After last season’s promising performance, the Sacramento Kings headed into the 2019-20 NBA season with the goal of ending their 13-year playoff drought. Unfortunately, the Kings are off to a bad start after losing the first three games of the season. With the team currently at the bottom of the deep Western Conference, it’s easy to understand why drama and frustration are starting to build around the Kings.
However, aside from their current standings, one of the Kings’ players is reportedly frustrated with his role with the team — Bogdan Bogdanovic. Despite his impressive performance last season, Bogdanovic was unable to get the promotion he thinks he deserves as he came off the bench in Sacramento’s first three games of the 2019-20 season. In a recent appearance on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast, Tim MacMahon of ESPN revealed that Bogdanovic is no longer “thrilled” being the Kings’ sixth man.
“I’m sure I’ve heard some of the same rumblings as you of, hey, if they’re locked into [Buddy] Hield and [Harrison] Barnes—Bogdanovic, he might not be thrilled with being a sixth man there,” MacMahon said, as quoted by NBC Sports.
MacMahon’s ESPN colleague, Brian Windhorst, echoed the same sentiment, saying that he heard the same thing about Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Bogdanovic undeniably has the right to demand a starting role, especially with his outstanding performance last season and in the FIBA World Cup 2019, where he averaged 22.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists for the Serbia national basketball team. However, with the presence of a healthy Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes on their roster, Kings head coach Luke Walton is unlikely to make it happen anytime soon. Unless Hield and Barnes go down with injuries, Bogdanovic will likely continue coming off the bench in their upcoming games.
Though they can’t guarantee him a spot in their starting lineup, the Kings still view Bogdanovic as part of their long-term future. This is proven by their decision to offer him a four-year, $51.4 million contract extension before the start of the 2019-20 NBA season, Unfortunately, Bogdanovic let the October 21 deadline pass without inking a new deal with the Kings, making him a restricted free agent in the summer of 2020.
As a restricted free agent, the only thing that the Kings need to do to bring him back is to match offers from other NBA teams. However, if Bogdan Bogdanovic continues to show that he’s no longer happy in Sacramento, the Kings could be forced to move him before the trade deadline.