Bogdan Bogdanovic was Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ideal addition to Bucks


Bogdan Bogdanovic was Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ideal addition to Bucks

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Giannis Antetokounmpo super-max-extension watch continues.

The Bucks appeared to be in good shape when they agreed to deals for Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic. But the Bogdanovic sign-and-trade fell through. Milwaukee now faces a tampering investigation, and Bogdanovic signed with the Hawks.

Where does that leave Antetokounmpo?

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report:

Bogdanovic was communicated as Antetokoumpo’s preferred addition all offseason.

When word arrived last week of the Bucks’ Monday night coup—agreeing in principle to acquire both Jrue Holiday and Bogdanovic in the waning hours of the league’s renewed transaction window—there was an overwhelming sense around the organization, and people with knowledge of Antetokounmpo’s thinking, that he would accept the Bucks’ supermax extension offer—the ultimate objective of the franchise’s 2020 offseason.

A week later, Bogdanovic plays for the Atlanta Hawks, not the Bucks. And there has since been a categorical step back in the Bucks’ confidence in getting a long-term commitment from their superstar, even if Antetokounmpo ultimately accepts the franchise’s offer of a five-year, $228 million supermax extension.

So the Bucks are less confident than they were when it appeared they had Bogdanovic incoming, but Antetokounmpo could still sign his super-max extension anyway? Sounds about right.

Milwaukee has pivoted into keeping Donte DiVincenzo and signing D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis, Bryn Forbes and Torrey Craig. But those players fall short of Bogdanovic’s on-court ability.

Even more importantly, Antetokounmpo must evaluate whether he wants to entrust the next stage of his career to a team that bungled the Bogdanovic deal and then had another contract-execution problem (with Pat Connaughton).

Of course, there are also reasons to sign the extension, starting with a guaranteed $228 million. Antetokounmpo could quiet the noise and stay in Milwaukee, where he’s happy. Even without Bogdanovic, the Bucks remain a championship contender.

But, as Antetokounmpo ostensibly considers his options, the sting of the Bucks nearly landing Bogdanovic hangs over the situation.

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