The Suns are serious about signing draft-and-stash prospect Bogdan Bogdanovic for next season, reports international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). This summer will be the last that NBA’s rookie scale would apply to the shooting guard whom the Suns picked 27th overall in 2014. Delaying a signing until the summer of 2017 or later would give the sides more latitude to work out mutually acceptable terms, but it could be more costly for Phoenix, so it’s no surprise to see the team intent on making a deal happen this year.
The 23-year-old native of Serbia has averaged 10.7 points in 27.3 minutes per game for Turkey’s Fenerbahce Ulker in Euroleague action this season, with 14.8 points in 26.3 minutes per contest in domestic league play. Most encouragingly, he’s hit 45.2% of his 3-point attempts for Fenerbahce overall.
Phoenix already has the sharpshooting Devin Booker in its backcourt along with Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight, but the Suns are just 20-53, in part because of injuries, and they could use an injection of talent in just about any form. The Suns are poised to enter the draft lottery in the third position, as our reverse standings show, giving them a 15.6% shot at the No. 1 pick.
A rookie scale contract for Bogdanovic would pay $1,196,040 next season if the Suns signed him for the standard 120% of scale. However, the buyout in his pact with Fenerbahce is reportedly 1 million euros, the equivalent of about $1.12MM. Phoenix can pay only $650K without the buyout affecting his NBA contract, so the sides will have to get creative. The Suns can structure their deal with Bogdanovic so he gets only $797,360, equal to 80% of scale, and add as much as that same amount on top of the $650K they’re otherwise permitted to pay toward the buyout.
Bogdanovic is not to be confused with Bojan Bogdanovic of the Nets, a 26-year-old from Herzegovina who’s in his second NBA season.