Milwaukee Bucks: How losing 2022 second rounder affects future draft picks

Sep 8, 2020; Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2020; Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA announced Monday morning that the Milwaukee Bucks have been a 2022 second rounder as part of the league’s tampering investigation into the Bogdan Bogdanovic saga.

The fallout of the Milwaukee Bucks‘ failed pursuit of Bogdan Bogdanovic last month has come to a conclusion.

The NBA announced Monday morning that they have stripped the Bucks of their second round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft as part of their tampering investigation around the Bucks’ bid for the-now Atlanta Hawks combo guard.

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From the league’s press release on their findings and the investigation as a whole:

"“The penalty took into account the Bucks’ cooperation with the investigation, the absence of evidence of any impermissible early agreement on the terms of a contract between the Bucks and Bogdanovic, and the fact that the team ultimately did not sign Bogdanovic.”"

Not that Bucks fans need the refresher, but the reported agreement that would have sent Bogdanovic to Milwaukee from Sacramento leaked before free agency started last month as well as the free agency moratorium was lifted. That’s especially pertinent as Bogdanovic was a restricted free agent at the time.

As the story goes, Bogdanovic and his camp made it clear through various reports that they had not agreed to such a deal and looked to go through with free agency. The Bucks subsequently abandoned their pursuit of Bogdanovic and pivoted elsewhere, but after the league announced it was opening a tampering investigation. And Bogdanovic eventually signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Hawks after the Kings chose not to match his offer sheet.

How does losing their 2022 second rounder affect the Milwaukee Bucks and their depleted draft capital?

Well, it’s a good thing that the Bucks offloaded as many first rounders as they did to land Holiday, along with their pick swaps in 2024 and 2026.

Jokes aside, the Bucks’ future draft pick situation was tied up to previous moves made before going into the offseason. Milwaukee owns their first round picks in 2021 and 2023, which can’t be dealt in deals as part of the Stepien rule. The next second rounder that they now own in light of this news is in 2023. The Bucks had dealt away their 2021 second round pick as part of the Malcolm Brogdon sign-and-trade last offseason.

Still, the Bucks’ draft pick situation was already severely limited going into the offseason and the Bucks essentially parted away with the few remaining draft assets they are legally allowed to deal as part of the Holiday trade.

In other words, the Bucks are locked into this current core they have after adding Holiday to the mix. The question is whether it will be good enough to reach the NBA Finals and even win a title. If not, the Bucks are quite strapped to what sweeteners and assets they can attach to further fortify their core in the event that they do fall short of their ultimate goal for the third straight year.

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Of course, we’re far off from seeing the outcome of this Bucks season. And while the Bucks are being made an example of the league’s newly implemented tampering rules and guidelines, they proved to be culpable in this instance and have been punished accordingly by the NBA.