The Milwaukee Bucks had quite the 2020 offseason. Looming over everything was the question of whether Giannis Antetokounmpo would sign his supermax extension prior to the December 21 deadline (which, of course, he eventually did), and that guided the aggressiveness of the Bucks front office in trying to retool the roster after another disappointing early playoff exit.
The first move they made was trading Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and a bevy of first-round picks to New Orleans for Jrue Holiday, adding another All-Star to the roster and, hopefully, give themselves another weapon come playoff time who can raise their profile. Their second move was a failed one, as they jumped the gun on a sign-and-trade deal with the Kings to land swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Bodganovic, of course, is now with the Atlanta Hawks after we learned he never actually agreed to the deal and the Bucks had to recalibrate their offseason plans accordingly. Given that the news of that deal broke days before the opening of free agency, there were plenty of questions about how that came about and whether the league would look into tampering, even with the deal falling through. The answer is yes, and the Bucks are now short a 2022 second round pick because of it, as the league announced its results from the tampering investigation.
Full NBA statement enclosed on its investigation of the Bucks’ pursuit of Bogdanovic and what it termed “conduct detrimental to the NBA.” pic.twitter.com/hrRTpXSqrs
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 21, 2020
To be clear, this was as blatant a tampering violation as you’ll see, with a deal being reported as done days before it was allowed to be. At the same time, tampering is a constant, and we know this because players agree to and sign deals at the exact moment free agency opens every year and the league turns a blind eye to how that could possibly happen without tampering. Basically, the Bucks tampered and did so so flagrantly that even a league that actively looks the other way on this stuff couldn’t feign ignorance in this situation, and as such the already short on picks Bucks will be even shorter.