It didn’t have to be that way. Milwaukee controlled Brogdon’s future with restricted rights and could have kept him.
Brogdon, via Eric Woodyard of ESPN:
“I would’ve loved to play for this team, if they had wanted me. If they had valued me the way the Pacers value me. That’s all I gotta say.”
This is somewhat self-evident, somewhat unfair.
Of course Indiana valued him more. That’s why he’s there. The Bucks preferred a first-rounder and two-rounders gained in the sign-and-trade plus the flexibility of not having Brogdon’s four-year, $85 million contract.
But that same deal would’ve cost Milwaukee far more. The Bucks would’ve either had to go into the luxury tax or not re-signed Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, two players who meant more to the team than Brogdon. Milwaukee also already had a point guard in Eric Bledsoe.
The Pacers had a more clear need at point guard with Darren Collison retiring. They also had clearer room to pay Brogdon without entering the tax.
Of course, the Bucks could have traded Bledsoe to make Brogdon their starting point guard and remain out of the tax. Milwaukee showed an ability to regroup at shooting guard. But that’s tough to say without knowing what Bledsoe trades were available.
The Pacers probably valued Brogdon more. It was also simpler for them to show they valued Brogdon more.