A reportedly agreed-upon sign-and-trade that would’ve sent Bogdan Bogdanovic from the Kings to the Bucks fell through.
Who’s to blame?
Milwaukee reportedly lowered its offer to Bogdanovic due to the Jrue Holiday trade. An NBA investigation determined the Bucks tampered by speaking to Bogdanovic and/or his agent. The league implied punishment would be stiffer if Milwaukee actually acquired Bogdanovic. Perhaps, he feared a deal with the Bucks getting voided and therefore instead signed with the Hawks.
Of course, other sides have their own stories.
Sam Amick of The Athletic:
There were Bucks officials fuming privately at the notion that they’d been double-crossed during the confusing affair, with Bogdanovic’s camp insisting all along that he had never agreed to join the Bucks.
Bogdanovic, via Amick:
My agent called me, and he told me, ‘This cannot be done. They screwed up. They cannot trade a restricted free agent before free agency starts.’ I really don’t know. I really don’t know what happened. But that was, at the end, what I heard from my agent. The NBA investigation is on this deal, so even if we agree, they can say this doesn’t count, that this is tampering.
Yeah, honestly, I didn’t even make a decision about it. It was three days where something is happening and I didn’t even decide nothing, you know? I wasn’t even involved. I wasn’t even involved, and it’s about me — which is crazy.
It’s not the part that you were traded (that bothered him), but it’s more like you feel a little be-traded. No one let you know about it.
And weeks before that, we talked about how everything — we wanted to keep it the same (with the Kings), you know? Or a month before that — I don’t even know. I felt we were building something special, you know? And OK, I understand the business and everything, but you know at least you have to let your player know first. At least.
Amick has much more directly from Bogdanovic, who mostly pleads ignorance. But remember as you read it: The NBA determined Bogdanovic and/or his agent spoke to the Bucks before free agency opened.
It’s just hard to believe the teams would’ve agreed to a trade – which must account for Bogdanovic’s new salary – without including him in discussions.
I don’t know what the Kings told Bogdanovic. He should’ve realized Vlade Divac’s plan to keep him went out the window with the general manager losing his job. If the Kings still told Bogdanovic they planned to keep him while secretly planning to trade him, that should reflect poorly on them.
But I find it hard to believe even Sacramento is that dysfunctional. Dealing Bogdanovic would’ve only worked if he agreed to a sign-and-trade. This couldn’t have been done behind his back.
And again: Bogdanovic and/or his agent was already talking to Milwaukee, according to the NBA. That’s why Bogdanovic’s talk of betrayal (or betradel) is hard to buy. He was looking elsewhere (as was his right as a free agent).
Bogdanovic doesn’t want trouble for himself or his agent. The Bucks don’t want to look like they bungled a big-time acquisition. The Kings don’t want culpability for this mess, either.
So, the blame game continues without a clear explanation of what really happened.