The Milwaukee Bucks' failed pursuit of Bogdan Bogdanovic last month may have been the result of a major miscalculation by the organization's own front office.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Bogdanovic was being recruited by both Giannis Antetokounmpo and George Hill, the latter of whom was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of a deal for Jrue Holiday. That deal not only limited the amount of money the Bucks could offer Bogdanovic in a sign-and-trade but also likely limited the role Bogdanovic would have had in Milwaukee's rotation.
Per Amick on The Athletic NBA Show podcast:
"When the Holiday move happened, that ripple effect was this: Bogdanovic then became, for all intents and purposes, a fourth option, which my reporting had beared out that he wasn't necessarily feeling that. And then secondly, the money—I don't know the specific numbers—but I mean the money was impacted potentially in terms of once they got Holiday what they could offer Bogdan. And it seems as if whatever agreement was in place before–and Bogdan's camp certainly, all the way through, said there was never an agreement from him. But he was talking to Giannis on a fairly routine basis. Giannis pushed very hard, wanted Bogdan on that team. As an aside–and I mentioned George Hill a second ago–I was also told that George Hill had been recruiting Bogdan before the Holiday trade. And there was a little bit of a sense of, 'Wait a minute, man. I thought I was coming to play with you. What happened here?'"
The sign-and-trade was never finalized, and Bogdanovic ended up landing with the Atlanta Hawks on a four-year, $72 million deal.
In Atlanta, Bogdanovic is expected to start at small forward and is likely to play a leading role on offense.
"It's no secret that one of our biggest areas of focus in free agency was adding shooting and quality depth," Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk told reporters shortly after signing Bogdanovic.
"With Bogdan as part of our incoming group, we feel those are now areas of strength."
It's apparent that wouldn't be the case in Milwaukee. Not with Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Holiday all capable scorers across the floor. Bogdanovic would have had to compete for touches as a likely fourth option. Holiday's contract further complicated matters as incentives included in his deal would count against the NBA's hard cap.
That limited any potential deal Bogdanovic could have received via sign-and-trade with Milwaukee.
The Kings chose not to match the Hawks' offer sheet, essentially losing one of their most coveted assets without receiving anything in return.