- Bogdanovic to undergo season-ending procedure to repair torn ligament in right wrist
- Bogdanovic averaged better than 20 points per game while shooting over 40 percent from three-point range despite the injury
- Utah currently has the eighth-best odds to win the 2020 NBA title, and the fifth-best odds to win the Western Conference
While NBA teams are reopening practice facilities all over the country, there is still no timetable for the league to actually restart the 2019-20 season. At this point, there’s no telling if the season will even return at all.
On Monday, it was reported that the Utah Jazz will be without sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic even if the season does resume at some point this summer. That’s because Bogdanovic has decided to undergo a procedure on his injured right wrist, which has reportedly been bothering him all season long.
Utah Jazz F Bojan Bogdanovic is undergoing season-ending surgery on his right wrist, sources tell ESPN. Full recovery expected for start of 2020-21 season. He's averaged 20 points per game for Jazz, fourth-seed in West.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 18, 2020
Rather than waiting until the offseason and risking missing time to begin the 2020-21 campaign, Bogdanovic has opted to have the operation immediately. The procedure will repair a torn scapholunate ligament in his right wrist.
Bogdanovic Played Through Pain
Bogdanovic reportedly sustained the injury back in January, but he was still able to play through the pain. The 31-year-old has emerged as a key cog in a Utah team that has been battling for a top-four seed in the Western Conference all season long.
Bogdanovic signed a four-year deal worth $73 million to join the Jazz last summer after spending the last two seasons with the Indiana Pacers. The Croatian swingman averaged a career-high 20.2 points per game across 63 games for Utah this season. He connected on 41.4 percent of his three-point attempts, which is an impressive feat considering he’s been dealing with pain in his shooting hand for the majority of the season.
Bogdanovic is one of just two players in the league this season averaging at least 20 points per game while shooting at least 40 percent from three-point range. The other is Khris Middleton, an All-Star for the Milwaukee Bucks. Bogdanovic, who shot 90.3 percent from the free-throw line, is also just one of just six players to shoot 90 percent or better from the charity stripe this season.
Bogdanovic’s teammate, Donovan Mitchell, took to Twitter to voice his support for Bogdanovic’s decision to have surgery with an eye on returning next season:
Salute to my brotha @44Bojan for fighting through for us all year… one of the toughest dudes I know!! Get right and ready for next season??????
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) May 18, 2020
Jazz Among Favorites To Win Western Conference
Bogdanovic’s absence will be noteworthy for the Jazz if the season does restart at some point this summer. Utah is currently sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference with a 41-23 record on the season, which puts them just a game-and-a-half behind Denver for the No. 3 seed and the top spot in the Northwest Division.
The Jazz are currently listed at +1500 to win the conference, which gives them the fifth-best odds of any team. The Lakers (+120) and Clippers (+210) are sizable favorites, followed by the Rockets (+1000) and Nuggets (+1200).
Utah is also listed at +3000 to win the NBA title this season, which gives them the eighth-best odds. Both LA teams, Milwaukee, Boston, Houston, Denver and Toronto are all ahead of the Jazz, according to BetOnline.
Ingles Likely To Replace Bogdanovic In Starting Lineup When Season Resumes
Utah, of course, was the team right in the middle of the NBA’s decision to suspend play. The situation has reportedly led to some conflict between All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, with some going as far as to suggest that their relationship has been irreparably damaged. Potential chemistry issues certainly won’t help the Jazz’ chances of winning the first title in franchise history once the season does restart, and missing a legitimate weapon like Bogdanovic is yet another blow.
If the season does resume, head coach Quin Snyder will likely plug Joe Ingles into Bogdanovic’s vacated starting spot. Bogdanovic had spent most of the season as Snyder’s preferred small-ball power forward next to Gobert in the frontcourt. Bogdanovic effectively replaced the departed Derrick Favors last offseason in a move that helps the Jazz spread the floor offensively around Gobert.