SALT LAKE CITY — If the 2019-2020 NBA season resumes, the Utah Jazz will be without a key player.
Forward Bojan Bogdanovic will undergo season-ending surgery Tuesday to repair a ruptured scapholunate ligament in his right wrist, team sources confirmed on Monday.
Bogdanovic first injured the wrist early in the 2019-20 season before the start of the 2020 calendar year, though it is not clear the exact date of the injury.
News of the surgery was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who originally said that Bogdanovic suffered the injury on Jan. 20 against the Indiana Pacers, and there was additional speculation the injury occurred on Jan. 6 when Bogdanovic fell on the baseline into a cameraman against the New Orleans Pelicans, but team sources confirmed that the injury happened much earlier in the season.
Playing through the discomfort of the injury, Bogdanovic was monitored throughout the season by team doctors. He continued to feel discomfort after the NBA season was suspended in March, and in consultation with specialists it was decided that surgery was the correct course of action.
After signing a four-year, $73 million contract with the Jazz last summer, Bogdanovic has been the secondary scorer Utah had needed to take offensive pressure off Donovan Mitchell.
Averaging a career-high 20.2 points per game for the Jazz, Bogdanovic was also the team’s second best 3-point shooter at 41.4% this season, just a hair behind Georges Niang’s 41.6% mark.
In his sixth season in the NBA, Bogdanovic has proven to be one of the league’s most lethal perimeter threats, able to shoot efficiently and drive into open lanes at will. Only Miami’s Duncan Robinson and Washington’s Davis Bertans made more 3-pointers per game while having a higher 3-point percentage than Bogdanovic this season.
Even if the NBA is able to resume the regular season or play postseason basketball sometime this summer, the Jazz do not expect for Bogdanovic to recover in time to rejoin the team. No official timetable for his return has been set.
Not having Bogdanovic for the playoffs would be a huge blow for the Jazz. Bogdanovic fit seamlessly into the Jazz offensive system, came up big in clutch moments for the Jazz, and his skillset gave coach Quin Snyder the flexibility to toy with lineups.
Joe Ingles would likely rejoin the starting unit in Bogdanovic’s absence, a role that Ingles was in and out of throughout the 2019-20 season as Snyder worked to find the right player rotation.
With Bogdanovic sidelined and Ingles becoming a mainstay with the starting five, the Jazz would have few options off the bench at the forward position, leading to increased minutes and responsibility for both reserve Niang, and starting man Royce O’Neale.
Bogdanovic, a native of Croatia, has been in Utah since the NBA suspended the season on March 11, following teammate Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID-19 test. He will be heading to New York for the surgery, which is scheduled for Tuesday morning.
After news of the surgery was reported on Monday, Jazz teammates flooded social media with well-wishes for Bogdanovic. The first to speak up was Mitchell who tweeted, “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.”
Mitchell’s tweet was later retweeted by multiple Jazz players, including Ingles, O’Neale, and Niang, who added their own get well messages.