NBA

NBA investigating reported Bucks-Kings Bogdan Bogdanovic trade for potential tampering

The NBA is investigating a reported trade between the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings that may have violated league’s anti-tampering rules, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

On Monday, two days before Wednesday’s NBA draft, ESPN reported that the teams reached a deal that would have sent Kings shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic to the Bucks for Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson and Ersan Ilyasova in a sign-and-trade move.

The trade was reported just after the Bucks reached a deal to acquire Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans. It was considered a coup in the moment for the Bucks, who are trying to build a roster that will convince two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to stay in Milwaukee beyond the upcoming 2020-21 season.

But the proposed agreement raised eyebrows around the league because free agency hadn’t begun — it’s scheduled to start Friday at 6 p.m. ET — and Bogdanovic, who will be a restricted free agent, was not in position to agree to a sign-and-trade with any team at that time.

Bogdan Bogdanovic is set to enter restricted free agency. (Photo: Justin Ford, USA TODAY Sports)

Hours before the draft Wednesday, The Athletic reported that the deal was in jeopardy because Bogdanovic had not agreed to the contract terms of the sign-and-trade.

ESPN reported on Thursday that Bogdanovic will become a restricted free agent, and he will have teams interested. The Kings can match any offer that Bogdanovic receives.

Meanwhile, the Bucks waived Ilysaova on Thursday, indicating they believe they will not be in position to acquire Bogdanovic.

It all comes at a time when teams are working on short notice between the start of free agency and the start of the regular season on Dec. 22.

Just before the start 2019-20 season, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed tampering.

"We already have rules on the books," Silver said, "and essentially the league was coming in at the direction of our teams and saying — and I’ll accept responsibility — you need to do a better job enforcing the rules that are already on your books and do a better job ensuring that there is a culture around the league where people believe there are absolute consequences if you don’t play by the rules."

Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.

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