The Sacramento Kings have declined to match the Atlanta Hawks‘ four-year, $72 million offer sheet for restricted free-agent guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, sources told ESPN on Tuesday.
The Kings’ front office had labored over the decision the past two days but kept coming back to new general manager Monte McNair’s plan to maintain roster flexibility. Keeping Bogdanovic would’ve severely limited the organization’s ability to continue reshaping the team around its young core of De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III and Buddy Hield.
And once Tyrese Haliburton dropped to the Kings at No. 12 in Wednesday’s NBA draft, Sacramento suddenly had a deeper, more talented backcourt than it originally anticipated heading into free agency — another factor in Tuesday night’s decision.
The Kings had 48 hours, until midnight ET on Tuesday, to make a decision on matching the offer sheet and keeping Bogdanovic or letting him leave for the Hawks.
For Atlanta general manager Travis Schlenk, it was a wise gamble to overpay market value on Bogdanovic. That’s traditionally how teams acquire players in restricted free agency. Now, Bogdanovic joins Danilo Gallinari as centerpieces of a Hawks free-agency class that has reshaped the roster around young All-Star guard Trae Young.
The Hawks have been aggressive in using salary-cap space to bring in established veterans to complement a young core, signing Gallinari (three years, $61.5 million), guard Rajon Rondo (two years, $15 million), guard Kris Dunn (one year, $5 million) and forward Solomon Hill (one year).
Bogdanovic, 28, is the subject of a league probe into whether tampering might have occurred in talks between Sacramento and Milwaukee about a sign-and-trade agreement before the opening of Friday’s free-agency period, sources said.