Atlanta Hawks president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk’s opening salvo in free agency was a lucrative, three-year pact with veteran forward Danilo Gallinari. That was followed, in short order, by a reported investment in Kris Dunn, fortifying the team’s perimeter defense on a value-positive deal. From there, the Hawks pivoted to Rajon Rondo, adding another ball-handler and veteran presence at backup point guard. With Dunn projected to slot into the room exception and Rondo making only a seven-figure annual salary, the Hawks still maintained enough salary cap flexibility to make another big splash and, in the end, that splash appears to be with an offer sheet for restricted free agent wing Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Atlanta is submitting an offer sheet on Bogdan Bogdanovic, source tells @TheAthletic.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) November 22, 2020
Moments later, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic reported that the terms will be four years for $72 million, with Marc Stein of the New York Times later noting that the deal will include a fourth-year player option and a 15 percent trade kicker.
Bogdanovic rumors were swirling prior to the official start of free agency, particularly after a reported sign-and-trade fell through between his incumbent team, the Sacramento Kings, and the Milwaukee Bucks. It is (very) important to note, however, that the Kings have the right to match Atlanta’s offer sheet, as Bogdanovic is a restricted free agent, even at the age of 28. While the details of what transpired to put Bogdanovic “back” on the market could be quite interesting, the reality is that the Hawks were in prime position to pounce when the time came, even with Gallinari, Rondo and Dunn already on board.
On the court, Bogdanovic, who is listed at 6’6 and 220 pounds, is a gifted offensive player. He averaged 15.1 points, 3.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game last season in Sacramento, with Bogdanovic converting 37.4 percent of his three-point attempts over a three-year career. Notably, Bogdanovic attempted a career-high 7.2 three-pointers per game in 2019-20, and he brings additional shooting, which is an area Atlanta is keen to address.
Importantly, Bogdanovic can also function as an on-ball creator (including a career 18.5 percent assist rate), both in secondary fashion when playing alongside Trae Young (or Rondo) and in primary fashion on the second unit. With Atlanta investing in Dunn as a guard that isn’t a fantastic creator, a pairing of Dunn and Bogdanovic makes a ton of sense when Young leaves the floor, with the players essentially flipping roles on either side of the floor.
Defensively, Bogdanovic is far from elite, but he does possess solid positional size and reasonable athleticism for the shooting guard spot. There will be natural questions about how the pieces will fit on the defensive end, especially while the Hawks attempt to integrate Gallinari into their plans. Still, Bogdanovic does bring the type of offensive profile that Atlanta’s front office values as a dribble-pass-shoot player, and the acquisition of Dunn really bolsters the perimeter resistance.
All eyes now turn to Sacramento, where the Kings will have an interesting to decision to make in the near future. The Hawks must now wait for the Kings to make a decision, leaving Atlanta in a period of relative limbo. However, Amick notes a sourced view that the “the Hawks wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t feel very, very good about how this ends up.”
As a point of clarity, the Kings will have 48 hours to decide whether to match the offer sheet, though that clock does not begin until the moment it is signed. From there, Atlanta’s salary cap space would be tied up as the team waits for a resolution and, Sacramento matches, the Hawks will be left with other decisions to make and a free agent market that is thin at this stage.