Bucksketball Podcast

If it takes the Bucks falling out of playoff contention for Brandon Jennings to be traded, then he isn’t getting traded

| December 17, 2012

Category: Trade Rumors

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Everything was out of reach for the Bucks on Saturday. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Well, it took roughly a month and a half before the first Brandon Jennings trade rumor dropped. No, there isn’t a specific rumor out there, but speculation began over the weekend as Marc Stein listed Jennings as apart of The Field when reviewing top trade targets. So he’s not necessarily a top target, he’s more of a regular target. But Stein threw an important caveat in there (emphasis is mine):

Other names that dribbled out this week as likely candidates to be dealt this trade season include Milwaukee’s expiring-contract backcourt duo of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, based on the premise that the Bucks, if they start drifting out of playoff contention, won’t want to risk losing their smallish scorers for nothing in free agency.

Stein’s statements were a bit more conservative in nature than CSN Bay Area’s Rich Bucher’s:

Neither Tyreke Evans, nor Brandon Jennings, were given extensions this fall — so which one is more likely to be dealt before the February trade deadline or play somewhere else next season? Put your money on Jennings. Now, I have no one from the Bucks saying that they’re ready and willing to move Jennings, but a source indicated he’s more inclined to make his way elsewhere than Evans is.

Back to Stein’s qualifier – “if they start drifting out of playoff contention.” Realistically, the Bucks aren’t going to fall out of playoff contention this season. They don’t have a roster that lends itself to the monumental collapse it would take for the team to fall out of playoff contention in a poor record playoff friendly Eastern Conference. Even two seasons ago, a season regarded as a tremendous failure of chemistry and consistency after horrible seasons from the likes of Corey Maggette and John Salmons, saw the Bucks finish just two games out of the final playoff spot.

If THAT team can contend all season, is there much doubt that this one can in a conference that’s been struck with numerous significant injuries?

If it’s going to take the Bucks naturally falling out of the playoff picture for the organization to trade Jennings or Ellis, it isn’t going to happen. But if it takes the organization seeing that this team is obviously not one that can consistently put together quality performances, well, then we can have a conversation about this.

Because this team has done everything but put together quality performances consistently. After limping through a four game winning streak, Milwaukee ran into a Clippers team that had strewn together a legitimate winning streak. Packed with strong performances behind stellar players. What happened? Milwaukee played about as well as it had against the Kings and Cavs in the previous two games, two wins, and lost by 26 points.

Scott Skiles said he was concerned about the quality of play after Milwaukee’s win over the Kings, not just the win or the loss, and that was an issue again against the Clippers as it has been against a number of solid teams this season. The Knicks, the Grizzlies, the Spurs, all these teams have disposed of the Bucks with ease.

While the Bucks have had a few solid wins of their own, they’ve hardly been predictable when it comes to really standout games. They’ve been as likely to beat a team like the Cavs by three points as they’ve been to beat them by 10. Not exactly the sign of a team that’s prepping to do some serious damage come later in the season. But they’ve still found a way to beat the dregs of the league more often than not. There’s little reason to think that won’t continue.

So there’s little reason to think this season won’t carry on the same way it has through 22 games, for most of the 82.

If that’s the case, there’s also little reason to think Jennings is going anywhere. Unless this franchise is prepared to take a drastically different course than it has over the past few seasons and forego the hope of a playoff birth for the ultra-rare hope of a bright future for Milwaukee Bucks basketball, get ready for a lot more of the same this season.

Same cast. Same struggles. Same results.

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About the Author ()

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball. He founded it in January of 2009 because he hated his job. It’s like basketball, but with Bucks instead of basket. I know ... I’m sorry. He might come off as a bit negative, but I'm really not so bad. He just wants the Bucks to succeed, so he points out areas where they are coming up short. Someone has got to do it and he's ornery and opinionated enough to take on that task. He isn't sure if this should be in third person or not. Contact him at Jeremy@Bucksketball.com if you must use e-mail.

Comments (27)

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  1. Ted says:

    Jennings tweeted “it’s been like a rough marriage” after retweeting a link featuring the rumors that have no reliable source linked to them coming from slamonline which said that Evans and (or) Jennings May be moved b4 deadline, in the same article Ric Bucher said “Now, I have no one from the Bucks saying that they’re ready and willing to move Jennings, but a source indicated he’s more inclined to make his way elsewhere than Evans is.” (Brandon has since deleted the retweet)

    Not sure when Brandon started hearing these rumors but we can probably count on him being rattled for a few games because that’s how it’s been in years past.

    Side note Woelfel has stated that the Nets are interested in pursuing Ersan again and that “he has it on very good authority”…Dont count on it though unless a 3rd team gets involved since salaries will be difficult to match up, that’s just my opinion though

    • Jeremy Schmidt says:

      Yeah, salaries are a disaster to match. Also, Ilyasova can’t be traded until January 15.

      • Sillybilly says:

        @JSchmidt

        If we do not intend to resign him at years end then not-trading him would make absolutely no sense because we will likely make the playoffs either way. So I think there is a small probability that he goes. I echo the sentiments of your analysis on ESPN. The real question is would we not be as good or better with Udrih (healthy of course) at pg? Everything Ive seen this year seems to indicate we would.

        Schmidt: A. Agree strongly. Dismantle this nine-seed machine. Jennings has proved he is a pretty good player. Not an all-by-himself franchise-changer like Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul or Derrick Rose. But if the Bucks let him go, it should signal a whole new direction for the team. Ellis and every expiring should follow him out the door.

        Soriano: A. Agree strongly. Jennings has not improved much, if at all, since his rookie season. And while he has obvious talent, his ball-dominant, low-efficiency style can be easily replaced at a much lower cost than it will take to re-sign him when his contract is up. Better to deal him before contract talks get messy over the next 12 months.

    • Ben says:

      I came up with a three team Ilyasova deal that might work.
      Bucks get: MarShon Brooks, Danny Granger, and David West.
      Nets get: Ersan Ilyasova and Ekpe Udoh(or someone else to make salaries work)
      Pacers get: Monta Ellis and Kris Humphries

      • Jimmy says:

        Sorry Ben, but no. No way Pacers giving up West and Granger for Monta when they already have a PG as a go to guy.

      • BIGbisbee says:

        Yea, I don’t see the Pacers getting involved to help someone in the same division. I’d like to get Tyshawn Taylor as well as MarShon Brooks from the Nets if we are giving them Ilyasova. I tried to use the trade machine to come up with a realistic trade. I couldn’t find the Kieth Van Horn button though.

  2. dvw58 says:

    I’m sick and tired of watching the Bucks be the best of the 2nd tier teams. I’ve been a fan since 1968-yeah I’m that old- and I’m done. The Bucks can’t keep trying to be an 8th or 7th seed. And don’t give me that small market garbage. No one was watching OKC a few years ago and the Clippers, although from a large market, sucked not too long ago as well. We have no low post presence and streaky guards, what the fudge? Trade Jennings along with Henson and Gooden and Harris for Kevin Love and Luke Ridnour. Give Love the money he wants and put us in the Eastern Conference finals. Monta, Luke, Beno, and Duron are a decent guard core and with Larry and Kevin and the Prince and Elyasova and Dalmebert and Udoh and Dunleavy we’d have enough bigs to get the job done. My leisure time is too valuable to year after year after year watch this middle of the pack team play….that can’t really be wondering why the Bradley Center is half full? and no I’m not following any other team but my home town team. I’m old school that way. Trade for Love who’s disgruntled anyway. Come on Hammond. Do what you did in Detroit already.

    • Ted says:

      Minnesota already has a franchise PG in Rubio so I really dont see any incentive for them to acquire Brandon Jennings. Rubio is one of the most valuable commodities in the NBA right now so to bring in a PG that will take away the ball from Ricky wouldnt make any sense even for David Kahn.

      If Brandon Jennings gets traded (which he won’t) it will be to either Utah or Dallas since they are the only teams who actually need a PG and have the cap flexibility to sign him long term after this season.

    • Ben says:

      dvw58
      I know how you feel and too want to see the Bucks as one of the elite teams in the league. However, teams like OKC got the way they are by tanking for high draft picks and also it takes a little bit of luck. The reason the Bucks never have a high draft pick, with the exception of Bogut, is because they refuse to tank. I don’t like it when teams tank but that seems to be the only way a team like Milwaukee can get top level talent because in reality no superstar is going to sign with the Bucks. The Clippers got the way they are because they tanked and got Blake Griffin and because Chris Paul wanted to go to a big market team. I don’t want to see the Bucks sacrifice an entire season just so they can get a better chance at a high draft pick that isn’t fair to the fans or the team. The only thing the Bucks can do besides tank is continue to add undervalued FA’s in the offseason and draft well in the mid first round. Also tanking and having high draft picks doesn’t guarantee anything, look at the Wizards, Bobcats, etc. I think the Bucks are doing the best they can with what they have and all we can hope for is a little luck. Also the Timberwolves would never go for the trade you proposed it’s not nearly enough for Love and they aren’t going to trade him anytime soon.

      • Ted says:

        The start of the Hammond era they were trying to tank. Hammond trades Richard Jefferson for Bruce Bowen, Fabricio Oberto, and the Mighty Kurt Thomas. Buys out Bowen. Trades Oberto for Delfino. Drafted Jennings and Meeks….opening day lineup of

        Jennings
        Bell
        Delfino
        LRMAM
        Bogut

      • dvw58 says:

        I don’t want them to tank either. As far as Rubio goes yeah, they don’t need Brandon but I was trying to think of a way that the Bucks can get to the next level and Kevin Love is on his way out of Minnesota and Brandon will most likely not be a Buck next year. There are a handful of teams that have two high level point guards, and to be honest with the way Brandon runs the team, he probably wouldn’t start on an elite team. So, it’s a three team deal then with Brandon going to Utah or Dallas or wherever, Minnesota getting a talent they can keep. I don’t know how we get out of this quagmire and I don’t want to tank either. It wasn’t that long ago when we had the big 3 and made it to the Eastern Conference finals. I’d be ‘okay’ with that. I just HATE sitting down to watch a game knowing we don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. I didn’t feel like that with Bogut in the middle. I didn’t feel like that with Cassel and Robinson and Allen. I don’t want to watch a team or buy tickets to a game that I know we have no chance, strike that, a 1% chance of winning. (they are, after all NBA players and the Wizards can beat the Heat on a crazy night)

        • Ben says:

          I know you’re just using Love as an example of the type of player the Bucks need to get but he’s not going to be traded anytime soon. He’s frustrated with management but he is also under contract for at least 2 more years and the Wolves have a good team. I think once they start winning he’ll be happy again and stay there. I know the Bucks don’t have a chance in winning anything other than maybe a first round playoff series but it would be nice to see the Bucks in the playoffs again even if they don’t go very far. They need to figure out what to do with Jennings and Ellis because you don’t build a team around those two. I could see the Bucks bringing back one of them next season but not both and only if the Bucks can sign them for cheap. I think the Bucks need to go all in on a guy this summer and be willing to trade multiple pieces to get him. Such as trading Harris, Henson, Sanders, first round picks, etc. in order to get a star. That would at least give the Bucks a chance to win and would give them someone to build around.

      • sillybilly says:

        Spurs haven’t tanked since TDuncan, and dont try to tell me he is still a top ten player. Its hard to be a great team without tanking, but its also hard to be a great team if you tank, just ask the Wizards Raptors and Bobcats. I dont think there is a clear remedy here but Im definetely in favor of getting a return on a player like Jennings who isn’t showing much progress and doesn’t seem to make his teammates better while he is on the court and running the offense.

  3. dvw58 says:

    Al Jefferson to the Bucks for Brandon Jennings? That would do it.

    • Ted says:

      salaries not even close to matching and just adds more to the logjam at PF/C plus Al Jefferson is an expiring contract and would most likely not resign with the Bucks…Brandon is not going to get traded folks

      • dvw58 says:

        We have no low post presence. We need somebody that can score in the box, not trampoline like Ersan but someone you can go to. If not Jefferson then what about Lamarcus Aldridge? Trade the logjam. We don’t need all those guys. Keep Sanders and Udoh, trade Henson, Harris, Gooden, Dalembert (maybe not Dalembert, keep him as backup) get a decent pg to replace Jennings, an Andre Miller type or perhaps DJ Augustin someone like that. Beno,Monta,Duron and a servicable pg are a decent guard lineup to obtain a quality low post player. I know Brandon is not going to get traded because he’s too streaky. He’s too little, his shot is too inconsistent and it does not feel like he’s running the team. At times it looks like an 8th grade church basement team out there with him running down under the basket getting stuck and having no where to go except attempt to get a call. throw up some wanky shot, throw up his hands and scowl. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jennings when he’s on, but he’s just too off again on again. If he could bring it consistently I would never want to see him leave. IMHO, the Bucks have more motion, more movement when Beno runs the team and Beno’s mid-range is better than Brandon’s. Brandon thinks he’s going to be the Lakers pg next year and that ain’t happening.

        • sillybilly says:

          Give Larry and Henson some time, they can score. Front-court will be a strong point for us, not the problem.

        • sillybilly says:

          Henson will probably be better than Sanders, its silly to suggest the Bucks would trade him and he hasn’t even got a chance to play or develop yet.

        • sillybilly says:

          Also DJ Augustin is a trash player, I’d take Jennings over him anyday

  4. Bill says:

    Personally, I think keeping Brandon Jennings is much much more of a better deal. Him hinting towards “marriage” would come to his character. Analyze a man’s psyche once. You’ll know for a fact he doesn’t intend on splitting the “marriage.” His father committed suicide, just from a loose psycho analysis of those two FACTS. I’d hint towards him wanting to play with the Bucks. He saw himself as a top 5 if not top 3. Which is why he went to Europe. He is a narcissist with the ball. Which is a good thing, even a great thing. He’s shown he can score. He has not shown to be consistent. Monta is a very very inconsistent scorer. He is just not afraid to take shots, making him a much much better shot creator. A drive the hole type of pg will shine much better than a spot up type pg if both are inconsistent. Jennings is no Kidd. Jennings being a spot up shooter needs a dominant face up type of power foward on the court. Someone that he can count on if he drives will catch and shoot or finish it in the post if need be. Pau Gasol would be the perfect PF in skiles system. Ersan is very very good, but he is a sixth man good. Getting Pau would be ideal if luxury of time was on the Bucks side. Pau entering the twilight of his career age wise, would not be as effective. So that being said, I agree with David West to a point, but he would be a very short term solution. I think the bucks need to pursue Aaron Afflalo. One of the best on ball defenders, very accurate shooter, unselfish, extremely laid back. He would mesh very quickly with the team. The Power Forward job should be given to Henson, he and Jennnings need that extra inside offense. I believe they need to stick to playing starters.

    Tanking will never work. It’s a quitters way towards winning. I admire Skiles, because he is no quitter. I think Jennings and Monta can work. But without Ersan being efficient, it can’t work. They need his efficiency to be what it was last year, as both players him at the 3 would be their second option. Not a third option. Having double points can work. This “you need stars to win titles.” Is flat wrong. What you need is a well balanced team. With free agency and many players getting overpaid -see James Harden and Jeremy Lin- While they are very good players. They get overpaid for their true court worth. Like Michael Redd. People bring up Love not making the playoffs. I say this to you, compare the Magic’s record to Lakers. Stars DO matter, however, they matter none if they have 6 bums consuming atleast 30-40% of the play time. They won’t win in today’s massive talented league. Terrence Williams, could be an excellent excellent player, but he cannot fit into any system, because he requires the ball, he is easily shut down because he cannot pass. So a system which he’ll shine doesn’t exist. Now you take him and put him into a role playing energy role. You see him scoring 15-20 points in 15 minutes sometimes. The point is, to win titles you have to have people who play efficient. Players who know their roles and perform them well. San Antonio is battling age. Young athletes have always had a little advantage in the play offs, being able to play 35-45 minutes and enough energy to keep doing so. LeBron had a good cast, so did Dwight Howard. Only team I’ve ever seen where a true star showed he was a super star… Kobe the year he proved he was this era’s Jordan. 83? Anyways this is running on too long. Point being, the bucks will only find a few available 2 guards worth getting. You should not trade Jennings and Ersan. I believe you need to build around them still. Free Agency is for the weak. San Antonio will be deadlier than the Heat after 5 years if they don’t restock the benchs. This GAME relies more on depth than talent. Kevin Durant is not talent. He is depth. He is just so damn good, he fills every role great.

    Trade other pieces to add depth at the 3, get luc richard off the 4, he can handle it, but I’d rather see size at the 4. Larry Sanders will protect that rim. Let someone who will pull a man off it, to let his rebounding skills flourish. K love would be perfect, too bad we don’t have the pieces to get him. Bucks got lucky getting Monta in a trade. I say stay with the luck you have. Keep him, play a deep rotation at the 1 and 2. Play a defense 3. Jon Henson is going to be able to defend someone like Anthony or Durant much better in years to come(his role at UNC was pretty much shot blocker remember) Yes you cant DEFEND them, but I’m just saying, he’s our best bet. Ersan dabbling with the 3, stop playing him at the 4. He cannot handle the 4 until he can space the floor more.

    • Bill says:

      Got off track, but given BJ’s past and the words he uses. He’ll stick through it. We’ve given him our allegiance. He’s a young man who can’t figure out exactly what he wants. He’s looking towards greener pastures. But personally, I’m sure he won’t quit. He’s a committed man. He wants to be the greatest player. He wants to take a team that hasn’t seen glory, has seen bad days. Make them win(Just much like his life style growing up). Very eccentric guy, anyone who reads on him knows this. He grew up in Compton, I know that’s hard for most Buck’s fan to understand. But to be the Rose that grew from the concrete most definitely has to be in his psyche. I wanted them to trade BJ, I thought he was being a baby. Read about the man, he’s never once committed towards leaving, he is just unsure. BJ could become a very CP3 type of PG, he has a ways to go, but he has a great coach to teach him how to do so.

  5. sillybilly says:

    Brandon will never be a CP3 type point guard. Ever. He’s just not even close to being that good. We already have an abundance of above average role-players. At this point all long-time Bucks fans are screaming together in unison: “Please do not commit any more significant contracts to players who are not top-tier!”
    Sure BJ3 is a great young man and a good story, but he’s not going to take the Bucks anywhere other than where they’ve been for the last 2 decades: the fringe of the playoffs. Beno Udrih could do as much if given a chance. John Hammond’s job is to make the team better, he won’t be swayed by sentiment when he decides whether or not to trade or re-sign players.

  6. Matt says:

    I’m only 21, and I became a Bucks fan sometime during Ray Allen’s time in Milwaukee. Being from Upstate NY, it’s a really weird fit, but I love this team, and the run to the playoffs with the “Fear the Deer” campaign and everything… that was one of my favorite basketball seasons in awhile.

    I was always a bit skeptical of Brandon Jennings because I feel like people overrated him a ton after the 55 point explosion he had in his rookie year, but I love what he brings to this team, and I really hope that we keep him around.

    When you watch him play, you see a guy that works his butt off along with having good physical skills as well. I just love his motor. Same reason I love Larry Sanders and LRMAM. I’ve even taken a liking to Ellis even though he’s shot the ball poorly this year.

    At the end of the day, the guys that I think are good fits for this team:
    Jennings
    Ellis
    LRMAM
    Sanders
    Henson
    Dunleavy
    Beno
    Doron Lamb

    Having said that, the one guy I think we should really consider moving would be Monta Ellis. Like someone else said, I would love to be able to move Ellis for something like Arron Afflalo and a 1st round pick or something (not sure we could get a team to go for that, but I’m high on Doron Lamb developing into a rotation player/potential starter, and I’d like to do something that gives us a chance at landing a top 3 pick in the 2014 draft so that we have a chance at Wiggins or Jabari Parker.