While the offer was an expected one for a player whose vital contributions have made the Kings a plausible contender for the playoffs, the Serbian shooting guard would be largely underpaid by taking that deal, and he’s not rushing to sign:
“I would like to stay,” Bogdanovic said, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “Everyone knows that I love Sacramento. Everyone loves to be here. It’s a great group of guys. I’m happy right now and I was happy all these years, but I don’t want to rush anything.”
Bogdanovic wants to be patient with this approach, but also knows he stands to make more if he becomes a restricted free agent, allowing for teams to take their shot at stealing him away from the Kings by forcing the franchise to match a number they don’t want to pay for his services.
The Kings have an immediate issue to address in extending Buddy Hield, who was their leading scorer last season and their first priority entering this 2019-20 season. Hield has become one of the elite marksmen in the league in his brief three seasons in the league, already boasting a lethal 41.9% clip from distance.
Following soon after is De’Aaron Fox’s impending extension, also viewed as a prime cog of this equation after showing some massive improvement from his rookie season, ranking eighth in the NBA in assists (7.3 per game) in 2018-19.
Bogdanovic has quickly shown he belongs during his first two seasons out West, averaging 14.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists last season as one of Dave Joerger’s first names off the bench. Yet a mere average of $12.85 per year doesn’t justify his upward trajectory, despite being capped by his 27th overall selection in 2014 (developed overseas for three seasons).
The Kings are seeing the costs of drafting well and keeping their young talent, as retaining the services of Fox and Hield won’t come cheap, and doing so with Bogdanovic won’t either if he chooses to become a restricted free agent. Sacramento signed Harrison Barnes to a four-year, $85 million deal this summer, while Dewayne Dedmon inked a three-year, $40 million deal — two signings that will also factor into their future decisions.
Bogdanovic will certainly make more money by hitting restricted free agency and letting his value adjust to a higher figure, provided he keeps on evolving and has yet another successful season in Sacramento.