The potential issue? Tampering.
Bogdanović, who is a restricted free agent, is not allowed to negotiate with other NBA teams until Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. ET. ESPN NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, however, reported on Nov. 16 that Bogdanovic would be joining the Bucks through a sign-and-trade.
As of now, the Bogdanović trade appears off – and Zach Gelb can’t believe it.
“We all know the biggest joke in the NBA is tampering,” Gelb said on The Zach Gelb Show. “They try to make such a big deal in some situations with tampering and then just blatantly ignore other situations when clearly tampering goes on. . . . It is an absolute joke if the NBA steps in here and finds a way to negate this move from happening. If Bogdanović doesn’t want to go there, that’s one thing. Him being a restricted free agent, if he doesn’t want to do a sign-and-trade there, okay. But now I’m reading that the NBA is opening an investigation of the reported transaction involving Milwaukee and Sacramento? Give me a break.”
As Gelb explained, it appears the NBA picks and chooses when tampering is and isn’t an issue.
“The NBA didn’t say a word when LeBron James, for a year-plus, used Rich Paul, that connection, to court Anthony Davis to L.A. when he was still on the Pelicans,” Gelb said. “The NBA did nothing when Kyrie and KD, in front of you, basically said, ‘We’re going to team up, and we’re going to go elsewhere next year.’ And we all knew they were going to Brooklyn.”
Why would the NBA let those instances slide but not this one? Well, Gelb has a pretty good idea.
“If the NBA prevents this trade and they go through with all this tampering and they put a punitive action on the Milwaukee Bucks, you may as well save the Bucks the fine; save the dog and pony show of some big, bold punishment because it’s a joke,” he said. “Just come out and be honest and say, ‘We don’t want Giannis staying in Milwaukee. We want Giannis going to a big market and forming a super team.’ Because you can’t ignore LeBron getting his way, Kevin Durant getting his way, Kawhi Leonard getting his way – and then try to punish a superstar in Giannis Antetokounmpo.”
It remains to be seen if Antetokounmpo will sign a super-max contract and stay in Milwaukee. After leading the Bucks to the best record in the NBA in each of the last two seasons – but failing to reach the Finals either time – Antetokounmpo clearly wants, and needs, more help.
Bogdanović was that help. And now maybe he might not be.
“I don’t know, maybe Giannis wants to stay in Milwaukee. Maybe he does, and maybe he will,” Gelb said. “But if this move ends up being the thing that makes Giannis say, ‘You couldn’t get Bogdanović, you got Jrue Holiday, but that’s not enough, I need more pieces so I’m going to bolt,’ then shame on the NBA. Shame on the NBA. It is ridiculous how we all know it is a clown show with tampering and how they just selectively decide, ‘We’re going to pursue this thing, we’re not going to pursue this thing.’ Giannis is a big star. If there’s some tampering going on here, so what? You’ve already made tampering a big fat joke as it is. What a disgrace – an absolute disgrace.”