Bogdanovic, 25, is a 6-foot-8 Croatian sharpshooter who signed a three-year, $10 million contract with the Nets. Last season, he averaged 14.8 points in 24 Euroleague games for Fenerbahce Ulker (Turkey).
The Nets acquired Bogdanovic’s rights in a draft night trade back in 2011. Three years later, he’s finally in the NBA.
Expectations for most foreign players are usually quite high. This is a preseason reminder that you should probably temper yours. Making the transition from overseas leagues to the NBA takes time.
Below, I looked at the first-year statistics of some of the most successful foreign players in NBA history. I also looked at Bogdanovic’s teammate, Mirza Teletovic, who only recently made the transition himself.
As you can see, even for the best of the best, there was an adjustment period.
Drazen Petrovic (age 25): 12.6 min, 7.6 ppg, 48.5 pct FGs, 45.9 pct 3s
Drazen Petrovic (age 27): 36.9 min, 20.6 ppg, 50.8 pct FGs, 44.4 pct 3s
Peja Stojakovic (age 21): 21.4 min, 8.4 ppg, 37.8 pct FGs, 32 pct 3s
Peja Stojakovic (age 23): 38.7 min, 20.4 ppg, 47 pct FGs, 40 pct 3s
Manu Ginobili (age 25): 20.7 min, 7.6 ppg, 43.8 pct FGs, 34.5 pct 3s
Manu Ginobili (age 27): 29.4 min, 16.0 ppg, 47.1 pct FGs, 37.6 pct 3s
Toni Kukoc (age 25): 24.1 min, 10.9 ppg, 43.1 pct FGs, 27.1 pct 3s
Toni Kukoc (age 26): 31.9 min, 15.7 ppg, 50.4 pct FGs, 31.3 pct 3s
Mirza Teletovic (age 27): 9.4 min, 3.5 ppg, 38.4 pct FGs, 34.3 pct 3s
Mirza Teletovoc (age 28): 19.4 min, 8.6 ppg, 41.8 pct FGs, 41.8 pct 3s
Only time will tell whether Bogdanovic ever reaches the level of a Petrovic, Stojakovic, Ginobili or Kukoc. Maybe he becomes a star. Maybe he becomes a solid role player. Maybe he turns out to be a bust. Either way, if he goes through early-season struggles in 2014-15, there is no reason to freak out or make a rash judgment about how his career will end.