Hawks claim Bogdan Bogdanovic after Kings decline to match offer

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After two days of internal deliberation and public debate, Kings general manager Monte McNair made up his mind Tuesday, choosing to let restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic start the next chapter of his career with the Atlanta Hawks.

McNair decided not to match Bogdanovic’s offer from the Hawks, allowing the 28-year-old shooting guard to leave Sacramento without compensation after three seasons with the Kings, sources told The Sacramento Bee, confirming a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnaroski. Bogdanovic signed an offer sheet with the Hawks on Sunday for a four-year, $72 million deal with a 15% trade kicker and a player option in the final year.

League sources indicated Bogdanovic wanted to move on, saying he felt “de-prioritized” by the Kings. Coach Luke Walton moved Bogdanovic into the starting lineup last season, but the organization was reluctant to meet his side’s salary demands after signing Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox to much bigger contracts.

Bogdanovic joins a Hawks team that has brought in reinforcements in hopes of making the Eastern Conference playoffs this season. In addition to Bogdanovic, the roster will feature Trae Young, John Collins, Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish as well as newcomers Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo and rookie first-round draft pick Onyeka Okongwu. Bogdanovic will likely start alongside Young, who was an NBA All-Rookie First Team selection in 2019 and an All-Star in 2020.

Bogdanovic averaged a career-high 15.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists for the Kings last season. He shot 44% from the field and 37.2% from 3-point range. Sacramento staged a midseason turnaround after Walton decided to start Bogdanovic over Hield in January, but the Kings failed to reach the postseason for the 14th year in a row, the league’s longest active playoff drought.

The Kings offered Bogdanovic a four-year, $51.4 million extension prior to the 2019-20 season, the maximum allowable at the time under the collective bargaining agreement. Bogdanovic declined the offer, choosing instead to become a restricted free agent. Bogdanovic told The Bee at the time his decision was not all about money, saying winning was more important, but his representatives at Wasserman Media Group pushed for the best possible deal for their client.

The Kings reportedly agreed to a sign-and-trade deal last week that would have sent Bogdanovic and Justin James to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova and D.J. Wilson. That deal fell apart with one source telling The Bee “there was never a deal.”

The Hawks swooped in to sign Bogdanovic to an offer sheet Sunday, giving the Kings two days to match. McNair took his time before informing the Hawks of his decision Tuesday night.

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©2020 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)