SACRAMENTO -- The key to the 2016 draft day deal that sent eighth overall selection, Marquese Chriss, to the Phoenix Suns, was not just the package that included the 13th and 28th picks in the draft. Tossed into the trade was a well known European prospect by the name of Bogdan Bogdanovic, who was fresh off a silver medal run with the Serbian National team at the Olympic games in Rio.
According to reports at the time of the trade, the Suns had grown weary of Bogdanovic after he decided to stay in Europe one more season. So they used the former 27th overall selection from the 2014 draft as bait to move up the board.
Kings general manager, Vlade Divac, has mentioned the potential for Bogdanovic to come over next season on multiple occasions, including during an interview with the Sacramento Bee over the weekend.
"The good thing about our situation now is that we have some very nice assets, a few more shooting guards, and time to take a look at Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Malachi Richardson when he gets healthy, and Georgios Papagiannis," said Divac. "Ty Lawson has been very good for us, and Darren Collison is playing well, and he will be a free agent. Kosta Koufos has been good. We have Bogdan Bogdanovic coming over next season as another asset."
Bogdanovic, 24, turned to twitter to cool some of the rumors on Thursday morning, sending out a long statement regarding his potential departure from his current Turkish team, Fenerbahce.
“I want to comment on a recent media report regarding me and the Sacramento Kings as I am receiving many questions from fans about my future. It is humbling and an honor for Vlade Divac to speak so highly of me as a basketball player. He is a Serbian basketball legend. To be clear though, I will not discuss the NBA or make a decision on my future until after my season with Fenerbahce is finished. I always live in the present day and love playing for Fenerbahce. I am only focused on doing everything I can to help Fenerbahce achieve the goals we set together as a team. Now let’s focus on our game against Zalgiris today!”
The Serbian-born wing is averaging 13.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 28 minutes a game this season. He’s shooting 55.6 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from long range, but he’s played in just 11 contests after missing a 23-game stint with an ankle injury.
Following the draft day trade that brought Bogdanovic’ rights to the Kings, Divac made a bold statement regarding the 6-foot-6 shooting guard.
“He’s definitely number one player in Europe right now,” Divac said.
According to a report overseas, Bogdanovic has a year remaining on his contract and there is a buyout in excess of a million dollars for the 2017-18 season. Per the collective bargaining agreement, Sacramento can pay up to $675,000 of the buyout.
If Bogdanovic signs with Sacramento following the 2017 NBA Draft, he is not bound by a “rookie-scale” contract and is eligible for a much higher starting salary than the $1.2 million 27th overall selection Pascal Siakam signed with the Toronto Raptors this summer.