As the owner of a professional sports team, it never hurts to have the respect of other front offices around the league. Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon took a huge step towards ensuring he has that level of respect with his latest move.
It came earlier this week, when the Pacers went after former Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon.
Brogdon entered the offseason as a restricted free agent, and it was very unlikely that the Bucks would be able to match any other team’s offer for the former rookie of the year. Simon knew that as his team prepared to give Brogdon a 4-year deal worth $85-million. But rather than forced the Bucks to give the star up for nothing (which they obviously would have because they can’t afford to match the offer), Simon did the classiest thing ever by calling up the Bucks and offering a sign-and-trade deal instead.
Here’s the report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (transcript via FTW):
“When you’re signing a restricted free agent, a lot of times you will give a toxic offer sheet. Poison pills, huge exploding salaries, front-end bonuses, options. You want to do everything you possibly can to de-incentivize a team from matching it – and teams have gotten creative over the years. The Brooklyn Nets have given out several very toxic offer sheets in the last few years.
…. So in this case, Herb Simon, who is the old-school, respected owner of the Pacers, called up the Bucks’ ownership and said ‘we would like to sign your restricted free agent Malcolm Brogdon. We do not want to give a toxic offer sheet, I don’t believe in doing that to a partner of mine. Can we work out a deal?’
…. It was a hell of a deal for the Bucks, because I don’t think the Bucks were going to match an $85 million dollar offer. We’ll never really know.”
In the end, the Bucks got three draft picks for a player they were most likely going to lose anyway. Not a bad deal at all.
As for the Pacers, between Simon’s good karma and a backcourt that now includes Brogdon and Victor Oladipo, you have to like their chances in 2019-20.