John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reported Wednesday that the Milwaukee Bucks were close to acquiring guard Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers before the Cavs traded him to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
According to Gambadoro, Milwaukee offered guard Malcolm Brogdon, wing Khris Middleton and a first-round pick in exchange for Irving.
Cleveland ended up sending Irving to Boston for guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick.
Had the Cavs accepted Milwaukee's reported offer instead, they would have brought in some promising young pieces to play alongside LeBron James.
Brogdon averaged 10.2 points, 4.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game last season en route to being named NBA Rookie of the Year.
The 26-year-old Middleton was limited to 29 games due to injury last season, but he put up 14.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest.
In 2015-16, Middleton scored a career-high 18.2 points per game.
Had Milwaukee acquired Irving, it would have added a proven playoff performer and champion to a core that includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Thon Maker.
The package Cleveland received from Boston appears superior to the reported Bucks offer, though, since Thomas is an All-Star, Crowder is a top-notch defender and the Nets' pick could be a high one.
Acquiring Irving likely would have accelerated Milwaukee's transition from middling playoff team to contender, but it still has a deep and talented team with plenty of room to grow.