Sacramento Kings swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic becomes a restricted free agent this offseason, meaning he can sign an offer sheet with another team, and then the Kings would have 48 hours to match the deal or let him walk.
Bogdanovic appeared in 61 games for the Kings in 2019-20. He averaged 15.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 44.0 percent from the field, 37.2 percent from beyond the arc and 74.1 percent from the free-throw line.
The Kings, though, missed the 2020 playoffs and general manager Vlade Divac stepped down from his post after the bubble games for Sacramento ended. The Kings franchise continues to be a walking disaster and Bogdanovic may be looking to leave the team in restricted free agency.
With that being said, here are three ideal landing spots for Bogdan Bogdanovic if he is truly invested in leaving the Kings and continuing his career elsewhere.
1. Milwaukee Bucks
Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that the Bucks will pursue Bogdanovic in restricted free agency. The team desperately needs more shooting and playmaking around Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
The Bucks lost to the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2020 playoffs in five games. The Heat put a wall around Antetokounmpo and the two-time MVP had difficulty dominating the game before suffering an ankle injury that prevented him from playing in Game 5.
Milwaukee was hoping that point guard Eric Bledsoe could be that third reliable option on offense behind Antetokounmpo and Middleton, but he’s been putrid for the Bucks in the playoffs. Milwaukee should offer Bogdanovic a contract in RFA that the Kings can’t match so they have a solid third scorer when things bog down for Giannis and Middleton.
The Bucks need to convince Giannis they are serious about winning a championship since Antetokounmpo can become a free agent in 2021 if he doesn’t sign the super-max extension this offseason. Milwaukee has never advanced to the NBA Finals in the Giannis era.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Bogdanovic has been linked to the Lakers for a while. Los Angeles and Sacramento can execute a sign-and-trade deal involving Kyle Kuzma, who could benefit from a change of scenery since his role has been diminished on the Lakers with the addition of Anthony Davis next to LeBron James.
Bogdanovic is a better shooter than Kuzma. He’s a career 37.4 percent shooter from beyond the arc, while Kuzma is only at 33.1 percent. The more deep threats you have around James and Davis, the better. The Lakers can set back-screens for Bogdanovic on the perimeter while Davis and James are operating in the post to free up the 28-year-old for open looks from 3.
The Lakers are the betting favorite to repeat as champions next season, but the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors will be coming for L.A. With that being said, the Purple and Gold need another pure, stout three-level scorer behind James and Davis and Bogdanovic fits that bill better than Kuzma.
3. Houston Rockets
The Rockets lost to the Lakers in the second round of the 2020 playoffs in five games despite winning Game 1 with relative ease. After getting back to Houston, head coach Mike D’Antoni decided not to return and general manager Daryl Morey also stepped down.
Even if the Rockets try and trade Russell Westbrook and his monster contract this offseason, the odds of that happening are low since it’s hard to see a team taking on his contract. Besides, Westbrook put up MVP numbers in the 2019-20 regular season and probably would have played better in the 2020 playoffs had he not contracted COVID-19 and suffered a strained right quadriceps.
With that being said, Bogdanovic would be a sound third option on the Rockets behind James Harden and Westbrook. He can stretch the floor with his 3-point shooting and if the new Rockets head coach embraces the midrange game, Houston can post up Bogdanovic and let him use his 6-foot-6 frame to score some turnaround jumpers.
Since entering the NBA, Bogdan Bogdanovic has compiled averages of 13.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He’s never played in the playoffs since the Kings aren’t good, which must be killing Bogdanovic inside since he’s a fierce competitor who wants to showcase his skills on the biggest stage.
With that being said, Bogdanovic and his agent should look to leave the Kings under all costs this offseason and join one of these three contenders who could use a scoring punch from the small forward spot.
It’s going to be fascinating to see what type of money Bogdanovic commands on the restricted free agent market, as he’s one of the true difference-makers to enter RFA.