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The NBA has launched an investigation into the failed Kings-Bucks trade

Did the Kings do enough to cover themselves by refusing to acknowledge the trade?

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the NBA has launched an investigation into the failed Sacramento Kings – Milwaukee Bucks trade from a few days ago:

As a reminder, the reported deal was a swap of a signed-and-traded Bogdan Bogdanovic and Justin James for Donte DiVincenzo, DJ Wilson, and Ersan Illyasova. While the transaction itself was perfectly legal under the CBA's salary-based rules, the Kings, Bucks, and Bogdanovic should not have been negotiating a contract, as free agency wasn’t due to start until November 20th.

From Sacramento’s side of things, it’s important to note that the trade was never formally announced – it was leaked by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. In fact, the Kings have vehemently denied the negotiations ever taking place, likely in an effort to cover themselves after the deal was announced far, far too soon. Milwaukee has been quieter on that front, possibly leaving themselves a little more vulnerable to discipline.

If either team does face consequences, the punishment may be significantly more harsh than the petty fines that have been laughed off for years. In September of 2019, in a move to prevent the rampant tampering that has plagued the league for far too long, Adam Silver passed a bill through the NBA Board of Governors that allows him to suspend executives, void contracts or trades, and even take away draft picks if substantial tampering is discovered. The Kings and the Bucks should hope and pray that little to no hard evidence is found of their improper negotiations.

From a league-wide perspective, perhaps the most frustrating part of this situation is the reality that all teams heavily tamper, especially in such a weird offseason full of rushed dates, unknown situations, and unanswered questions. For example, Matt Babcock, a former NBA agent and current owner of Babcock Hoops, tweeted on Wednesday that the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks were discussing a sign-and-trade that would send Danilo Gallinari to Dallas in exchange for the 18th pick in the draft. That tweet had since been deleted. Even if the deal was never completed, it’s evident that conversations were taking place outside of the formal rules of the offseason, and it's just one of many examples of team's obviously circumventing the league's free agency rules.

By refusing to publicly acknowledge that talks ever took place between Bogdanovic, the Bucks, and themselves, the Kings may have done enough to prevent any discipline when this investigation is completed. If not, Monte McNair and his front office could find themselves suspended or the league could even remove a second round draft pick or two from the team’s coffers. We’ll keep the story updated as the investigation proceeds.

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Dub_TC
14 days ago

AD and Lakers drama = nothing to see here, enjoy LA!
Bogi tries to go to MIL = WE CAN’T HAVE THAT!!!!! YOU CAN’T TAMPER!!!

Gregoryl
14 days ago
Reply to  Dub_TC

Such BS…

13 days ago
Reply to  Gregoryl

Lakers are full of BS.

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
13 days ago
Reply to  Dub_TC

Only in small markets is it a problem…

eddie41
14 days ago

I’m singing the Bob Dylan song “Tangled up in Threads”.

King4life
14 days ago

Players openly talk about how they’ve been recruiting players from other teams months before they hit free agency. Lebron is allowed to run his own agency and have AD force his way into the Lakers.

The Bucks and Kings agreeing to a sign and trade? That’s where the NBA draws the line. Can’t have small market teams operating like they’re a big market team. That would ruin how the league works.

SPTSJUNKIE
14 days ago
Reply to  King4life

I’m not saying it is right, but the difference they will point out is that players are still allowed to be friends and recruit each other. So Fox can mention in every press conference how awesome it would be if KAT signed with the Kings and they got to play together.

However, McNair cannot mention that KAT would fit perfectly on their team and should sign with the Kings.

It feels absurd at times with the all out recruitment that LeBron and his agency can do. But it is also a harder point to address. Especially as the LeBron situation may seem clear cut. But what about two friends from college now on different teams talking on the phone? What is a player is upset with his franchise, so he goes out and intentionally breaks the rules? What is you just drafted a really dumb player and he says something he shouldn’t?

It’s just much harder to regulate players in this regard and to tie it to the franchise.

aplumley
14 days ago

What I’m really curious about now is if Bogdan remaining a King is out of the question. Is there bad blood between the BB camp and the Kings FO? Looking at BB’s tweet makes me think he wants out now.
“Just remember that no matter what you achieve in your life, people will still not believe in you! Do it for yourself, not for others!”

Last edited 14 days ago by aplumley
SPTSJUNKIE
14 days ago

This is part speculation, so I could be way off, but my understanding of tampering is that it involved illegal contact with or discussions with a player.

The NBA Tampering(or anti-tampering) rules suggest that teams, player or coaches cannot approach or lure players on rival teams when they are bound by contracts with their respective teams.

This includes publicly stating interest in acquiring the services of the player or by contacting his agent about a possible trade.

https://thesportsrush.com/nba-news-tampering-nba-what-does-tampering-mean-in-nba-and-what-are-the-rules-around-it/#:~:text=The%20NBA%20Tampering(or%20anti,agent%20about%20a%20possible%20trade.

What will be interesting is if either the Bucks or Kings had contact with Bogi or his agent. If the two teams negotiated the framework of a deal that leaked, then that’s a bad leak, but doesn’t strike me as tampering.

If there was negotiations, I assume / would hope that the Kings FO wasn’t really apart as we weren’t negotiating a contract with Bogi or recruiting him. I would hope the Bucks FO were the ones discussing a contact with his agent, which in theory should put them in danger. Or at least give them a far greater punishment.

RobHessing
14 days ago

Man, Bogi’s agent. Same guy that pulled Marcus Morris from his deal with SA after SA traded Davis Bertrans to make room for Morris. Also the guy that pulled Bjelica from his deal in Philly when he wound up here in Sac. Once, twice, three times a shady.

SierraSpartan
13 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

What worries me is that this douchebag agent could hold this over SAC’s or MIL’s head for his other clients now – “take my terms, or I may dime you out to the NBA over the tampering charge.”

1951
13 days ago

So, Indiana, Atlanta, NY can all “explore” sign and trade deals before FA but this one will be investigated.

Got it.

RobHessing
13 days ago
Reply to  1951

Yeah, there is probably no single place where the NBA is more fucked up than its “handling” of the free agency window. Jeebus, everyone knows it’s a sham. You might as well just wild frontier it and have done with the fallacy that there is a fair and even playing field out there.

RobHessing
13 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

The best part is the false, holier-than-thou protestations of front offices that have probably all taken part in such shenanigans at some point or another.

I guess the moral of the story is that if you are a top 30 player, the rules do not apply to you. But if you are a complementary player, every i better be dotted and every t crossed.

Kingsguru21
13 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

I’m laughing at the abject stupidity of the hypocrisy on this whole ordeal.

Kingsguru21
13 days ago

Here’s the thing. The Kings can talk to Bogi. He’s their FA! That isn’t tampering. How can the Kings tamper with THEIR OWN guy?!?!?!?

Both teams and hopefully the agent knew it was done in principle but not formalized. And really, if the agent leaked this, why? All the NBA is going to do is investigate the teams, find nothing, and just make this tougher to pull off for both teams. And who knows what Bogi gets on the market elsewhere.

This shit is funny. What a colossal waste of time starting with the faux outrage by other NBA execs. The timing was suspicious, I wonder why it was leaked that early.

BestHyperboleEver
13 days ago
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Kingsguru21
13 days ago

Yeah, not a huge surprise here. I’m interested to see how this plays out regardless, but it will be interesting to see which teams are able to go after Bogi. Or which teams want to work out a S&T.

We’ll see.

NinjaFetus
13 days ago

So other teams can do what they want? Lakers have a trade in place before start time opens, it’s common knowledge that “contracts were flying around” is what I think one headline read, and other things that were leaked or reported on are okay and allowed to happen? Yet if SAC/MIL do a deal that kinda sorta helps both those small market teams out somewhat, THAT gets investigated? Screw the league then. If either team gets punished for this, there needs to be some serious outrage or blow-back on the league admin.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
13 days ago

So with this door shut, where does Bogi go from here? I’m thinking ATL but I worry they throw a huge number at him and scare off the Kings into matching I really hope Bogi does the Kings a solid and is willing to negotiate a sign and trade before. he signs an offer sheet. What worries me is his agent.

If a sign and trade can be worked out, what is the package?

Also, a Warrior fan family member of mine texted me the idea of a S&T of Bogi for Oubre. Thoughts on that?

SMF-PDXConnection
13 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Oubre would be interesting, but would it even be possible to trade him in a S&T so soon after being traded again? I don’t know the CBA rules that well.

Also to say nothing of how unlikely I think the Warriors would be to trade him so soon after giving up a pick to get him.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
13 days ago

He can be traded, he just can’t be packaged with another player.

In terms of the Warriors, it depends on who they see as more valuable to them. I think Bogi is the better player, and they would also get him on a longer deal. I think he fills the hole Klay left better than Oubre. Oubre is also UFA after this season.

Kingsguru21
13 days ago

Oubre wasn’t S&T’d, he was straight up traded. Yes, he can be traded but not with any other player on OKC’s roster for….I believe it’s 60 days. (Not sure if that rule is tweaked in the smaller season. Probably not though.)

Either way, it’s no big deal in reality. The issue is almost always about money.

Inthestarz
13 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

atlanta will have like 5 young players coming up for contracts, and need defense with Trae

i don’t see any team under the cap, so fortunately it will still be a s/t

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
13 days ago
Reply to  Inthestarz

I’m worried it’s gonna be Tony Snell and nothing else. That’s a whole bunch of meh to me.

Kingsguru21
13 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

I’d rather have a large TPE (15-18 million) than Snell, personally. But with the Kings over the cap technically, that won’t be possible unless they pull off other moves.

Kingsguru21
13 days ago
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Also, Snell makes too much money to straight up trade for Bogi unless Bogi’s salary is around 10 million due to the BYC factor.

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad

This is bad

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
13 days ago

Lakers??!!

SMF-PDXConnection
13 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Oh hell no.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
13 days ago

It would have to be a S&T. Who would they send? I don’t think they have any picks.

Last edited 13 days ago by Adamsite
Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
13 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Haha, just looking at their current roster, they only have like 5 guys under contract, but they are currently under the active cap with AD not currently on the books. Did they get out of Deng’s deal?

Kingsguru21
13 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Looks like they stretched Deng’s deal and they are paying him 5 million the next several seasons.

Hobby916
13 days ago
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Didn’t the Lakers apply for the medical exemption, even after Deng was traded and played for Wolves before he ultimately got injured again? I hope that application got the big red “DENIED” on it.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
13 days ago
Reply to  Hobby916

That was what I was wondering. I haven’t yet heard if the won the appeal or not. If his $5M comes off the books it really helps the Lakers.

Kingsguru21
13 days ago
Reply to  Hobby916

Basketball Insiders has his salary listed. I’ll look to see if it was medically exempted though.

I looked up SS&R and apparently Bobby Marks thinks the shot is slim since Deng has played games since being waived, usually too many to qualify for a medical exemption.

RobHessing
13 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

…and now we all know why this is happening.

Hobby916
13 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

League has to keep LeBaby happy and bring in the LA money.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
13 days ago
Reply to  Hobby916

LOL!

RobHessing
13 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Hell, the league will probably grant LA and exception and have Sac. and Mil. split the tax hit.

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