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.”
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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.”