Giannis On Brogdon: “Wish He Was Still Here”

As Malcolm Brogdon thrives in his first season for the division-rival Pacers, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo admitted on Thursday that he’d like to still be teammates with the former Rookie of the Year, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic.

“Definitely wish he was still here,” Antetokounmpo said. “One of my friends, one of the guys that I always teased every day when I see him – call him ugly, we’re just going back and forth. I’m going to miss that, but at the end of the day, you got to do what’s best for you. I wish him the best, I wish his team the best and I’m excited to play against him.”

Antetokounmpo’s comments are noteworthy because Brogdon’s departure from Milwaukee has been a hot topic for the last several months. The 26-year-old guard was a restricted free agent, so the Bucks could have kept him if they’d wanted to. However, there were questions about how re-signing Brogdon would impact the team’s ability to keep other key free agents, and whether or not Bucks ownership was willing to pay a big tax bill.

Of course, with Antetokounmpo eligible for a super-max extension in 2020 or free agency in 2021, the Bucks will be looking to do all they can to keep the reigning MVP happy and convince him to stick around long-term. Which is why Giannis’ follow-up comment on Brogdon, relayed by Nehm, is perhaps even more interesting.

“Can you imagine this team with also Malcolm?” Antetokounmpo said after the Bucks improved their record to 8-3 on Thursday. “But hey, man, everybody takes their decision. His decision was to go to Indiana and build a team over there. I think that was best for him.”

As Nehm points out, Giannis’ framing of his teammate’s departure as a decision made by Brogdon rather than by the Bucks seems to suggest he doesn’t blame the team for the move, even though Milwaukee essentially controlled the process. Nehm notes that Brogdon used similar language recently when discussing his move with Scott Agness of The Athletic (podcast link).

“I had to figure out what my options were,” Brogdon told Agness. “I had two or three teams in the mix that we were really considering, but Indiana was by far the best. It was the team I was really pushing for and my agents made it work.”

Brogdon’s comments indicate he may have been more interested in landing with the Pacers than in re-upping with the Bucks, which is perhaps one key reason why Milwaukee was willing to negotiate a sign-and-trade. The Bucks netted multiple draft picks, including a lottery-protected first-rounder, in the deal and still insist they’ll be willing to pay the tax when it becomes necessary.

Meanwhile, Brogdon – like Antetokounmpo – is looking forward to the first Bucks/Pacers game of the season on Saturday in Indiana, but is downplaying its significance, per J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

“It’s just another game for me,” Brogdon said. “Looking forward to seeing those guys. Competing against them. I had a lot of good games in there, a lot of good memories in there. That’s all I got to say about it.”

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14 thoughts on “Giannis On Brogdon: “Wish He Was Still Here”

  1. rxbrgr

    Albert Nahmad has some good Twitter posts explaining how (with a little ingenuity) Milwaukee could have signed Hill at his price, plus kept Brogdon. But it would have made them taxpayers, something they probably should be willing to do if they want Giannis to stick around long-term.

    • Luke Adams

      Yeah, I recall that, though I believe Albert’s proposal involved withdrawing Brogdon’s QO (to reduce his cap hold) before re-signing him. If Brogdon’s preference from the start was to sign elsewhere, I’m not sure how practical that would’ve been.

      • x%sure

        When th QO gets withdtawn, he is gone.

        The element not spoken of is that Brohdon didn’t like Bledsoe and Bledsoe had the job he wanted.

  2. Strike Four

    and Brogdon is a bootleg Curry – Giannis to GSW is a formality, everyone get ready to get mad at them again/some more/all mainstream sports media hates Curry because he broke the game in ways MJ and Bron never did.

    • amk3510

      Sorry to break it to you that the world doesn’t revolve around the Warriors. Curry is a great player but actually putting him in the same category as Lebron or MJ should be enough reason to check into an asylum. His back to back MVP seasons resulted in a finals win vs a Kyrie/Love less Cavs team and the biggest choke in NBA history. When KD showed up he all of a sudden stopped being the MVP. What a coincidence.

  3. amk3510

    Lopez and Hill were important to them but more than Brogdon? Thats debatable

  4. I think the Bucks FO got way too myopic on Brogdon and the tax, and in the end just screwed up in letting him go. Being over the tax line in the summer by a modest amount can’t be a priority. Where a RFA prefers to play isn’t all that important either. What is important is keeping the core of an ascending team together until you see what it can be.

    • x%sure

      Not that you’re wrong, but I think there was no way to corporately keep hold of all of them. I remember being shocked that it would take capspace to sign Lopez.

      It would have taken some politcking at a level which IMO is not the Wisconsin way… defining politicking as success via making promises that will likely prove empty… and defining Wisconsinite as one who might say that warm climates exist to draw away the feeble genes!

  5. Buckman

    I think Brogdon’s injury history also played into it but I hope don’t end up missing him too.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Dude I missed my chance to rant about this!

      Suffice to say, the Bucks made a very bad decision here, Giannis knows it, and the only reasonable explanation the Bucks can give is “Brogdon didn’t want to stay”… And the Bucks have never said that.

      If Giannis leaves Milwaukee, the Bucks will have missed their best chance to win a ring in the last 20 years or so.

      • HailRodgers12$

        You expect anyone currently affiliated with the bucks to publicly say Brogdon flat out told them he preferred to go somewhere else? That would be stupid.
        As it would for Brogdon to publicly announce “Bledsoe has the job I want, so I’m taking my ball and going home [to Indiana]” or whatever his exact reason was for wanting to leave.

        I know a lot of people are hung up on the idea that ownership has plenty of money to have gone into luxury tax territory, and just re-sign everyone, but some fans actually understand that just because they [may] have the money, doesn’t mean it’s always wise to spend it..especially if other people are the ones insisting they do so.
        Personally I’d love the company I work for to ask me how to spend their profits, or the owner to ask me how he should spend his own money, but that’s not how those guys got rich, or stay that way.

  6. HailRodgers12$

    So, it’s true then? Brogdon didn’t want to be in Milwaukee anymore. Hmm… Seems someone mentioned that possibility once or twice.

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