Bogdan Bogdanovic Felt Betrayed by Sacramento Kings, Opens Up on Horrors of Milwaukee Bucks Trade Rumors

Published 01/05/2021, 1:04 PM EST
Dec 30, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) takes a shot against Brooklyn Nets guard Landry Shamet (13) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 offseason opened up the way for several departures and arrivals, but not everyone got what they wanted. The 28-year-old Bogdan Bogdanovic left the Sacramento Kings to join the Atlanta Hawks, but things could’ve ended up differently. 


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The Serbian swingman had a seemingly good relationship with the Kings and was assured to be a part of the team’s future plans.

However, the franchise decided to trade him away even before the free-agency period began, which put the entire move in jeopardy. 


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“When the news (of the alleged Bucks-Kings deal) came out, we were like, ‘What the fuck?’” Bogdanovic told ‘The Athletic’ in a recent phone conversation. 

Bogdan Bogdanovic feels the Kings ‘be-trade’ him

Bogdanovic has now ended his ties with the Sacramento Kings, but he can never erase the memory of how they double-crossed him before the free-agency period. The Kings planned a trade to send him away and bring in Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova, and D.J. Wilson.

“I just couldn’t believe everything was happening like that, you know? Nothing was in my hands, really. When I saw that tweet about the Milwaukee stuff, I really saw it on Twitter. It’s not bullshit. That’s why I felt caught off guard,” said Bogdanovic about the blown-out trade. 

He even mentioned that the Kings gave him a call before the 2020 free-agency and assured him a prominent place in the team. But their intentions changed soon after the NBA entered free-agency. 

Sacramento saw a few valuable assets in Milwaukee and wanted to bring them in at Bogdanovic’s expense. Many consider the failed trade to be the Bucks’ loss, but it was actually Sacramento’s! 

“I think it was unfair a little bit because I didn’t even get a call or nothing (from the Kings) and it was 2 a.m. in my country (when the news broke).

“I was just confused,  I remember waking up the next morning, seeing my phone just blowing up,” explained Bogdanovic about how he initially reacted to the trade deal. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo never attempted to recruit Bogdanovic to the Bucks! 

Before Giannis signed his super-max, rumors about him wanting another star player at the team surfaced on the internet. Right at that point in time, Bogdan Bogdanovic became the prime target as he was massively linked to joining the Bucks. 

Hence, people started making assumptions that Giannis was recruiting Bogdan to the Bucks, but that wasn’t the case. “No, I told you at the beginning, people will make a story out of it and that’s what it is,” Bogdanovic revealed. 

Dec 30, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) goes up for a shot against Atlanta Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter (12) and guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Serbian cleared everything in detail and mentioned that he was never in contact with Giannis and didn’t even talk about the trade with his brother Thanasis (Bogdanovic mentioned he and Thanasis are casual friends). 


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But when the initial news about the completed trade deal came out, Bogdanovic was sleeping in his bed and it was way past midnight in his hometown.

“I was sleeping – I woke up, and I saw my phone blowing up, I shut my phone down. I couldn’t believe it,” the Serbian admitted. 


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Bogdan Bogdanovic considers this a betrayal from the Kings. He never wanted to go play for the Bucks, and it is lucky that the trade never worked out. The Serbian has now entered a new chapter in his professional career and is playing for the Atlanta Hawks


Arjun Athreya

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Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.