The Kings officially agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Bucks last night that will send Bogdan Bogdanovic to the team that finished with the best record in the NBA each of the last two regular seasons. Here are the terms of the deal:
Sacramento gets: Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson, Ersan Ilyasova
Milwaukee gets: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin James
Now that we’ve had some time to process the first trade of the Monte McNair era, here’s how our staff would grade it for the Kings perspective.
Sabreena Merchant: Last night, when the rumor came through that the Bucks were still interested in acquiring Bogdanovic after making the Jrue Holiday trade, I was pretty against the idea. Milwaukee had just sent three future first-round picks to New Orleans, along with two pretty useful players (at least during the regular season) in Eric Bledsoe and George Hill. The drop-off from Holiday to Bogdanovic in terms of player quality didn’t seem as dramatic as the difference in assets in the two trades.
Perhaps it was more instructive to compare the Bogdanovic deal to the Dennis Schröder trade, when Oklahoma City collected a late first-round pick (no. 28 in the 2020 draft) for the sixth man on the final year of his contract. Bogdanovic and Schröder are more comparable in their skill sets as secondary playmakers with some additional scoring punch. In that respect, the Kings got pretty similar value to the Thunder. Donte DiVincenzo was the 18th pick in the 2018 draft, still has two years left on his rookie deal, and was a remarkably productive player for the Bucks last season. Milwaukee was 12.2 points per 100 possessions better with DiVincenzo on the floor, per Cleaning the Glass.
There’s also the matter of Bogdanovic’s upcoming contract. The terms haven’t been released yet, but based on the salary the Bucks sent out, it will be around $15 million annually. Bogdanovic is probably worth that much, but the Kings can do more with that money now that they appear to headed towards a rebuild. The other two pieces of this trade could be useful too: they can flip Ersan Ilyasova to a team that wants to win, and maybe even deal Richaun Holmes to a contender while they try to rehab D.J. Wilson’s value. This isn’t a home run deal, but it clarifies Sacramento’s priorities, and that’s a worthwhile outcome. Grade: B
Jas Kang: The trade is tough to grade because it all depends on how you look at it. On the one hand, it seems like McNair will rebuild the roster around De’Aaron Fox, who is due for a significant extension this season. McNair repeatedly referred to wanting financial flexibility moving forward, and this deal will help the Kings achieve that. Bogdanovic could get between $16 million and $18 million annually, and with Sacramento up against the cap, it would be tough to make moves for future pieces. If Bogi signed a four-year deal with the Kings, he would have been 32 going into the final year of his contract, so keeping the space to acquire a younger piece in the coming seasons potentially makes more sense for McNair’s long-term vision. DiVincenzo gives the team a strong wing defender who is still improving his overall game and is on a cheap contract.
On the other hand, how patient do the Kings expect their supporters to be? The franchise has one of the most loyal fan bases in the league, and with a 14-year playoff drought, it’s hard to see Sacramento move one of its best players for an underwhelming haul. The Kings should have netted at least a first-round pick in the deal to give McNair another trade chip moving forward. If Marvin Bagley III doesn’t start producing at the level the organization hoped for when he was picked No. 2 overall, Sacramento will remain two years away from being two years away. Grade: C+
Christian Rivas: Two seasons ago, it seemed like the Kings were finally on the brink of something with their young core. They won 39 games under Dave Joerger with Buddy Hield as their leading scorer and De’Aaron Fox as the their leader in several other categories, including assists and steals per game. It was all coming together.
Everything that has happened since led to the Kings trading Bogdan Bogdanovic, and it’s unlikely he’s the only casualty of Monte McNair’s vision, which seems to be a full-fledged rebuild. Given the circumstances, they could have done a lot worse than Donte DiVincenzo, who’s one the best young perimeter defenders in the NBA, but the trade really only has long-term value if the Kings keep going full-speed ahead with their tear down. That means trading almost everyone outside of Fox for draft picks and building a team from the ground up.
Divac couldn’t do it. Let’s see if McNair can. Grade: I for incomplete