Utah Jazz’s Bojan Bogdanovic has stepped up his game in his first season with the team

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) as the Utah Jazz host the Portland Trail Blazers, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019.

There aren’t many who thought that Bojan Bogdanovic would raise his scoring numbers after going from Indiana to Utah.

After all, Bogdanovic’s 18.0 points per game last season was a career high at the age of 29, one that happened in large part because Bogdanovic took over Victor Oladipo’s No. 1 option spot once the latter went down with a season-ending knee injury. As Bogdanovic moved to Utah, he’d be sliding squarely under Donovan Mitchell in terms of usage. He’s played a majority of his games with Mike Conley out there, too, another ballhandling weapon. Joe Ingles is another guy who ends up running plays frequently.

But he has raised his numbers. Bogdanovic is now averaging 21.0 points per game this season, albeit on a slightly lower true shooting percentage: 61.3% is now down to 60.0%. He’s taking more shots from deep and getting to the line more frequently than ever before.

Snyder says he’s made it a priority of his offense to take advantage of Bogdanovic’s versatility.

“I think he’s able to score the ball a lot of different ways,” Snyder said. “And we’re trying to give him opportunities to touch all those areas, whether it’s isolation, at the foul line, post ups, coming off screens, spacing, transition ... you know, you kind of get a feel for what kind of player he is.”

Bogdanovic is an above average player at every facet of the offensive game — except for pick and rolls, where he ranks in the 24th percentile this season.


That reflects his tendency to turn the ball over in those situations, as he gets used to where his teammates will be. Snyder said Rudy Gobert, in particular, has needed time to develop a chemistry with Bogdanovic, one that has improved in recent weeks during the Jazz’s win streak.

There’s reason to think that Bogdanovic’s pick and roll game will improve, too: Bogdanovic was a 66th percentile pick and roll ball handler last season, getting a much more reliable .97 points per possession on those plays with Indiana — teammates he was familiar with in his second season with the club.

Still, even as Bogdanovic works on that, he’s been excellent everywhere else. When he’s on the floor, the Jazz outscore the opposition by an average of 9.4 points per 100 possessions; when he’s off, they get outscored by 8.0 points per 100.

Or, as Snyder summed it up, “He’s playing good.”