It looks like Bogdan Bogdanovic might not be joining the Milwaukee Bucks after all, contrary to earlier reports. Hours before Wednesday’s NBA Draft, multiple sources suggested that the erstwhile Sacramento Kings guard/forward was planning to enter restricted free agency instead of joining forces with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rest of his teammates on the Eastern Conference powerhouse.
As reported by ESPN on Wednesday, the Kings and Bucks had agreed in principle to a deal that would have sent the Serbian wingman and Justin James to Milwaukee in exchange for reserves Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson, and Ersan Ilyasova. This transaction would have required Bogdanovic to join the Bucks via sign-and-trade, given his status as an incoming free agent. However, he reportedly decided to “move into the marketplace” where he can potentially explore other offers, including similar sign-and-trades.
In a separate tweet, The Athletic’s Sam Amick explained that there was “never an agreement” in the first place that would have sent Bogdanovic to the Bucks, adding that at the time of writing, the transaction has “issues” and it’s unclear whether it will still push forward.
As explained by CBS Sports, Bogdanovic’s status as a restricted free agent allows the Kings to match any offer sheet that he may sign with rival organizations. Currently, there are several teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, and New York Knicks, that have enough salary-cap space to make “competitive” offers for the 28-year-old, with the possibility of other teams stepping up as sign-and-trade candidates in the coming days. However, the outlet added that this all means Sacramento won’t be able to trade him “immediately” to the Bucks or any other club.
In addition, CBS Sports pointed out that the Bucks are “operating with a major financial impediment” as a trade for Bogdanovic would make them go over the luxury tax threshold of $138.9 million in total salary. As such, the organization is “somewhat limited” in terms of what they could offer to the incoming four-year veteran, considering how much they have to pay their already star-studded lineup.
Even if the Bucks don’t end up with Bogdanovic, the team was able to make another major deal ahead of last night’s draft as they hope to continue their dominance of the Eastern Conference in regular-season play and possibly earn a trip to the NBA Finals. Earlier this week, Milwaukee agreed on a trade that would send guards Eric Bledsoe and George Hill, as well as three first-round picks, to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Jrue Holiday.