Sacramento made him a starter. The next move: Keeping the impending restricted free agent long-term.
NBC Sports California has learned through a league source that Bogdan Bogdanovic will remain a King through the deadline and enter the summer as a restricted free agent, where the team is likely to match any offer.
Bogdanovic is a good player. Sacramento should want to keep him.
In their Dewayne Dedmon trade, the Kings cleared $6,833,333 of guaranteed salary next season and $1 million the following season. That’ll make it easier to retain Bogdanovic without facing luxury-tax issues.
But Sacramento also has another good shooting guard in Buddy Hield. He’s locked into a big contract and too established to passively accept a reduced role.
It’s already difficult to play both Bogdanovic and Hield enough minutes without one being forced to defend bigger wings as a nominal small forward. Paying Bogdanovic would introduce another complication – having enough money left to build a complete roster after committing so much to shooting guards.
Something likely must give.
That could still happen during Bogdanovic’s free agency. Whatever they say now, the Kings aren’t committed to anything.
Which leads to another issue.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement says:
No Team or any of its employees or agents will make a public statement that the Team would match any future Offer Sheet for one of the Team’s players
Is Ham’s source a Kings employee? I doubt the NBA would investigate.
Is “likely to match any offer” the same as “would match any future Offer Sheet”? Not quite.
So, Sacramento almost certainly won’t face any repercussions but still achieves its goal of cooling the market. Teams will be less likely to pursue Bogdanovic if they believe their offer sheet would just get matched, anyway.
That’s why this rule was always too toothless to matter unless a team wantonly violated it. Even the Kings aren’t that dumb.