Draft prospect: Bojan Bogdanovic

The Spurs own the 29th pick in the June 23 draft, one of the lowest slots of the Tim Duncan era. This year’s draft pool is considered to be uncommonly shallow, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Spurs either deal the pick or select a future prospect to stash overseas. Over the next few weeks, the Courtside blog will profile selected players who could be wearing silver and black, should the Spurs elect to keep their pick.

The Spurs have famously had some luck with drafting foreign players at the back half of drafts. Tony Parker was selected 28th overall in 2001, two years after Manu Ginobili went 57th. Both became All-Stars.

While it is too early — far too early — to project Croatian prospect Bojan Bogdanovic into the same stratosphere, he does make for an intriguing prospect in the upcoming draft.

At 6-foot-7 and 22 years old, Bogdanovic probably possesses more upside than the collegians in the draft pool. Playing for Cibona Zagreb last season, Bogdanovic averaged nearly 19 points per game in Adriatic League play. A lethal scorer, some have compared Bogdanovic’s shot-making ability to that of the late Drazen Petrovic, generally regarded as the greatest Croatian basketball player of all time.

That too is probably a stretch, but Bogdanovic could project as a rotation-ready NBA small forward, a spot where the Spurs have an obvious need for depth.

The biggest drag on Bogdanovic’s stock in the draft is his obligation in Europe. Bogdanovic is expected to sign with the Turkish team Fenerbahce, if he hasn’t already, basically ruling him out for NBA competition in 2011-12. Any team that drafts him must be willing to wait on him.

If the Spurs wind up targeting Bogdanovic, however, his uncertain availability could wind up working in their favor.

Currently, Bogdanovic is being projected as an early second-round pick. The Spurs would have to reach to take him at No. 29. There’s a chance Bogdanovic’s contract situation could push him to the bottom of the second round, where the Spurs could be poised to make another European steal.

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