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The Kings declined to match the Bogdan Bogdanovic offer sheet

The shooting guard is moving on to Atlanta.

Atlanta Hawks v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

When the Sacramento Kings first acquired Bogdan Bogdanovic, it should been a steal of a deal. They traded down with the Phoenix Suns to get two additional picks in the 2016 NBA draft and picked up Bogdanovic in the process. But the Kings used those two draft selections on Skal Labissière and Georgios Papagiannis, two players whose NBA careers are essentially over.

Bogdanovic’s tenure in Sacramento began with a wasted opportunity, and now it ends with one. The Kings declined to match Bogdanovic’s offer sheet with the Atlanta Hawks, choosing to let the shooting guard walk for free. A week after reportedly negotiating a sign-and-trade with Milwaukee that would have netted Donte DiVincenzo in return, Sacramento instead is getting nothing.

The Hawks made the offer very difficult to match, adding a player option and a trade kicker that the Kings would have been responsible for, so Sacramento elected to prioritize its own rebuild. At age 28, Bogdanovic isn’t on the same timeline as De’Aaron Fox. Moving on from Bogdanovic will free up minutes for Tyrese Haliburton, the team’s newest draft pick. It will also allow Buddy Hield to presumably return to the starting lineup and potentially even reignite his trade value.

Furthermore, the Kings were in a financial pickle. With Fox’s extension kicking in next year, the team would have been pushing up against the tax line with Bogdanovic for a team that hasn’t even been able to make the playoffs. The Sacramento front office decided it couldn’t afford to commit this kind of money to a lottery team and made the tough decision to cut ties with one of the squad’s best players.

It will take some time for Monte McNair and the new leadership to clean up the mistakes of the previous regime. The Kings have already lost Harry Giles III because Vlade Divac declined his fourth-year option, and now they’ve lost Bogdanovic because too much of the cap is tied up in contracts for Hield, Harrison Barnes, and Cory Joseph. The process has been painful, but it’s happening little by little.

Whether this is the right move or not is unclear, but it will at least help the Kings move forward. The future with Fox is bright. Now, the team has more flexibility to build around the franchise point guard.