Milwaukee Bucks: Bogdan Bogdanovic opens up about sign-and-trade debacle

Feb 27, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 27, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) /

In an interview with The Athletic, Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic opened up about the Milwaukee Bucks’ failed pursuit of his services in free agency.

There was no shortage of drama that followed the Milwaukee Bucks during the offseason.

Before Giannis Antetokounmpo inked his five-year supermax extension, the Bucks clearly turned every stone to shore up their roster as a way to bolster the team’s talent in pursuit of an NBA title. That’s why they paid a significant price to land Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans and why they very publicly pursued Bogdan Bogdanovic that ultimately created quite a stir.

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Sitting down with The Athletic’s Sam Amick ($$) about his high-profile free agency on multiple fronts, Bogdanovic opened up about the Bucks’ reported pursuit of his services over his restricted free agency.

Over the course of the interview, Bogdanovic made it clear, just as he had in the moment, that he and his team never agreed to the proposed sign-and-trade deal between both the Bucks and the Sacramento Kings that leaked through ESPN’s Adiran Wojnarowski that Monday night ahead of the draft and the start of free agency.

And the fact that Bogdanovic was a restricted free agent certainly led to all of the handwringing that we saw after the news broke and eventually opened up a tampering investigation into the Bucks’ pursuit.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ failed pursuit of Bogdan Bogdanovic eventually led to the Bucks losing their 2022 second round pick.

The cost of the Bucks’ chase of Bogdanovic wound up costing them their 2022 second rounder once the league’s investigation came to a close. While the Bucks cooperated with the investigation and the league didn’t find anything nefarious in the team’s pursuit of Bogdanovic , the NBA’s general counsel, Rick Buchanan, explained why the Bucks lost their draft pick.

The fact that Bogdanovic even explained that he shifted his attention elsewhere with his free agency once the league got involved into the proceedings proves that the Bucks’ “addition” of the 28-year-old was more in theory than actually being tangible.

As for all of the talk and rumors about the two-time MVP recruiting Bogdanovic to come to Milwaukee ahead of his free agency, Bogdanovic explained that his friendship with Thanasis may have driven up those rumors. Bogdanovic and Thanasis have been friendly after playing against each other overseas and have remained in touch as both have come to the United States at different points in their respective careers.

Whatever the case may be, the ‘he said, she said’ cloud hanging over the Bucks and their long-dead chase of Bogdanovic hasn’t really affected either side two weeks into the 2020-21 season.

At 4-3, Milwaukee may be breathing a sigh of relief of holding on to Donte DiVincenzo, who’s been off to quite a hot start to the season. Bogdanovic, meanwhile, has given a lift off the bench to a much improved Hawks team that also holds a 4-3 record on the season so far.

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There’s no question the Bucks’ pursuit of Bogdanovic will linger on in the background of their run this season, especially come playoff time. But with each and every exploration that dives into Bogdanovic’ free agency saga, one has to wonder just how real the Bucks’ belief they had acquired him was to begin with.