Utah Jazz: Buying or selling 3 players’ rankings in ESPN’s top 100

Utah Jazz (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports) /

Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic ESPN top 100 rating: 67

Offensively-gifted Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic clocked in 33 spots ahead of Jordan Clarkson on ESPN’s annual list, as the organization named him the 67th best player in the NBA. Bogey’s points-per-game dropped a significant 3.2 per night between 2019-20 and 2020-21, from 20.2 to 17.0. Points per game may not be the single best measurement of a player’s overall impact, but in the case of a scorer as pure as Bogdanovic, it’s telling. Nonetheless, 17.0 still represents a quality contribution to an Utah Jazz club that led the regular season in record at 52-20.

Immediately placed ahead of Bogdanovic is Phoenix Suns wing Mikal Bridges. Unlike in the case of Clarkson, Bridges’ placement ahead of the Croatian Jazzman feels appropriate. His PER of 16.4 outranked Bogdanovic’s 14.0, and his VORP of 3.0 cleared Bojan’s 0.7. Bridges also lapped Bogdanovic in key metrics like TS%, Defensive Box Plus/Minus and more. A deeper statistical exploration is not required in this case: ESPN’s placement was fair to the Utah Jazz forward.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Brogdon ranked immediately after both forwards at 65th overall. His placement ahead of each feels intuitively accurate based on reputation alone. As is relevant to this exercise, his advanced metrics easily reinforce his ranking ahead of Bogdanovic. Brogdon’s marks in PER and VORP were 17.9 and 1.7 in 2020-21. Both of those outrank Bogdanovic’s figures.

Utah Jazz fans may love their starting forward, but the realization that Malcolm Brogdon is a better player than Bojan Bogdanovic should come as a surprise to precisely nobody at all. Bridges earns his selection over the Bogeyman as well, and so it seems as though ESPN got it right in this instance

Verdict: Buy.