The Milwaukee Bucks have learned of their punishment from the NBA’s hypocritical tampering investigation of the Bucks pursuit of now-Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Bucks will lose their 2nd round pick in the 2022 NBA draft. There hasn’t been anything reported on if the Kings were penalized.
It was reported right before the NBA free agency window that the league would investigate the Bucks and Sacramento Kings for a supposed agreement on a sign and trade for the guard. The deal reportedly would have sent Bogdan to Milwaukee while the Kings would receive Ersan Ilyasova, Donte DiVincenzo and DJ Wilson.
Apparently, Milwaukee was spared a harsher penalty, per Tim Bontemps.
The NBA says, "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 Bogdanović, and the fact that the team ultimately did not sign Bogdanović." https://t.co/EgHpmIz1kg— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) December 21, 2020
Once the NBA opened an investigation, Milwaukee was essentially forced to abandon pursuit of Bogdanovic ... someone Giannis Antetokounmpo clearly wanted on the team. That was the real sanction here for the Bucks, who, to their great relief, managed to re-sign Giannis regardless— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 21, 2020
It was so very gracious of the NBA to do this and penalize the Bucks, especially if there wasn’t any evidence of an agreement between the Bucks and Bogdanovic. The NBA has decided now is the time to clamp down on tampering even though EVERY team is doing it. Add in the fact that this was mainly because someone leaked information to Adrian Wojnarowski, who had said the deal was done when it truly wasn’t, and it seems as though there’s no semblance of consistency coming from Adam Silver and the crew.
It will be interesting to see if the Los Angeles Clippers will face a penalty for supposed tampering between Jerry West and Kawhi Leonard. We see how the NBA selectively picks when to enforce its rules and what teams it wants to enforce its rules about. The NBA should simply either enforce it for every team, or scrap this nonsense tampering rule. You only have to look at how deals were reported the second free agency opened to see how Woj was able to carefully craft his message. It’s always been interesting how teams were able to put those deals together in mere seconds.
While the team didn’t face as harsh of a penalty as it possibly could have, losing a draft pick is tough as the Bucks have little draft capital and the hard cap situation takes away more chances to add a potential young asset. This also hurts Milwaukee if it wanted to try and use the draft pick in a trade to add talent on its roster or offload salary. If the Bucks continue to be one of the league’s top regular season teams, the pick would end up closer to 60 and might not produce an NBA rotation quality player. But you never know, and we won’t know the impact of this punishment potentially for years.