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Could the Denver Nuggets make a move for Bogdan Bogdanovic?

It sounds like the Atlanta Hawks will be making some major roster moves this offseason and amongst all the trades, could the Denver Nuggets slide in and find a way to acquire Bogdan Bogdanovic?

The Hawks have been linked to several trades for big men like Rudy Gobert or Deandre Ayton this offseason but Jake Fischer, Bleacher Report believes that Atlanta would prefer to add a wing scorer instead of a big man:

“Behind the scenes, league insiders consistently mention Atlanta as a team willing to make wholesale changes. Rival executives view all Hawks players aside from Trae Young as eligible for trade.

“… Ayton has been a popular rumored target for Schlenk’s front office, but multiple league sources with knowledge of the Hawks’ thinking have also pointed to various wing scorers as Atlanta’s prioritized endgame.”

The Denver Nuggets don’t have much that the Hawks would want in a trade and Fischer adds that Atlanta is going after more prominent names like Bradley Beal or Donovan Mitchell. It’s likely that Bogdanovic is included in a potential swap with these teams and the Nuggets could swoop in as a third team and move for the Serbian wing.

The 29-year-old scoring wing has obvious ties to Denver’s two-time MVP in Nikola Jokic and Bogdan’s veteran scoring would be a welcome addition to this Nuggets squad. The two have played together on the Serbian National Team.

Bogdanovic started 27 of his 63 games this past season for the Hawks and he averaged 15.1 points and 3.1 assists while shooting 43 percent from the floor and 37 percent from the 3-point line. He was able to play alongside the ball-dominant Trae Young and without him as a leader of the second unit.

This season was a down year for Bogdan as he shot a career-low from behind the arc and his non-corner 3-point shooting took a major hit compared to previous seasons per Cleaning the Glass.

The idea behind bringing him in would be to buy low on a better fit.

While it might seem like there’s some positional overlap with Bogdanovic, Michael Porter Jr., and Jamal Murray, Bogi has excelled in Atlanta next to other ball handlers. His most efficient lineups this season were next to at least one of Trae, Delon Wright, or Lou Williams.

There’s reason to believe that he could flourish alongside a Jokic-Jamal pick-and-roll or even in a supercharged second unit with one of the starters.

Monte Morris will likely be assuming the backup point guard duties and he’ll be able to find Bogdanovic some efficient looks on the bench.

How do the Denver Nuggets trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic?

A straight swap of Will Barton for Bogdan Bogdanovic works for the Nuggets this offseason, even after factoring in Michael Porter Jr.’s max extension and a player option for JaMychal Green.

Barton doesn’t help the Hawks but if Ficher’s report is correct, players like Bogdan won’t be on the Hawks roster if Travis Schlenk can make the moves he wants to. Barton would be sent to whichever team ends up with Bogi and they can either flip him again or just hold onto him for the one year remaining on his contract.

The Hawks have also been linked to Zach LaVine who’s an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Assuming Atlanta is offering LaVine a max contract, they’ll have to shed salary somewhere and while Denver isn’t one of the cap space teams, they could save the Hawks just under $4 million by swapping the two.

This is a less likely avenue but it’s worth noting in case Atlanta is pinching pennies in the end trying to sign LaVine.

Should the Denver Nuggets prioritize signing Bogdan Bogdanovic?

It’s clear that the Denver Nuggets need shooting and perimeter defense this offseason. Bogdanovic doesn’t exactly add to the defense equation.

Michael Malone has tried and failed, to win in the past few seasons with offense-only lineups and if MPJ isn’t improving on that end of the ball, the Nuggets’ perimeter defense might be in too dire a need to add another offense-first player.

That isn’t an indictment on Malone, this is just the roster he has been given.

Adding Bogdanovic into the mix might push Denver into the best offense of all time discussion. A lineup of Jamal, Bogi, MPJ, Aaron Gordon, and Jokic is nearly unstoppable on that end of the ball and if Malone staggers his offensive players, the Nuggets will always have two of those three on the court. Lethal.

But when the playoffs roll around, Bogi might be a target for opponents, just like MPJ was in the Phoenix Suns series in 2021.

In these playoffs, we’re seeing the Golden State Warriors struggle to find time for Jordan Poole and the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks go at him every time he touches the court. Would Bodgan just be another option for playoff offenses alongside Porter Jr.?

If Calvin Booth can’t find a suitable 3-and-D wing to add to the mix, maybe they should prioritize offense-only and make a move for Bogdan, but the first issue to address should be defense.

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