A 26-year-old NBA sophomore, Bogdan Bogdanovic’s path to the league was delayed by three years after being drafted late in the first round in 2014. The move paid off in a big way; he was able to up his value playing for Fenerbahce in Turkey and, by waiting the mandated three years, negotiated his own contract with the Sacramento Kings rather than being tied to the league’s rookie scale. The difference is stark, as Bogdanovic will make $27 million over his first three years in the league, rather than the paltry $3.1 million he would have made over the same stretch had he made his switch to the NBA a year earlier.
For Sacramento, his acquisition was one of the better trades they’ve made in recent memory — during the 2016 draft, the Kings moved down five spots from No. 8 to No. 13 and picked up Bogdanovic’s rights, the No. 28 pick in the same draft, and a 2020 second-rounder in a swap with the Phoenix Suns. In the grand scheme of things, this was a relatively small move that has paid huge dividends for the Kings, and that’s even with them completely wasting that No. 13 pick on Georgios Papagiannis.
After a strong rookie campaign that earned him second-team All-Rookie honors, Bogdanovic is back and better than last year, sporting essentially identical efficiency on higher usage to go with improved numbers across the board: He’s assisting on more of his team’s possessions when he’s on the floor but not turning the ball over nearly as much, and he’s even upped his rebounding slightly.