The Wizards have withdrawn their qualifying offer to Bojan Bogdanovic, according to multiple reports. By pulling the qualifying offer, the Wizards gave up the right match any offer Bogdanovic signed as a free agent. Shortly after the Wizards pulled, the offer, he reached a deal on a two year, $21 million deal with the Pacers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The move should further confirm Thursday’s report that the Wizards will match and retain Otto Porter after he signed an offer sheet with the Nets. Once Porter is back in the fold, the Wizards will be at the 15 man roster limit, which leaves no room for Bogdanovic, who the team acquired at the 2017 trade deadline.
According to J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic, the Wizards were hoping to find a sign-and-trade partner for Bogdanovic. However, with Indiana so far under the salary cap, the Pacers didn’t need Washington’s help to make a signing work and the Pacers knew Washington wouldn’t be able to match an offer sheet. Indiana had no reason to engage in sign-and-trade talks.
The optics of letting a player go less than a season after acquiring him for a first round pick aren’t great, but ultimately the trade with Brooklyn was never really about bringing Bogdanovic. While he had some great moments during the regular season with the team, the real value of the deal was unloading the three years that were still left on Andrew Nicholson’s disastrous deal with the team. Had they not unloaded that deal, the Wizards would have had even less flexibility in free agency, and would have had to pay a larger tax this season.
Besides, keeping Bogdanovic would have led to issues down the road for the team. He either would have blocked Kelly Oubre’s development at the three, or been a major defensive liability at the 4 where he would have gotten in the way of Jason Smith, as well as the development of Chris McCullough.