Mike Ehrmann/Associated Press
The Sacramento Kings will not match the four-year, $72 million offer sheet Bogdan Bogdanovic signed with the Atlanta Hawks, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Hawks later announced the signing Tuesday night, confirming the deal was done.
So, why wouldn’t the Kings match the offer? The logical thinking would be that even if they didn’t want to keep Bogdanovic, they could have always traded him down the line.
Well, about that. Sacramento not only wouldn’t have been able to trade him for an entire year, but the Hawks also nestled a 15 percent trade kicker into the deal:
Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
@sam_amick The max trade kicker in the Bogdanovic offer sheet, I’m told, is structured so the team that deals him away must pay it
The Hawks have taken every measure possible to add Bogdanovic to a signing spree that already features Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo and Kris Dunn to Atlanta
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
For Hawks GM Travis Schlenk, it was a wise gamble to overpay market value on Bogdanovic. That’s how you land players in restricted free agency. Now, Bogdan joins Danilo Gallinari as centerpieces of an ATL free agency class that’s reshaped roster around All-Star guard Trae Young.
So yeah, that complicated things.
But still, why wouldn’t the Kings want to keep a 28-year-old wing who averaged 15.1 points, 3.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 37.2 percent from three? Why lose a player who supplanted Buddy Hield in the starting lineup by the end of the 2019-20 season for nothing?
Well, there’s money to consider. Hield is under contract for the next four seasons, due a total of $94 million. Harrison Barnes has three years and $60.9 million remaining on his deal. De’Aaron Fox signed a five-year, $163 million max extension this offseason. And Marvin Bagley III will be eligible to sign an extension next offseason, though he hasn’t played like a max player to this point.
That’s potentially five players on big deals. Unless the Kings were fully prepared to be a luxury-tax team (which is highly unlikely), it’s easier to see how the math worked against them.
So Sacramento decided it couldn’t afford to keep Bogdanovic on that number, and perhaps decided it wouldn’t be able to move Hield or Barnes in a future trade. Other teams would have known Sacramento needed to deal someone, hurting Sacramento’s leverage in those trade talks. And if Bogdanovic truly preferred Atlanta, the Kings would have found themselves starting off a four-year pact with a player who was ready to move on. That would have been awkward at best or could have led to a messy divorce down the line at worst.
Had the sign-and-trade deal with the Milwaukee Bucks actually gone through, perhaps the Kings wouldn’t have been in such a tenuous situation. But facing a tough decision, the Kings chose to simply cut ties with Bogdanovic.