Bojan Bogdanovic

Jazz Notes: Gobert, Favors, Bogdanovic, Azubuike

Asked today during a media session about the possibility of signing Rudy Gobert to a contract extension in the coming weeks, Jazz executive VP of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey declined to offer any specifics, but suggested the team would be happy to get something done.

We don’t comment on past, present or future negotiations, but we love Rudy,” Lindsey said, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter link). “We want Rudy to be here for the rest of his career.”

Tony Jones of The Athletic, who has said repeatedly that Gobert and the Jazz are actively discussing a new contract, reiterated that point today (Twitter link).

Gobert is eligible to sign an extension anytime before he reaches free agency during the summer of 2021, though if the Jazz are willing to give the All-Star center a super-max deal starting at 35% of the cap (which seems unlikely), they’ll have to get it done by December 21.

Here’s more on the Jazz:

  • Lindsey said today that the Jazz’s decision to bring back Derrick Favors in free agency was motivated by feeling undersized defensively last season against teams with multiple big men, such as the Lakers (Twitter link via Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune).
  • Bojan Bogdanovic‘s recovery from wrist surgery is progressing well, according to Lindsey, who said the team will decide in about a week whether the veteran forward is ready to progress to contact workouts (Twitter link via Walden).
  • Addressing Utah’s decision to use the No. 27 pick in the draft on Udoka Azubuike, Lindsey said the team took the “best player available” route (Twitter link via Walden). The Jazz’s analytics models ranked the former Kansas center as the second-best prospect in the draft, while the club’s scouts ranked him in the top 10, Lindsey added.
  • Tony Jones of The Athletic provides a training camp primer for the Jazz, discussing Gobert’s contract situation, Donovan Mitchell‘s new extension, and the club’s goal of getting back into the top 10 for overall team defense in 2020/21.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Bogdanovic, Roberson, Blazers

For the Jazz, adjusting to the NBA’s campus in Orlando was especially difficult during the first two days of the trip, Tony Jones of The Athletic details. 

Like other teams, each player and staff member in Utah’s traveling party had to quarantine for the first 48 hours once they arrived. The sudden adjustment to being isolated was an eye-opener for many within the franchise.

“Those first 48 hours sucked,” Joe Ingles said with a chuckle. “The window of the room was sealed shut, so I couldn’t open it. So I fear over the course of some months, the room is going to get a little stanky.”

Coaches and staff members were no exception to this, naturally, with head coach Quin Snyder offering his perspective on the first 48 hours of his journey.

“We had a lot of time to ourselves,” Snyder said. “It was a lot of time to think. I had to be careful to not overthink.”

Utah is entering the resumed season with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference at 41-23, trailing the No. 3 seed Nuggets by 1.5 games and the No. 2 seed Clippers by three games.

Here are some other notes out of the Northwest Division tonight:

  • The Jazz are also adjusting to life without Bojan Bogdanovic in Orlando, Ryan McDonald of The Deseret News writes. Bogdanovic is slated to miss the rest of the season after undergoing wrist surgery in May, averaging 20.2 points in 63 games on the year. “Missing Bojan, having to adjust the way we play, our style, I think Coach is adapting in a way that helps us out to play more freely but still have a lot of structure and the way he wants us to play,” Royce O’Neale said.
  • Thunder forward Andre Roberson joined the team in practice on Friday for the first time in nearly a year, Royce Young of ESPN writes. Roberson, who last saw NBA action over two years ago, first sustained a ruptured patellar tendon in January of 2018. He suffered a setback later in the year that required additional surgery, then experienced another setback six weeks later by sustaining an avulsion fracture in his knee. “He looked really, really good in terms of the way he was moving,” head coach Billy Donovan said. “It was great to see him out there. I was really happy for him. But like we’ve talked about in the past, we’ll see how he can continue to build up and develop here over the next week, but he was out there today and he participated in everything.”
  • The Trail Blazers’ big men looked good in their returns to the court last week, Jason Quick of The Athletic writes. Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins have both healed from their respective injuries, with Portland now sporting three seven-foot players when including Hassan Whiteside. “They both looked like the way we remembered them,” coach Terry Stotts said. “I told Nurk that — he’s the Nurk I remember playing at both ends of the floor. He made some really good passes, good rebounds. And Zach was full of energy. You couldn’t tell either one of them missed time. It was very encouraging.”

Jazz Notes: Bogdanovic, Perrin, Booker

Bojan Bogdanovic originally injured his right wrist in a late November game, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets. The Jazz swingman will undergo wrist surgery on Tuesday and won’t return if the season resumes. Bogdanovic had an MRI after the original injury and tried to play through the pain but aggravated it at various times throughout the season, Jones adds.

We have more on the Jazz:

  • The team won’t immediately seek a replacement for vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin, Jones reports in a separate tweet. Instead, the current staff will divide up his responsibilities. Perrin is joining the Knicks as an assistant GM after being in Utah’s front office since 2001.
  • Recently retired forward Trevor Booker has become a fan favorite in Utah despite only playing two years with the Jazz, as Sarah Todd of the Deseret News details. Booker was playing in the Chinese Basketball Association but returned to the U.S. to undergo foot surgery. He decided to retire after the pandemic. When Booker announced his retirement on social media, he received an outpouring of well wishes from Jazz fans.
  • Georges Niang provided details about the precautions being taken at the team’s training facility. Get the details here.

Bojan Bogdanovic Undergoing Season-Ending Wrist Surgery

1:24pm: Confirming that Bogdanovic will undergo season-ending surgery on Tuesday in New York, the Jazz announced in a press release that the procedure will repair a ruptured scapholunate ligament. According to the club, Bogdanovic actually first injured his right wrist “sometime in 2019.”

12:40pm: Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic will undergo a surgical procedure on his right wrist, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the surgery will end Bogdanovic’s season. He’s expected to be fully recovered for the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

With the remainder of the ’19/20 season and the start date for next season still very much up in the air, we don’t know exactly what Bogdanovic’s recovery timeline will look like. Still, based on Woj’s report, it sounds like it’ll be a multi-month process, extending through the summer.

As Wojnarowski explains (via Twitter), Bogdanovic injured his right wrist in January and played through it for the rest of the season. Sources tell ESPN that his discomfort re-emerged during the NBA’s hiatus, prompting the team to decide to shut him down and have him undergo surgery. The Jazz have an eye toward the long term, since the forward is in the first season of a four-year deal.

Bogdanovic, who is under contract through 2023, will earn $18.7MM annually for the next three years. The 31-year-old enjoyed a career year in his first season with the Jazz, averaging 20.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 2.1 APG with a .447/.414/.903 shooting line in 63 games (33.1 MPG).

Assuming the ’19/20 season can be completed, Bogdanovic’s injury will put a serious dent in Utah’s chances of making a deep playoff run. He was a key part of the club’s success this season — the Jazz had a 113.5 offensive rating when Bogdanovic played, compared to just 105.0 when he sat.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reactions To Kings-Trail Blazers Trade

Today’s five-player trade with Portland is the start of an in-season reboot for the Kings, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Sacramento was willing to provide financial relief for the Trail Blazers by taking on the remainder of Kent Bazemore‘s $19.3MM expiring contract in the deal, which also netted Anthony Tolliver and a pair of future second-round picks.

By sending out three players in return, the Kings create roster flexibility that could be important in a potential trade of Dewayne Dedmon, Jones adds. The center, who signed a three-year, $40MM contract in free agency, lost his starting job after four games and has been vocal in his displeasure over a reduced role.

Jones notes that the deal is an admission that the summer’s free agency haul was a disappointment. Dedmon appears on the way out, and sending Trevor Ariza to Portland probably had to be done to make that happen. Jones relays that coach Luke Walton was fond of Ariza, but his contract is only partially guaranteed for next season so he may not have been part of the Kings’ future.

Jones believes anyone on Sacramento’s roster — apart from De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III and Buddy Hield — is a candidate to be traded by the February 6 deadline, even Bogdan Bogdanovic, who will be a restricted free agent this summer.

There’s more reaction to today’s trade announcement:

  • The Kings have been collecting second-rounders and were happy to add two more, observes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. With the addition of Portland’s picks in 2024 and 2025, Sacramento now has 13 second-round selections over the next six seasons. Ham adds that the value of those picks could increase once the league lowers the age requirement for the draft to 18, which is expected by 2022.
  • The trade is a signal that the Blazers have decided to “punt” the rest of the season, claims John Canzano of The Oregonian. He calls it understandable considering Portland had the highest payroll in the league and no playoff hopes other than possibly snatching the eighth seed. He also questions why president of basketball operations Neil Olshey decided to blow up a roster that reached the Western Conference finals last year, trading Evan Turner to the Hawks for Bazemore and sending Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless to the Heat for Hassan Whiteside.
  • Jason Quick of the Athletic talked to Bazemore on Friday night about the possibility of being traded. Bazemore had been hoping for a long stay in Portland, but he took a wait-and-see approach after several weeks of hearing his name in trade rumors. “I’ve been around long enough now, man, another day in the life, bro,” he said. “I ain’t even thought about it, honestly. Been traded before … I just go out and ready to go and continue to get better and be my best when the time is right.”

And-Ones: Pacers, Favors, Zhou, Teodosic

The Pacers were thrilled to see Goga Bitadze still available when the team picked at No. 18, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star relays. The scribe hears that many within the league were surprised Bitadze was still available at that spot. However, several executives told Michael that had they been running the Pacers, they wouldn’t have taken the center unless they planned on trading either Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis.

Most of the executives Michael spoke to believe that if the team decides to trade either Turner and Sabonis, the latter will be the one to go. Turner is entering the first season of a four-year, $80MM contract, while Sabonis is entering the last year of his rookie deal.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Pelicans were Derrick Favors‘ preferred destination once it was clear the Jazz were moving him, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets. Utah needed to trade Favors in order to accommodate the Bojan Bogdanovic signing.
  • Former Rockets center Zhou Qi plans to play in Europe next season, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Zhou has not yet picked a team.
  • Milos Teodosic will make slightly over €5MM during his three-year contract with Virtus Bologna, Carchia passes along in a separate piece. Teodosic last played for the Clippers during this past season.

Jazz Sign Bojan Bogdanovic To Four-Year Deal

JULY 7: The Jazz have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed Bogdanovic.

JUNE 30: The Jazz have agreed to a four-year, $73MM deal with free agent Bojan Bogdanovic, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Bogdanovic scored a career-high 18 points per game last season with Indiana, also holding career-best shooting marks of 49.7% from the field and 42.5% from 3-point range. The Jazz have agreed to trade veteran forward Derrick Favors – who has a $17.65MM non-guaranteed salary – to New Orleans to clear space for the incoming forward.

Utah plans to add Bogdanovic, a talented offensive option on the wing, to a roster that already includes the likes of Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert.

In addition to Bogdanovic, the Jazz also agreed to a two-year, $10MM deal with free agent forward Ed Davis.

As for the Pacers, they pivoted away from Bogdanovic – and many of their other free agents – by agreeing to acquire T.J. Warren, Malcolm Brogdon, and Jeremy Lamb.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jazz Emerging As Threat For Bojan Bogdanovic

JUNE 30, 12:33am: The Jazz are emerging as a significant threat to sign Bogdanovic, according to Tony Jones and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Sources tell the Athletic duo that Utah could have a competitive offer on the table for the free agent forward as soon as Sunday night.

JUNE 29, 8:08pm: The Jazz have “significant interest” in Pacers forward Bojan Bogdanovic, sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Bogdanovic is among the best shooters on the free agent market and would give Utah a significant threat on the perimeter. He shot a career-high .425 from 3-point range this year while averaging 18.0 points per game. He is also extremely durable, playing 80 and 81 games in his two seasons with Indiana.

With most of their rotation headed for free agency, the Pacers have hard decisions to make on who to keep, which could make Bogdanovic an easier target for someone else. Indiana’s situation was complicated by Friday’s unexpected retirement of starting point guard Darren Collison.

Free Agent Rumors: Knicks, Pelicans, Looney, Satoransky, More

Following up on recent reports that have linked the team to Julius Randle and Bobby Portis, Ian Begley of confirms that the Knicks will have “strong interest” in those young bigs if they can’t land their top free agent targets. However, as we’ve heard repeatedly in recent days, New York prefers not to offer contracts longer than two years to its secondary targets, according to Begley, who acknowledges that either Randle or Portis could get a longer-term offer from another team.

Begley also confirms that the Knicks have weighed the idea of pursuing DeMarcus Cousins in free agency, as was previously reported. According to Begley though, some in the organization have indicated that going after a younger player like Randle or Portis is a higher priority than pursuing Cousins, who is entering his age-29 season.

  • The Pelicans are among the teams expected to show interest in free agent big man Kevon Looney, writes former Sporting News reporter Sean Deveney (Facebook link). As Deveney notes, New Orleans will have cap flexibility and could use another veteran big man in the frontcourt with Anthony Davis and potentially Julius Randle departing.
  • Tomas Satoransky, who will become a restricted free agent after receiving a qualifying offer from the Wizards, is expected to receive interest from the Mavericks, Pacers, Magic, and Celtics, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. According to Hughes, the Jazz also had Satoransky on their list of targets before swinging a deal for Mike Conley. I’d imagine the Celtics would be out of the running as well if they can land Kemba Walker.
  • Appearing on a recent ESPN podcast with Zach Lowe, Brian Windhorst said he got word a month ago that the Spurs were interested in free agent forward Bojan Bogdanovic. As Windhorst notes though, San Antonio doesn’t have the cap room to make a play for Bogdanovic and would need to make a cost-cutting move for it to be a realistic possibility.

Free Agent Rumors: Dedmon, Birch, Beverley, Brogdon

Over the weekend, we passed along comments from ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who said during a podcast with colleagues Bobby Marks and Jonathan Givony that the Timberwolves have legit interest in D’Angelo Russell. Besides outlining Minnesota’s apparent plan for making a run at Russell, Lowe – and Marks – also shared a few more interesting tidbits on free agency, so let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon has been receiving plenty of interest from teams as a mid-level target, according to Lowe, who refers to Dedmon as “sneakily the most coveted under-the-radar free agent in the league.”
  • Marks adds that Magic big man Khem Birch has also generated substantial interest, though he cautions that teams may not want to tie up cap room in an offer sheet for the RFA-to-be.
  • Lowe and Marks both believe Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley will do very well in free agency. After initially viewing Beverley as a mid-level type player, Marks now believes that the veteran could get an offer closer to $14-15MM per year.
  • Despite a history of foot issues that could limit his value to some extent, the Bucks are “bracing” for a big offer sheet for Malcolm Brogdon, per Lowe. If Brogdon gets a deal in the range of $20MM+ per year, Milwaukee may have to decide between becoming a taxpaying team or letting him go.
  • According to Lowe, the Bucks and Pacers have “walk-away” numbers for Brogdon and Bojan Bogdanovic, respectively, if the bidding gets too high, though he’s not sure what those specific numbers are.