The Sacramento Kings went through a ton of drama at the official start of the NBA offseason. After a potential trade that would have seen Bogdan Bogdanovic shipped to the Milwaukee Bucks fell through, general manager Monte McNair faced a tough decision.
Bogdanovic — who was a restricted free agent — signed a four-year deal worth $72 million with the Atlanta Hawks, and McNair chose not to match the offer. Some questioned the general manager’s decision, but after the Kings picked Tyrese Haliburton 12th overall, McNair decided to prioritize future financial flexibility over keeping the 28-year-old Bogdanovic.
Bogi averaged 15.1 points and 3.4 assists while shooting 37.2 percent from beyond the arc last season. Bogdanovic’s game fit nicely next to point guard De’Aaron Fox, but the organization felt he wouldn’t be a part of the team’s future plans.
Still, the impact of his loss will be felt in the short term. Sacramento forward Harrison Barnes spoke about losing Bogi during his recent media availability.
“Bogi was my guy, it’s tough in this business when you develop relationships with guys, competing against somebody then being teammates with them, you definitely become very close,” Barnes said. “I think one of the things that me and the team as a whole will miss about him is just what he brought every single day in terms of continuity and competitiveness ... I think in the locker room, everyone loved him.”
The Kings scored 1.9 more points per 100 possessions with Bogdanovic on the floor, but McNair is hoping Haliburton and Buddy Hield will offset Bogdanovic’s loss.
Barnes is entering his ninth season in the league and understands it’s a business. The 28-year-old veteran holds no grudges against Bogdanovic for electing to leave the organization.
“It’s never easy making those type of decisions or having to be in those type of situations, I think everyone here can speak to Bogi loving his time here and loving being teammates with us,” Barnes said. “His ability to grow into the player that he is definitely was a tribute to a lot of people in this organization.”
On to some links:
It’s now official. The Kings announced the signing of Glenn Robinson III. (Kings.com)
Walton was under fire much of last season, but he’s expecting to turn things around. The Athletic’s Jason Jones says Walton is ignoring the drama and is focused on helping turn Sacramento into a winner.
What are some of the intriguing position battles that will take place at training camp? James Ham of NBC Sports breaks down which players will be competing for minutes ahead of the start of the season.