The Atlanta Hawks announced Tuesday night that they have signed restricted free-agent guard Bogdan Bogdanovic.
The announcement came after the Sacramento Kings declined to match the Hawks’ four-year, $72 million offer sheet for Bogdanovic.
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 have 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 last 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.
Bogdanovic took to Twitter later Tuesday to thank the Kings “for welcoming me with so much love to start my NBA career.”
“Thank you for allowing me to be myself and giving me the opportunity to follow my dreams!!!” he wrote in his tweet. “Thank you to the fans and the city for welcoming me, and supporting me the whole time!!
“I’m going to miss all my friends, teammates and one of the best fan bases in NBA!!!”
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).
“It’s no secret that one of our biggest areas of focus in free agency was adding shooting and quality depth,” Schlenk said. “With Bogdan as part of our incoming group, we feel those are now areas of strength.”
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 Friday of the free-agency period, sources said.