Arguably one of the most important additions of the NBA offseason was when the Utah Jazz signed 30-year-old combo forward Bojan Bogdanovic.
After spending his first few seasons in the league with the Brooklyn Nets, the Croatian forward had a brief stint with the Washington Wizards before joining the Indiana Pacers. He averaged 16.1 points per game for Indiana, which helped him earn a four-year, $73.1 million deal with the Jazz.
While many fans were more focused on the team’s trade for Mike Conley, the veteran point guard has had a slow start to his 2019-20 campaign. But largely due to the strong play of Bogdanovic, Utah has won three of their first four games and their only loss came when he was inactive.
He is averaging 23.7 points per game and has been an integral part of their offense. Even more important is how the forward has been on one particular action since joining the Jazz.
Bogdanovic, via Synergy Sports, is leading the NBA in total points scored when shooting off screens set by teammates. He is currently shooting 7-for-11 (63.6 percent) on these attempts, averaging 6.3 points per game.
This is something the forward has become known for around the league, also earning praise for his ability to come off screens in a film study published by NBC Sports when he was on the Washington Wizards in 2017.
Last season, when he ranked No. 4 overall in points scored when shooting off a screen, Indiana Pacers blogger Tony East also wrote about his successes on this play type. In fact, per Synergy, only two teams in the Eastern Conference finished possessions with a shooter coming off a screen more often.
Now on the Jazz, he is matched with the most prolific screen setter in the NBA. Utah big man Rudy Gobert is effectively serves as an offensive lineman for his teammates.
Gobert is mostly known as a rim protector and as one of the best defenders in the league. But on the offensive end, the center leads the league in screen assists. For what it’s worth, this is a category that he led all players in last season as well.
When the two have been on the court at the same time, the results have been fantastic. Bogdanovic is averaging 29.2 points per 36 minutes when sharing the floor with Gobert, shooting 9-for-20 (45.0 percent) in that time.
It’s still early, of course, but the team has outscored opponents by 19.2 points per 100 possessions during those minutes. As these two players become even familiar and comfortable with one another, this will be an action worth monitoring.