NBA news: Milwaukee Bucks stripped of 2022 draft pick for tampering in free agency

By Matt Johnson
Sep 6, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts after making a basket against the Miami Heat during the first half of game four of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks went into free agency this offseason hoping to reel in a cast of stars to surround Giannis Antetokounmpo. While their aggressiveness might have paid off, it’s coming at a higher price than they hoped for after tampering.

Intending to convince Antetokounmpo to sign his supermax contract extension, Milwaukee went all-in this offseason. Before the NBA’s negotiating window with free agents even began, the Bucks got caught tampering.

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Milwaukee Bucks forfeit second-round pick for tampering with prized free agent

The Milwaukee Bucks were connected to Bogdan Bogdanovic weeks before NBA free agency began. Then, days before NBA rules allowed teams to negotiate with pending free agents, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Milwaukee landed Bogdanovic in a sign-and-trade with the Sacramento Kings.

It was a blockbuster moving, coming shortly after the Bucks acquired Jrue Holiday. The leak, which reportedly came from Milwaukee, proved costly.

An unidentified NBA team immediately filed a complaint to the NBA suggesting the Bucks committed tampering, agreeing to a deal with Bogdanovic before they were even allowed to negotiate. A few weeks after the league launched its inquiry, a determination has been made.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the NBA’s investigation concluded the Milwaukee Bucks were guilty of tampering this offseason. Specifically, Milwaukee reached an apparent agreement with Bogdanovic before free agency and committed conduct detrimental to the league.

As a result of the violation, the Bucks have been stripped of their second-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Antetokounmpo ultimately signed his extension, the largest contract in NBA history. That’s all the Bucks wanted when the offseason began, so the front office will certainly be able to live with losing a second-round pick.

Bogdanovic signed a $72 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks, the team many believe filed the tampering complaint to the NBA.

In the end, the biggest loser from this saga is the Sacramento Kings. They would have acquired promising guard Donte DiVincenzo in the sign-and-trade with Milwaukee. Instead, Sacramento lost him for nothing to Atlanta.

With this investigation now concluded, the NBA can turn its focus into the wild allegations against the Los Angeles Clippers.