Bogdan Bogdanovic is a wanted man, and not just because he’s at the center of an ongoing tampering investigation by the NBA. According to James Ham of NBC Sports, the Indiana Pacers have shown interest in Bogdanovic, who is a restricted free agent.
The Pacers can’t sign Bogdanovic using cap space, so if they’re really interested in Bogdanovic, they would have to negotiate a sign-and-trade with the Kings. The Kings would undoubtedly be happy to get something for Bogdanovic, but as they discovered earlier this week, it’s not up to just them.
As a restricted free agent, Bogdanovic can sign an offer sheet with another team, and according to a report from Emiliano Carchia of Sportnado, Bogdanovic already has an offer from the Atlanta Hawks that he intends to sign, one that The Athletic reports is worth $72 million over four years. The Hawks are projected to have $19 million in cap space even after signing Danilo Gallinari and Rajon Rondo. The New York Knicks also have roughly $19 million in cap space.
So why wouldn’t Bogdanovic just sign an offer sheet with one of those teams? There are a few reasons, but the most notable is the fact that the Kings can match any offer for him in free agency. If Bogdanovic really wants out of Sacramento — something that actually hasn’t been reported in spite of all of the trade rumors — he’s probably going to try to work with the Kings to make sure he’s on another team next season. He could also just see a team like the Pacers as a more desirable situation.
If the Pacers are serious about their interest in Bogdanovic, they should be willing to make Myles Turner available. Turner will make $18 million next season, which is in the ballpark of Bogdanovic is expected to command, and we already know that the Pacers have included him in trade talks. Turner and Marvin Bagley III would immediately be one of the most exciting 4-5 pairings in the NBA, even if the latter’s best position is probably center.
Alternatively, the Pacers could offer Jeremy Lamb and Doug McDermott, but at that point, the Kings would be better of exploring other options, assuming there are other options.
This story will be updated.