As we all continue to compute the Bucks' monster deal with Phoenix and Philadelphia that took place at the death of the trade deadline, interesting bits of information are leaking out about the deal, including how the trade was initially structured. Take it away, Marc Stein of ESPN!
Goran Dragic, who was extremely vocal in his displeasure with the Suns, had been averaging over sixteen points and four assists a game. But Dragic had seen his role in Phoenix decrease with a glut of point guards on the roster, nearly all of which was shipped out today. Having told the team that he was declining his $7.5 million player option for next season, the Suns turned to Milwaukee.
The Bucks said no.
Instead, the Bucks held out for their more coveted target, Philly's Michael Carter-Williams, with Phoenix instead shipping the Lakers' top-five protected pick to the Sixers while Milwaukee also landed another Suns' point guard, Tyler Ennis, and big man Miles Plumlee. That then allowed Phoenix to turn southward, sending Dragic (and his brother, Zoran) to Miami.
While fans might wonder why the Bucks would turn down an offer for one of the most talented guards available on the trading block, the deal they made clears all that up rather emphatically. Dragic will be looking for a max deal this summer and already had a list of desired destinations (Miami, NYC, L.A.) that didn't include Milwaukee. So even if the Bucks had offered a max deal in the neighborhood of five years and $100 million he presumably would have headed for a more exotic locale. And even if he did take the Bucks' riches...well, do you want to pay a 29-year-old Goran Dragic $100 million for the next five years?
It's the exact same reason why they sent Brandon Knight out in the first place -- the uncertainty of what lies ahead and how much it would cost. Knight was pricing himself out of the Bucks' comfort zone when he's up for a big deal in the summer. And instead of using Knight to make a "J.J. Redick" type deal, they looked for young talent and financial flexibility, with MCW owed a paltry $7.89 million over the next three years.