NBA: Bogdan Bogdanovic to sign with Kings for $36M

Bogdan BogdanovicThe Sacramento Kings are bringing in Serbian sharpshooter, Bogdan Bogdanovic (198 cm). Both parties have reportedly agreed to a three-year deal worth $36 million. The contract signing is set to take place on July 6th, when the moratorium of the signing of free agents ends. Bogdan Bogdanovic was originally drafted 27th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2014 NBA draft. His draft rights were traded to the Kings in 2016 as part of a deal for the Suns to acquire the fourth pick in the draft, which they used to Marquese Chriss.

Since it has been three years since Bogdan Bogdanovic has been drafted, his contract is not bound by the constraints of the rookie scale. Bogdanovic was one of Europe’s top players in 2016-17. He helped lead Turkish club Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul to their first Turkish Airlines EuroLeague championship as well as a Turkish League title in 2017. Bogdan Bogdanovic named the Turkish BSL Player of the Year as well as the Turkish League Finals MVP. In 22 EuroLeague games, he averaged 14.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, and 3.6 apg. He also posted averages of 15.1 ppg and 4.2 apg in the domestic Turkish League. He is on course to become one of the best European basketball players ever.

Despite his impressive performance and well-deserved accolades last season, the question still stands, “Is Bogdan worth $36 million?” This amount is way beyond what any European team can and would be willing to offer him, so it is understandable that it would be a factor for him to make his way to the NBA.

The Sacramento Kings were $52 million below the salary cap for 2017-18 and their roster is starved for a spot-up shooter to complement Buddy Hield, but at that price tag Bogdan Bogdanovic will be expected to be an instant-impact player whose contributions will be weighed against that of a dependable league veteran.

The move to bring him in has been one of the moves pushed by GM Vlade Divac, who did receive considerable criticism in the wake of the DeMarcus Cousins trade he pulled off in February 2017. Aside from being a Serbian himself, Divac has another connection with Bogdan Bogdanovic. Bogdan’s coach in Fenerbahce, Zelko Obradovic, was an ex-national teammate/coach of Divac.

The Kings are coming off a successful 2017 NBA Draft, where they were considered one of the big winners. They have a new point guard in De’Aaron Fox and a crop of solid assets who they can groom as future contributors to their youth movement rebuild plan. Still, all eyes will be on Vlade and his soon-to-be-signed countryman this season. Did he make the best use of the team’s assets for a “brighter future”? At the end of the day, the proof will be in the pudding. While Divac still maintains the trust of team owner Vivek Ranadivé, he does have a limited window to prove that his lack of front-office experience will not end up being his Waterloo in a league that has little patience for dreams left unfulfilled.

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