The Milwaukee Bucks might not get Bogdan Bogdanovic after all.
On Monday, the Milwaukee Bucks made their convincing albeit imperfect pitch for Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign a super-max contract extension this summer. By agreeing to trade for Jrue Holiday, and agreeing to a sign-and-trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Bucks would ship off all their young players and draft picks for the foreseeable future to keep their title window open and their two-time reigning MVP happy.
Unfortunately, it’s starting to look like the latter part of that deal, the Bogdanovic sign-and-trade with the Sacramento Kings, could be falling apart.
The Athletic’s Sam Amick first reported the deal for Bogdanovic, which revolved around sending Ersan Ilyasova, Donte DiVincenzo and D.J. Wilson to Sacramento, was in peril on Wednesday. The reason? The 28-year-old Bogdanovic never agreed to join Milwaukee, which obviously became an issue after the news broke.
Not long after, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed Double Bogdan would enter restricted free agency on Friday and search out an offer sheet or a sign-and-trade scenario elsewhere.
Bogdan Bogdanovic may have put the Bucks’ future plans in jeopardy
Adding Jrue Holiday was a great move for the Bucks, but a very costly one, and one that didn’t provide the late-game shot-maker this team needs in tight playoff games. Landing Bogdanovic addressed that concern, given his penchant for hitting clutch shots and game-winners for the Kings. But if he’s out, suddenly Milwaukee’s recklessness with all the picks it sent to the New Orleans Pelicans becomes a bigger issue again.
There is one outside possibility to consider here, however, which is what Bucks fans will cling to for the next 48 hours: Technically speaking, negotiating sign-and-trade deals before the official start of free agency is illegal. Leaking this news could be the Bucks’ and Kings’ way of backtracking to avoid getting in trouble with the league, before miraculously “patching things up” or “convincing Bogdanovic that Milwaukee is a good fit for him after all” once free agency kicks off on Friday.
If that’s not the reason why this deal is reportedly falling apart, however, Milwaukee — and the rest of the league, for that matter — will have to wonder why Bogdanovic would not want to join a legitimate title contender like the Bucks. Perhaps he can make more money elsewhere and would prefer to have autonomy over his own free agency, but in terms of potential landing spots, getting to compete for a championship right away has to be high on his priority list. It’d be curious if he’s legitimately not interested in contending with Giannis, Holiday and Khris Middleton.