2 points and shooting 35.7% from three-point range. He had a chance to tie the score in overtime vs. the Wizards in their last meeting trailing 113-110 but missed. The Nets lost 114-110.
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He was a high-volume starter in Brooklyn but will have a slightly reduced role in Washington. With the second unit, however, Bogdanovic will be expected to take the intitiave on offense.
"I love his aggressiveness, he plays with confidence. It's difficult being on a Brooklyn team where he was taking a majority of the shots and he was aggressive. We kind of need that same mentality," Beal said. "Stay aggressive, knock down shots and shoot the ball when you're open. We're going to instill all that confidence in him and he has some in himself. We're excited. I don't know him personally but I am definitely happy that he's with us."
Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld shared his thoughts on both Bogdanovic and McCullough on Wednesday.
"Bojan is a very good shooter and a talented overall scorer whose versatility gives us an added dimension as we gear up for the stretch run," Grunfeld said. "He is a proven starter that will provide us an added boost off the bench and allow us to be creative with our lineups."
"We feel Chris is an intriguing prospect as a first round pick who was recently named a D-League All-Star. He has high potential and we look forward to our staff continuing his development."