Bogdan Bogdanovic

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Vincent, Monk, Pierce

Earlier this week, Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk updated Mike Conti of Sports Radio 92.9 The Game (Twitter link) on the health and availability status of a handful of Atlanta players. Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo and center Onyeka Okongwu could be available later this week. Sharpshooting forward Danilo Gallinari, a pricey offseason acquisition, will not be traveling with the club on the road this week but is nearing his own return.

Hawks shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, however, will miss “several weeks” as he continues to rehabilitate from the avulsion fracture in his right knee. JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets that later examinations did not reveal further ligament damage.

Meanwhile, after requiring a walking boot following a December 29 right ankle surgery, Hawks reserve guard Kris Dunn had the boot removed today, Sarah K. Spence of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link). He’ll be reevaluated in two weeks.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • With the Heat lineup limited by coronavirus health and safety protocols and injuries, sharpshooting guard Gabe Vincent showcased his ability to perform at the NBA level, scoring a career-best 24 points in a 137-134 Tuesday overtime defeat to the Sixers. Vincent, signed to a two-way contract this season, could warrant a look even when all of Miami’s players return, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. “He is a very good basketball player,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That extends far beyond spot-up shooting … Can guard multiple positions, competes, good team defender. Rebounds at his position. Offensively, you can play him like we did last night as our point guard.”
  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer posits that shooting guard Malik Monk might be just what the doctor ordered as the Hornets struggle on offense. Monk not been a part of the Charlotte rotation yet this season. The 22-year-old has appeared in just two games for Charlotte this season, averaging 5.5 MPG. Across his four-year career, he is averaging 8.5 PPG, 1.9 APG and 1.7 APG.
  • In a roundtable of NBA writers for The Athletic, Chris Kirschner opines that Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce will be on the figurative “hot seat” this season. After a blistering 4-1 start, the Hawks went 1-4 in their subsequent five games. Several of those defeats came at the hands of the Knicks, Cavaliers, and Hornets, hardly Eastern Conference powerhouses. The Hawks are currently hanging onto the No. 8 seed in the East, having lavished significant offseason money on veteran depth.

Southeast Notes: Lopez, Pasecniks, Crowder, Hawks Crowds, Bogdanovic

Veteran Robin Lopez has moved into the Wizards’ starting lineup due to the season-ending loss of center Thomas Bryant but the rotation will be flexible, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington relays. Moritz Wagner will get some opportunities and power forward Rui Hachimura could man the middle in small-ball sets. The Wizards also have Anzejs Pasecniks on the roster.

“It’s going to definitely be by committee,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • There’s a good reason why the Wizards should take a closer look at Pasecniks, Hughes writes in a separate story. His $1,517,981 contract becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on the roster past January 31. A 2017 first-round pick, the 7’2” Pasecniks could help a defense that has been lacking in the early portion of the season, Hughes adds.
  • It has become more perplexing that the Heat didn’t make a strong push to re-sign Jae Crowder, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines. They made Crowder a large, one-year offer in order to protect their cap space this summer but the forward chose more long-term security by inking a three-year, $29.2MM contract with the Suns. The Heat have cycled through Maurice Harkless, Meyers Leonard, Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk in the power forward rotation and could have enjoyed more stability with Crowder, Winderman adds.
  • The Hawks have pushed back the targeted return of ticketed fans at State Farm Arena to January 26 due to COVID-19 concerns, according to a team press release. The Hawks will open at 10% capacity (approximately 1,700 tickets) before gradually increasing throughout the season, pending adequate conditions.
  • A medical expert interviewed by The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner estimates that Bogdan Bogdanovic will miss 4-6 weeks due to the avulsion fracture in his right knee, assuming surgery isn’t required. In Bogdanovic’s absence, Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish will assume bigger roles, Kirscher adds.

Bogdan Bogdanovic Suffers Fractured Knee

Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic has sustained an avulsion fracture in his right knee, along with associated soft tissue inflammation and a bone bruise, the team announced in a press release. The fourth-year guard underwent an MRI earlier today.

Bogdanovic suffered the injury during the second quarter of Saturday’s game against Charlotte, later being listed as “doubtful” to return. He was ruled out a short time later.

While a recovery timeline for Bogdanovic has yet to be announced, an extended absence seems likely. His treatment plan will be reviewed and updated later this week, the team said.

Bogdanovic, 28, has averaged 9.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 23.7 minutes per game this season, shooting 38.5% from the floor and 36% from deep in nine contests. He signed a four-year, $72MM offer sheet to join the Hawks in free agency after spending his first three seasons with Sacramento.

One of several veteran free agents signed by Atlanta in the fall, Bogdanovic has now joined most of his fellow newcomers on the injury list. Kris Dunn (ankle), Danilo Gallinari (ankle), and Rajon Rondo (knee) are also out.

Atlanta has upcoming games scheduled against the Sixers on Monday and Suns on Wednesday. The team currently holds a 4-5 record through nine contests, having dropped four straight games.

Bogdan Bogdanovic Talks Free Agency, COVID-19, Hawks

Speaking to Sam Amick of The Athletic about his recent experience in free agency, Bogdan Bogdanovic said he learned about the apparent sign-and-trade agreement between the Kings and Bucks (that would have sent him to Milwaukee) on Twitter, reading about it at the same time everyone else did.

“When the news came out, we were like, ‘What the f–k?'” Bogdanovic told Amick. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

As Bogdanovic explains, he had been told during the summer that the Kings wanted to keep him, so when word of the alleged sign-and-trade broke, he was caught off guard for two reasons: He hadn’t agreed to join the Bucks and he didn’t realize Sacramento was looking to trade him. The veteran swingman had been expecting to either negotiate with the Kings or to sign an offer sheet when free agency opened.

“I was like, ‘OK, we wait for the market,’ and I was ready for that,” Bogdanovic said. “Like, OK, wait for the market and let’s see what’s going to happen. In the end, (the Kings) decided to not tell me about nothing, about what was going on with Milwaukee. I really didn’t know nothing. Yes, I’m friends with Thanasis (Antetokounmpo) mostly — (Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s) brother — but we didn’t know what was going on. It was really on Twitter.

“Now, people are making stories off of it. … I was like, ‘What is going on?’ I didn’t know what was going on. And then, two days later, the NBA investigation (began), and no one called me from the Kings yet. I just got a text, like, ‘Thanks for being part of the team,’ and that’s it.”

[RELATED: Bucks Lose 2022 Second-Round Pick For Early Pursuit Of Bogdanovic]

Bogdanovic’s wide-ranging discussion with Amick goes into more detail on his reaction to learning of the reported agreement between the Kings and Bucks and what it meant for his impending free agency. However, the interview – which is worth checking out in full – also touches on several other topics, including his pivot to Atlanta, his new role with the Hawks, and testing positive for COVID-19.

Here are some of the highlights from the conversation:

On dealing with a positive coronavirus test at the same time as he navigated free agency:

“Yeah, I had it. I had it, and I recovered and I started working out back in Serbia and I was fine. I didn’t have any crazy symptoms or anything like that, but it was all stressful, you know? You’re thinking about coming back and being ready and in shape, you know? It was really stressful. That two, three weeks? Whoo.”

On having to find a new deal in restricted free agency after the Bucks-related drama:

“At that point, when free agency opens up, I was just focused on one thing, you know? And Atlanta called first. The Kings actually called me like 15 minutes after, and I liked what they (the Hawks) offered me. … I think, in the end, I was lucky and I end up being in the perfect situation in terms of contract and a team.”

On whether he thoughts the Kings would match his offer sheet with the Hawks:

“I was scared for that (because) at that point I wanted to leave. At that point, when they traded me already and they didn’t want to talk to me about it, I was like, ‘OK, they really want me out of here.’ So I was like, ‘OK.’

“We end up signing the offer sheet, so I was thinking like, ‘Damn, in the end, they’re going to match this.’ I was confused. It’s not really free agency, because you are not free. And yes, you’re restricted — you’re really restricted. It’s restricted agency. It’s not free agency.”

On how he feels about his new role coming off the bench in Atlanta:

“I feel fine. I feel fine about it. I think coach (Lloyd Pierce) is putting me in situations to kind of run the second unit, you know? And be like the sixth man of the unit. And when you play with Trae (Young), it’s so easy. He always draws so much attention on him, and that’s what gives me a lot of open shots. Not just me, but everyone else.

“… We are still figuring it out, and I think from this point we can just get better. It’s so much talent. And we have a lot of guys who can get off one night, so that’s a really good problem to have on a team. … I like it so far. We really have a pretty good group, a mix of young (players) and veterans — which is really nice; energy and experience. So it’s really nice to be here. It’s really fun.”

Southeast Notes: Bonga, Dunn, Bogdanovic, Herro, Robinson

Wizards forward Isaac Bonga got benched on Thursday after starting the first four games and coach Scott Brooks said it was simply a numbers game, Kevin Brown of NBC Sports Washington writes. With Rui Hachimura returning from an eye injury and reclaiming his usual spot in the lineup, Brooks had to choose between Bonga and Troy Brown as the backup. He chose Brown. “We’re trying to find minutes for Troy (Brown Jr.) and Bonga, and (Thursday) it was Troy, but who knows who it will be (Friday) night,” Brooks said.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said he had promising reports regarding guard Kris Dunn‘s arthroscopic right ankle surgery on Tuesday, according to Sarah Spencer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Dunn is wearing a walking boot and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. The former Bull has yet to make his Atlanta debut. “It sounds as if everything went well, as well as the surgery can go, and he’s staying here at the hotel,” Pierce said. “But he’s post-op and laying low.”
  • Hawks free agent acquisition Bogdan Bogdanovic has averaged 15.3 PPG on 42.9% shooting from deep but Pierce says his value goes beyond perimeter shooting, Spencer writes in a separate story. “He hasn’t had any bad games,” Pierce said. “Bad games aren’t ‘make or miss.’ He’s taking those shots, I’ll live with them…. I trust his work. I’ve been praising the fact that he’s probably our hardest post-practice worker.”
  • Would the combination of Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson be enough to satisfy the Rockets in a potential deal with the Heat for James Harden? Not even close, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. Houston wants “significantly more than that” for Harden, sources inform Jackson.

Bucks Lose 2022 Second-Round Pick For Early Pursuit Of Bogdanovic

The NBA has determined that the Bucks violated league rules in their offseason pursuit of Bogdan Bogdanovic, and will rescind Milwaukee’s 2022 second-round pick as a result, the league announced today.

According to the press release, the NBA investigated whether the Bucks had discussions with Bogdanovic and/or his agent prior to the start of the free agency period in November, and concluded that early discussions did, in fact, take place.

The league said that the decision to strip the Bucks of their 2022 second-round pick took into account the club’s cooperation with the investigation, the absence of any evidence of an early contract agreement between Bogdanovic and the Bucks, and the fact that he didn’t ultimately sign with the team. In other words, the franchise could have faced an even more severe penalty if the NBA had found proof of an early agreement or if Bogdanovic had ended up joining the Bucks.

A few days before the free agent period officially began last month, word broke that the Kings and Bucks had reached an agreement that would send Bogdanovic – a restricted free agent – and Justin James to Milwaukee for Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson, and Ersan Ilyasova. Such a deal would have required a new contract for Bogdanovic with the Bucks.

Two days after it was first reported, that deal fell apart amid rumors that Bogdanovic himself hadn’t agreed to sign with Milwaukee, and the league opened its investigation into the matter. Bogdanovic eventually signed an offer sheet with Atlanta and is now a member of the Hawks after the Kings opted not to match that offer.

The Bucks’ second-round pick in 2022 had been the next second-rounder the team had available. Milwaukee previously traded away its 2021 second-rounder in a 2018 deal for George Hill.

More On Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Extension, Bucks

Following the Bucks‘ second-round postseason loss to Miami, reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo made a conscious decision to play a more vocal role in upgrading the team’s roster, according to a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Kevin Arnovitz.

During a fall lunch with Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, GM Jon Horst, and Giannis’ agent Alex Saratsis, Antetokounmpo named a number of players whom he thought would be good offseason targets for Milwaukee, including Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, per Windhorst and Arnovitz.

Beal wasn’t available, the Bucks never got close to a deal for Oladipo, and their efforts to sign-and-trade for Bogdanovic fell through. However, Milwaukee zeroed in on another player on Giannis’ list, Jrue Holiday, believing he’d be a natural fit in the team’s lineup.

According to ESPN’s duo, the Nuggets and Celtics were aggressive in attempting to acquire a top-10 pick in last month’s draft to flip for Holiday. The Hawks were also interested in moving the No. 6 pick in a deal for the Pelicans guard, but ultimately abandoned that plan due to uncertainty over whether he’d want to remain in Atlanta beyond 2021.

The Bucks didn’t have a top-10 pick in 2020 to offer for Holiday, but were willing to put plenty of future first-rounders on the table. According to Windhorst and Arnovitz, Milwaukee initially offered Eric Bledsoe, two first-round picks, and a pick swap (plus salary filler), then “reluctantly” added George Hill to the offer. The Pelicans countered by asking for one more first-rounder and one more pick swap.

Sources tell ESPN that the Bucks’ decision-makers knew that giving up two rotation players, three first-round picks, and two pick swaps was an overpay, especially since an extension for Holiday may cost in the neighborhood of $30MM per year.

However, the club badly wanted to upgrade its roster and to send a message to Antetokounmpo and decided to pull the trigger. If that deal ultimately helped convince Giannis to sign his super-max extension, the front office presumably feels the cost was worth it.

Here’s more on the Bucks and the Antetokounmpo extension:

  • The report from ESPN’s Windhorst and Arnovitz is worth checking out in full, as it’s packed with interesting nuggets about the process of extending Antetokounmpo. According to the ESPN duo, when the Lakers acquired Dennis Schroder from Oklahoma City, Giannis wanted reassurance that Milwaukee had made a “valiant effort” to land Schroder.
  • As a trio of writers from The Athletic reported on Tuesday, Windhorst and Arnovitz confirm that the Bucks first formally made their extension pitch to Antetokounmpo on December 5. During that meeting, team ownership and management focused on the team’s commitment to building a champion, pointing to its aggressive pursuit of Holiday and its willingness to pay future luxury tax bills, per ESPN.
  • David Aldridge of The Athletic argues that the Antetokounmpo extension is good for the NBA, since it’s hard for fans in non-glamor markets to fully invest in their teams if they believe star players always have one foot out the door.
  • Joe Vardon of The Athletic throws some cold water on the news of Antetokounmpo’s extension, writing that the new deal offers the Bucks a temporary reprieve, but doesn’t guarantee the superstar forward will be with the franchise for the next five years. Jobs will be “on the line” in Milwaukee if the team doesn’t make the NBA Finals and win a title within the next couple years, says Vardon.

Kings Notes: Bogdanovic, Hield, GRIII, Kaminsky, Whiteside

After reporting earlier today that the Kings passed on a Hawks sign-and-trade offer for Bogdan Bogdanovic that would have allowed Sacramento to acquire either a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick or two future second-rounders in exchange for the restricted free agent, Sam Amick of The Athletic has updated his story with some new intel.

As Amick explains, that Hawks offer came with caveats. Atlanta wanted Sacramento to accept Tony Snell‘s expiring $12MM+ salary and asked for an answer within an hour. Additionally, the Kings didn’t know at that point what sort of contract the Hawks were offering Bogdanovic, so they were reluctant to agree to a sign-and-trade if Atlanta’s offer was one they were comfortable matching.

The Kings asked for some of the Hawks’ young talent in a deal, but didn’t have any luck, and Atlanta ultimately took its chances by signing Bogdanovic to an offer sheet. Sacramento didn’t match it.

While The Athletic’s new information lets the Kings off the hook to some extent, Amick says there’s “strong reason” to believe that Atlanta would have done a sign-and-trade for Bogdanovic that included a draft pick even if the Kings hadn’t been willing to take on Snell’s contract. However, sources tell Amick that scenario wasn’t discussed.

Here’s more out of Sacramento:

  • In talks with teams about a possible Buddy Hield trade this offseason, the Kings were asking for draft compensation, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. There’s nothing imminent on the Hield front though, Begley adds. At this point, it would be a surprise if Sacramento doesn’t open the season with Hield on its roster.
  • Glenn Robinson III and Frank Kaminsky each received modest guarantees on their new one-year contracts with the Kings. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports tweets that Robinson got a $100K partial guarantee, while James Ham of NBC Sports California tweets that Kaminsky’s partial guarantee is worth $50K.
  • Hassan Whiteside‘s first stint with the Kings a decade ago saw him play just 19 games in two seasons for the team before he spent two years out of the NBA. He’s counting on having more success this time around, as Ham writes for NBC Sports California. “My first (time) around, I had a couple of injuries that kept me from being the player that I wanted to be,” Whiteside said. “But I think this is a great opportunity to come back and revamp that.”
  • The Kings confirmed today that they won’t have any fans in attendance at Golden 1 Center to start the 2020/21 season (Twitter link via Ham). Given the COVID-19 restrictions in place in California, that was a given.

Hawks Notes: Bogdanovic, Rondo, Collins, Gallinari

It has been a rough few years in Atlanta, where the Hawks have failed to crack the 30-win mark since the 2016/17 season. However, given the flurry of roster moves the team made to upgrade its roster in recent weeks, Bogdan Bogdanovic is confident that the Hawks are prepared to put those days of losing behind them.

“I know they went through the rebuilding, but as far as I know right now, this is the reason why they brought me here,” Bogdanovic said, per Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We are all about winning right now. That’s why they’re all in this year, and they brought other players next to me that are really experienced in the league. We know why we are here, you know? It’s time to win, really.”

Of all the players signed by Atlanta this offseason, Bogdanovic received the most significant long-term commitment, a four-year, $72MM deal that includes a trade kicker and a fourth-year player option. Despite being aggressive on the terms of Bogdanovic’s offer sheet, the Hawks weren’t certain the Kings wouldn’t match, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic.

As Amick explains, before the Hawks signed Bogdanovic to that offer sheet, they explored some possible sign-and-trade scenarios with the Kings that would’ve allowed them to acquire the RFA swingman outright. Sources tell Amick that Atlanta offered Oklahoma City’s lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick as part of a potential sign-and-trade, but was rebuffed by Sacramento.

That pick isn’t especially valuable – the Thunder will probably be a lottery team in ’22, in which case it would turn into two second-round picks instead of a first – but it’s still surprising that the Kings would turn down the opportunity to acquire an asset if they were prepared to let Bogdanovic walk. It’s possible that Atlanta’s full offer didn’t appeal to Sacramento for another reason, but for now, there’s no clarity on why the Kings didn’t work to complete a sign-and-trade with the Hawks, says Amick.

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • New Hawks point guard Rajon Rondo – who will be the oldest player on the roster – said that he’s looking to forward to “mentoring these young guys,” as Paul Newberry of The Associated Press writes. “I’m not coming here to be the starter. I’m not coming here to play 30 minutes a night. The biggest role for me is to lead,” said Rondo, who also spoke about the possibility of transitioning into a coaching or front office role with an NBA team once his playing days are over.
  • Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce believes the team “hit a home run” in free agency and doesn’t feel as if Atlanta skipped any steps in its rebuild, writes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.
  • Within that same story, Kirschner relays John Collins‘ comments when asked if he’ll insist on a maximum-salary contract in extension talks: “I’m not really too sure, but I just feel like with my relationship with the organization, I feel like we have nothing but positive things or nothing but positive areas to grow with, so I’m just leaning on that. I’m hoping we can come to an agreement before the season starts.”
  • Although Danilo Gallinari will be earning more than $20MM per year on his new deal with the Hawks, the team plans for him to come off the bench behind Collins. Gallinari confirmed as much when he spoke to reporters this week and indicated that he has no problem with that role, as Sarah K. Spencer writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Pacific Notes: LeBron, Davis, Fox, Bogdanovic, Clippers

LeBron James‘ decision to sign a contract extension with the Lakers isn’t related to Anthony Davis‘ free agency, sources tell ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. As Windhorst explains, if James hadn’t negotiated an extension and Davis signed a one-plus-one deal in free agency, the two superstars could’ve reached the open market together in 2021 and the Lakers could’ve explored ways to re-sign both players will adding another star.

However, James wasn’t interested in going that route, according to Windhorst, who says the reigning Finals MVP is confident the team will continue to spend and attract top talent. LeBron prioritized his own long-term earnings over helping the Lakers remain as flexible as possible.

Davis, meanwhile, is still mulling how to structure his contract and is making his decision independent of James, writes Windhorst. The star big man is also looking to maximize his future earnings and is researching scenarios and possible cap increases as he considers the best way to do so.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • After signing a maximum-salary extension with the Kings last week, De’Aaron Fox said on Tuesday that he loves playing in Sacramento and wants to help turn the team into a contender, says James Ham of NBC Sports California. “I want to be able to bring wins to this city, bring wins to this franchise,” Fox said. “I’m very happy that we have that commitment and we have that trust in each other. But now, it’s about winning. I think that’s what it’s always been about.”
  • In a separate story for NBC Sports California, Ham writes that the Kings‘ relatively quiet offseason was one factor that motivated Bogdan Bogdanovic to leave Sacramento. “Since (the Kings) didn’t do any moves in the offseason, I was like, ‘OK, I’m ready to leave,'” Bogdanovic told reporters today. “And I was really excited about Atlanta.”
  • Asked about the possibility of signing Paul George and Luke Kennard to extensions, Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank didn’t offer any info on possible contract talks, but said the team views both players as “long-term Clippers,” according to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).