Sacramento showed its commitment to starting shooting guard Buddy Hield with a big extension. The Kings are also high on Marvin Bagley, whom they view as a power forward. That keeps combo forward Harrison Barnes, who just got his own lucrative contract, at starting small forward.
Where does that leave Bogdan Bogdanovic?
A smaller wing, Bogdanovic is coming off the bench and headed toward restricted free agency next summer. Sacramento offered him the largest-allowable extension (four years, $51,394,560), but he can likely earn much more after his current contract expires. And he doesn’t seem inclined to give the Kings a discount.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
I’m sure I’ve heard some of the same rumblings as you of, hey, if they’re locked into Hield and Barnes – Bogdanovic, he might not be thrilled with being a sixth man there.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
That is exactly what I’m hearing.
Of course, Bogdanovic isn’t thrilled as a reserve. Nobody wants to be a backup.
But that this word is already spreading is revealing.
Unfortunately for Bogdanovic, the Kings control the situation. They can match any offer he receives next summer.
As Hield showed, making noise is sometimes the only way to generate leverage when you otherwise have little. This is a relatively benign leak. It also might be just the start.
Bogdanovic is a good young player with a nice all-around game. He can handle the ball, shoot and pass. He’d start for plenty of teams. Bogdanovic could even take Barnes’ starting job, though a Hield-Bogdanovic wing combination would be small.
If not, it gets complicated.
Sacramento will have to give a new deal to De'Aaron Fox in 2021 (maybe max) and Bagley in 2022. This team could get expensive in a hurry. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Kings deem Bogdanovic a luxury they can’t afford.
But Fox and Bagley will still be on their relatively cheap rookie-scale deals next season. Sacramento could keep Bogdanovic into next season then trade him if costs get too high.
Or maybe Bogdanovic finds an offer sheet too rich for the Kings to risk matching. He could be one of the better free agents in a weak 2020 class (though not if he keeps shooting 1-for-10, like he did in the opener).
Sacramento trading Bogdanovic this season or leveraging his restricted rights to sign-and-trade him next summer might be the ideal overall outcome. The Kings would get a return, and Bogdanovic would get to a new team.
Just don’t forget: The Kings have the power. They’re looking out for themselves, not the best-possible overall outcome. That limits Bogdanovic’s options for get his desired starting spot.