LAS VEGAS — After showering new Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley with complements, general manager Justin Zanik then turned his attention to Bojan Bogdanovic during Monday’s introductory press conference.
“Your toughness, your ability to space the floor, contribute to the group … all the little things that you did in Indiana last year, especially after being able to carry the team the last three or four months really made an impression on us,” Zanik told Bogdanovic while making eye contact in Encore Ballroom 1 of the Encore hotel.
“You and your team, it was great to get to know you and looking forward to getting to work as well,” he continued.
It’s gestures like those that have seemingly sold the 30-year-old on the Jazz organization. Coupled with the offseason moves and play style, Bogdanovic sees himself as a great fit in Salt Lake City.
“Just seeing Mike (Conley) and Donovan (Mitchell) being on the team and Rudy (Gobert) as the best defensive player in the league makes me so excited and makes my decision pretty easy,” Bogdanovic said.
Following his career-best season in Indiana, where he averaged 18.0 points off 49.7 percent shooting in 81 games, the Croatian forward agreed to a four-year, $73 million deal in Utah.
At 6-foot-8, 216 pounds, he’s proven his ability to stretch the floor after shooting 42.5 percent from beyond the arc for the Pacers last year as one of eight players to hit over 150 treys at that clip in the league.
“We are very pleased to welcome Bojan and his family to our organization,” said Jazz Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey. “His ability to play both ends of the floor in addition to his exceptional shooting will make him an integral contributor to our franchise and our postseason goals.”
Bogdanovic will continue to wear No. 44 with the Jazz. He also appeared at Sunday’s summer league game to watch Utah face the Miami Heat in the Cox Pavilion as he continues to get familiar with the franchise’s new faces.
So far, so good, though.
“Whenever you go somewhere with a new team and new teammates, you’re excited about everything,” Bogdanovic said. “Especially right now when you have a great team and hope that you’re gonna do great things for something special in the season.”
The offseason additions of Conley, Ed Davis, Jeff Green and Emmanuel Mudiay has Bogdonavic convinced that the Jazz have some of the most depth in the NBA.
Although the team hasn’t played a game together yet, the new players have briefly interacted during Summer League in Las Vegas, while Conley and Mitchell previously participated in a pair of workouts as well.
“It’s been a great, great free agency for all of us,” Bogdanovic said. “I’m so excited to be part of this organization and culture and one of the deepest rosters right now in the league.”