The Sacramento Kings handed out the largest rookie contract in the history to rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic.
The Kings handed the Serbian-born shooting guard, who currently plays in Turkey, $36 million over three years in a shocking rookie deal.
Reporters from Sacramento confirm that Bogdan Bogdanovic will sign a 3-year contract with the Kings
He is leaving Fener pic.twitter.com/f9Kj7Fm2YE
— Sportando (@Sportando) June 28, 2017
BREAKING: Sources tell me Kings to sign Serb guard Bogdan Bogdanovic to 3 year/$36 million contract on July 6.
— Ailene Voisin (@ailene_voisin) June 28, 2017
He was not restricted by the NBA’s rookie pay scale because he was three years removed from when the Phoenix Suns drafted him in the first round in 2014, according to the Sacramento Bee. His draft rights would later be traded to the Kings, which allowed Sacramento to dish out whatever contract they wanted.
There are two interesting points here. First, giving $36 million to a guard from a professional basketball league in Turkey who has never played a second of NBA basketball seems incredibly risky. Making moves of that nature is the stuff that can get a general manager quickly fired if it doesn’t pan out.
Secondly, and more importantly, this sets the precedent for great European players to just wait three years after being drafted before coming over so they can shake the chains of the NBA’s rookie pay scale. Bogdanovic will make more in the next three years than every single rookie in the 2017 NBA draft will make over the course of the next four years, according to Forbes projections of rookie salaries.
Bogdanovic as the 27th pick in the 2014 draft would have made only a million dollars a year, instead of the $12 million he’ll make now. He made more than $30 million extra by choosing to wait it out instead of taking the NBA money immediately. Top European teams and teams in Asia can pay players well over a million dollars. The precedent has now been set it’s best to play for good money for a few extra years in Europe and then really cash in down the road if you’re a European star.