Giannis Antetokounmpo is in the process of deciding whether he wants to accept a five-year, supermax deal from the Milwaukee Bucks that could pay him up to $230 million. One of the things he hoped to see prior to signing a new contract is how his team would try to improve in the offseason.
Thus far, the results have been mixed. The Bucks went out and traded for point guard Jrue Holiday – a big upgrade over Eric Bledsoe. However, they also whiffed on a trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic, who Antetokounmpo was apparently very fond of.
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Antetokounmpo very much wanted Milwaukee to land the 28-year-old.
“Adding Holiday was an obvious upgrade, but Bogdanovic was communicated as Antetokoumpo’s preferred addition all offseason,” he wrote. “The Antetokounmpo brothers had tried to lure him with the promise of forming a big three with Giannis and Khris Middleton. Holiday was an added bonus.”
The effort to entice Bogdanovic was very real.
As soon as the Lakers won their championship, Gregg Popovich sent Danny Green this message. https://t.co/mnqQsFfXPg
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 25, 2020
“For months, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s brother and a Milwaukee Bucks guard, stayed in regular contact with Bogdan Bogdanovic,” continued Fisher.
“They spoke numerous times over the phone, sources said, with Thanasis hoping to eventually court the guard’s services this offseason. During a few calls, Giannis communicated his desire in teaming with Bogdanovic.”
Surely enough, for a fleeting moment it looked like all that work was not for naught. Last week reports came out that the Bucks and Sacramento Kings had agreed to a trade that would land Bogdanovic in Milwaukee for spare parts. The transaction was predicated on Bogdanovic working with all parties involved on a sign-and-trade.
Yikes LeBron. https://t.co/EXINAEaMp0
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 24, 2020
Unfortunately, things quickly fell apart from there. The league began looking into the matter, Bogdanovic retreated from the proposed deal, and the trade did not occur. Days later, Bogdanovic signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks and the Kings opted not to match the offer sheet.
So what led to a trade that seemed all but inevitable getting called off? Apparently a rival NBA team snitched on the Bucks.
“At least one rival team filed a formal complaint to the league office Wednesday,” Fisher reported.
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 23, 2020
“And by that afternoon, the league informed both Milwaukee and Sacramento that it would open an investigation into an alleged sign-and-trade already being agreed to four days before free agency had begun.”
It remains to be seen if the collapse of this trade will ultimately have lasting ramifications for the Bucks, but either way, it’s a good reminder of just how petty things can get when title contenders are involved in big moves.
We saw it firsthand with the “basketball reasons” Chris Paul-to-the-Los Angeles Lakers trade falling apart a decade ago, and the same scenario is playing out now.