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Bucks' Fear of the Luxury Tax Means They're Not a Real NBA Title Contender

12up logo 12up 7/1/2019 Brendan Azoff
a close up of a basketball game: Milwaukee Bucks v Toronto Raptors - Game Six © Claus Andersen/Getty Images Milwaukee Bucks v Toronto Raptors - Game Six

The Milwaukee Bucks traded Malcolm Brogdon to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, proving once again that their ownership is unwilling to pay the luxury tax that occurs when a team goes over the given salary cap threshold.

Brogdon was signed to a four-year, $85 million contract before being dealt, a number Bucks ownership was unwilling to pay for a good core piece. With Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe already on the roster with Brogdon, the Bucks seemed prime to compete for years to come.

Instead of competing, however, ownership continued their frugality, moving on from Brogdon without adding any NBA-ready assets, as they picked up three draft picks in return.

As we have seen throughout the league, there is a direct correlation between the contenders in the NBA and the money they have spent. After moving Brogdon, the Bucks have the tenth-highest payroll, a position which has undoubtedly making ownership uncomfortable.

The Bucks had a chance to build and maintain a contending team, and their ownership has just thrown that away.


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