The NBA’s window for negotiating with free agents opened at 5:00pm central time on Friday. For days, speculation circulated surrounding the Milwaukee Bucks after a seemingly done deal with the Kings that would send Bogdan Bogdanovich to the Bucks fell through. In the aftermath, the NBA has opened an investigation regarding possible tampering violations by the Bucks.
The NBA has opened an investigation of the reported transaction involving Milwaukee and Sacramento that was to send Bogdan Bogdanovic to the Bucks via sign-and-trade after Friday's scheduled start of free agency, @NYTSports has learned
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 20, 2020
With the Bucks seemingly out of the race for Bogdanovich, speculation circulated about what players the Bucks would pursue in free agency. Signing free agents appears to many to be the most likely way the team adds pieces at this point. Eric Bledsoe and George Hill, two trade assets, were already sent to New Orleans for Jrue Holiday. In addition, Ersan Ilyasova was waived, Robin Lopez declined his player option, and Wes Matthews has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 20, 2020
Update: Bringing Back Pat
Many fans were hoping for a high-profile move in the aftermath of the Bogdanovich trade collapse. However, the Bucks made very little noise on the first night of free agency. The only move they made to add players to their depleted roster was to resign Pat Connaughton to a two-year $8.3 million deal. Last season, Connaughton averaged 5.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 18.6 minutes played per game (67 games).
Free agent G Pat Connaughton has agreed to a two-year, $8.3M deal to return to the Milwaukee Bucks, agents Jeff Schwartz and Jordan Gertler of @excelsm_bball tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
This move was not really expected by many considering that Connaughton was drawing interest from many other teams. One of these teams was the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many fans are unhappy that this level of offer was not offered to Wes Matthews. However, it must be noted that if the Bucks had offered this salary to Matthews, it would have severely limited their ability to pursue other free agents. Due to Matthews’ years of experience, the money required to sign him to a deal like this would have required the Bucks to use part of their mid-level exception. Connaughton’s deal does not require them to do this. Therefore, the team has more money to spend on another free agent.
Update: The Jrue Holiday Trade is Evolving
There are also reports that the Jrue Holiday trade between the Bucks and Pelicans is growing.
BREAKING: The initial Jrue Holiday trade sending him to Milwaukee is now expanding to a multiple team trade, sending Steven Adams to the Pelicans, via @wojespn
James Johnson is also being dealt to the Mavericks. More details to come. 👀🍿
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) November 21, 2020
What does this mean for the Bucks? It is possible that another player could be coming to Milwaukee. However, that is not known for sure yet. What is known is that Steven Adams is going to New Orleans, presumably for draft picks and maybe Eric Bledsoe.