The Bucks are trying to impress Giannis Antetokounmpo, who’s headed toward 2021 unrestricted free agency.
Milwaukee could use a shooting and playmaking guard like Malcolm Brogdon Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
An expected strong suitor for Kings restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic: The Milwaukee Bucks, sources said.
Barring a massive and unforeseen overhaul, Milwaukee would probably be limited to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($9,258,000 this season, likely similar next season). Sacramento would almost certainly match that.
So, a sign-and-trade is the only feasible possibility.
The Bucks have a few players who could be useful as outgoing salary in a Bogdanovic trade:
- George Hill ($9,590,602)
- Ersan Ilyasova ($7,000,000)
- Robin Lopez ($5,005,350)
- D.J. Wilson ($4,548,280)
- Donte DiVincenzo ($3,044,160)
In most iterations of a deal, Milwaukee could pay Bogdanovic a first-year salary $5 million higher than the aggregated outgoing salary. So, it’s quite possible to satisfy him – especially with the Bucks’ newfound willingness to pay the luxury tax.
But there are catches galore.
Milwaukee probably wants to keep Hill, who already did a bid with the Kings and wouldn’t fit a rebuilding team. Only the guaranteed portion of Ilyasova’s salary, currently completely unguaranteed, would count as outgoing salary. Sacramento probably wouldn’t have much interest in him. Or Lopez, who also must exercise his player option before he could be dealt.
DiVincenzo might be too valuable to surrender for Bogdanovic. Wilson’s NBA future is in the eye of the beholder.
Sure, the Kings might like to clear their jam with Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield, but there’s no rush. Sacramento won’t just throw away their leverage with Bogdanovic for a paltry return.
The Bucks have the No. 24 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and all their own future-year first-rounders. It’s definitely possible to send the Kings enough return to strike a deal. But remember, if the sign-and-trade includes burdensome salary going to Sacramento, Milwaukee would have to add even more value.
It’s a narrow needle to thread.
That’s the challenge for teams in the Bucks’ position.