Josh Smith, JJ Redick and all of the Bucks trade rumors

Rumors are flying fast and furious. Experts are confirming that the Milwaukee Bucks have been very active in trade discussions. Bloggers have been analyzing and proposing all kinds of trades and even Sheboygan citizens are coming up with sure-fire proposals to save the franchise.

But most of the discussion has been based around just two players that Milwaukee’s been linked to.

Note: Inserted thought may not accurately reflect Josh Smith’s thoughts. But, probably, right? (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) (Though bubble by Jeremy)

Josh Smith

The Atlanta Hawks forward is known for his athleticism, shaky decision making when it comes to shot-selection and his occasionally dominant defense. He’s a free agent at the end of this season and he’s said to be seeking a max deal, which has given many Bucks fans reason to pause when discussing the possibility of him coming to Milwaukee.

At least that’s one of the things that has Bucks fans worried about a deal for Josh Smith. Not only is he a free agent, but a few years ago he said Milwaukee was boring. Somehow, that’s been twisted by many into him having some sort of deep seeded hatred for the city. He doesn’t hate Milwaukee. He probably doesn’t really like Milwaukee, but to be honest, it’s 18 degrees out, snowy as hell and I’m not much of a fan right now either. But I live here and I work here, so I’ll continue to do so until I decide I want to do otherwise. I don’t have to love it here, I just have to go to work here.

Smith will likely react the same way if he’s traded to the Bucks. He’s not going to protest and sit out the rest of the season. Maybe he won’t be chomping at the bit to re-sign with the Bucks this off-season, but worse things can happen than not having a good but not great player sign a max deal with the team you like.

But if he doesn’t re-sign, aren’t the Bucks giving up too much to get him? No. We’re not talking about breaking up the ’96 Bulls here. The Bucks are built on expiring contracts and serviceable prospects. Even if Tobias Harris or Brandon Jennings are included (and recent rumors say the Hawks are actually interested in Monta Ellis), we’re not discussing the kinds of players that are irreplaceable or ready to blossom into superstars. Harris would be tough to swallow for a half year rental, but Smith would make the Bucks much more interesting than they are now.

JJ Redick

Surely it won’t take quite as much to get Redick as it would take to get Smith. Plus, if the Bucks weren’t capable of trading away Jennings or Ellis there’s the upside of Redick taking some of the playing time those two hoard like old shoes. The Magic are interested in dumping any bad contracts they have (Jameer Nelson, Al Harrington and possibly Arron Afflalo) and getting back young players, picks or expiring deals.

Milwaukee has some moderately attractive young players in Jennings, Harris and John Henson. How much they’d be willing to give up would probably be decided by how willing Redick was to re-signing. Unlike Smith, Redick can likely be had for a reasonable number and could play an obvious role on a very good team. Redick is not just about this season, though he’d be very helpful, and more about the next few.

 Other Names

While those two have led the way in discussions, with Milwaukee supposedly quite active in telling anyone and everyone that they are willing to move some players, some other obvious trade targets around the league have occasionally been linked to the Bucks, though more through speculation and logic:

  • Ben Gordon – The shooter from Charlotte looks like he’s doing his best to get himself booted from the team. His production has leveled off after a few years of decline and it’s pretty clear who he is at this point: A dangerous spot-up shooter. Milwaukee could use one of those. But the Bucks may not be so enthusiastic about paying $13.2 million for him next season. Of course, he’ll be an expiring contract and that’s always at least semi-attractive. If the Bucks could give up an expiring or two for Gordon and salary, he doesn’t seem like a terrible fit.
  • Eric Gordon – Yes, please. Still working his way back from a variety of knee ailments, it appears that the folks in New Orleans are all too eager to part ways with Gordon. Not unlike Bucks fans with either Ellis or Jennings. If the Bucks could part with one of their centerpieces and Gordon was willing to cooperate with the trade, Milwaukee could find a strong piece to start rebuilding around.

Categories: Trade Rumors

I watch the Milwaukee Bucks often and write about what I see…

59 Comments

  1. reading the Hornets its link its amazing how excited they are to trade Gordon virtually straight up for Jennings. That would be a no-brainer for us.

    • Gordon has a long and expensive contract and plays less games than Bogut per year. He is better than Jennings, but if you aren’t on the court does it matter?

      • I would even go farther and say right now he’s not better than Jennings. His injuries have hurt his stat line. Which one has more potential at this point? Well, that’s a good question….

  2. Smith will not play in milwaukee.. he has said “Milwaukee is the boringest place ever” during the milwaukee atlanta playoff games.
    So scratch that out.
    Eric Gordon? No.. He has knee issues which is an idiots idea if they take a chance on him. 60-70% of his games will be in cold weather areas. Granted the games placed in a heated arena, but one thing I can promise is the cold will not mix will with his knee issues.

    • Didn’t you read what Jeremy just wrote? Just because the guy says it’s boring here, doesn’t mean he’s going to protest playing here if he’s traded.

      • You cannot build a team around guys that don’t want to be here…. period. Just like you can’t run a successful, dynamic business with employees who only go through the motions and would rather be anywhere other than at work. I don’t see any good reason to bring Smith to Milwaukee…unless the goal is to toss this season out the window and free up cash to be a active participant in the free agent market during the offseason. But with Jennings and Ellis at the end of their deals, they can do that without making a trade, so I don’t see what advantage this deal would give them. The goal of any trade should be to bring the team closer to Hammond’s long range vision on how to turn this team into a perennial playoff participant (which he has yet to define, unfortunately). Don’t just make trades out of boredom… do so with a purpose, or don’t do them at all.

        • I feel like you’re missing the point I’m trying to poke you with, to borrow a phrase from Andre 3000.

          I’m certainly not proposing the Bucks “build around” Josh Smith. I’m merely saying that he’s a far better player than either Ellis or Jennings and he would make much more of an impact on this team in a positive way than either of them for the rest of this season. But Smith, Jennings and Ellis are all incredibly flawed and none of them will likely be worth the money they’ll get this off-season. So ditch all three, but work with the best two the rest of this season and see what happens.

          That is my purpose. Maximize this season and start over after it.

          • Sure… point taken. But there’s some question marks there… IS Smith really going to have more positive impact on this team, especially if he’s complaining from day 1 about not wanting to be here (Stephen Jackson flashbacks…)? Would this simply be swapping mid-level scorers to see if a change of scenery lights a fire under any of them? And… Is it worth all the trouble and heartache if non of these 3 are part of the long term answer? I’m not really a fan of making deals just for the sake of making deals… considering our investment in both Jennings (1st rnd draft pick) and Ellis (giving up our #1 draft pick), a deal involving either one of them this season needs to have definite purpose in moving this team forward.

          • I dont think Stephen Jackson and Josh Smith are comparable as far as personality or ability. I think Smith is a big upgrade from Ellis or Jennings but whats the point really? To get fans excited for a short playoff appearance?

            I think it would be better for us to send Ellis and/or Jennings out for some young players or picks that could be with this team in the future even if it means taking on a player or two that we don’t necessarily want to balance the salaries out. If Hammond pulls the trigger on Josh Smith he has to at least be considering making him a competetive offer at seasons end, otherwise there is no real strategy there.

        • If they can get Smith for Ellis they have to jump on it. It’s win-win:
          1. It protects them from the possibility of Ellis opting in next year.
          2. If Smith really hates MKE, then we don’t have to worry about them giving him a max deal.

    • Brandon Jennings is a restricted FA. Anything a team offers will be matched by the bucks. We won’t lose him unless he verbally wants out. Monta is a wildcard and thats why he is more likeable for tradebait.

      • The Bucks probably will not match an offer if it means overpaying Jennings, and it seems likely that some team out there will be willing to overpay him.

  3. Any draft pick that Milwaukee has to give up is an automatic DEALBREAKER for whether its for Josh Smith as a hired gun or JJ Reddick. Let’s face it folks, Brandon will not back with us next year (barring us doing something completely stupid like giving him 80+ million)…that first round pick HAS TO BE A POINT GUARD. May I suggust TREY BURKE or heaven-grant-us if Michael Carter-Williams could somehow fall to us…

    To respond to Charles_Buckets up top…I agree, if Brandon truly, truly, TRULY has no intent on re-signing regardless of the amount of $$ (just saying if he wants out of Milwaukee that bad) then Eric Gordon for Brandon + maybe Tobias is a no-brainer. Kohl and Hammond would have to sit down with Brandon though to figure out the intentions though first…

    • Well, I wouldn’t count on Jennings being gone yet. From twitter, ‏@WojYahooNBA
      “For all the leverage Brandon Jennings sought changing agents, reality is unchanged: No one will max him out, Bucks will match sheet in July.”

      Usually Woj is pretty well informed on NBA happenings. It sounds like the Bucks tried to shop him around a bit and there was really no market.

  4. Jennings doesn’t make enough money to be traded for Eric Gordon outright Bucks need to either come up with about 8 million in additional salary or use a trade exception bro

  5. I am full support of Josh Smith. If we could retain him long term. We would actually have a pretty damn good core with Sanders, Illyasova, Josh Smith. And some good supporting players. And we draft a couple gaurds, and we are set.

    Getting gaurd players is not has hard is getting 3,4,5. Which we would have.

    Pay Josh Smith, thats what I say!

  6. How quick we are to turn. All of a few weeks ago we were upset BJ wasn’t selected for the all-star game and now we want to trade him. You may be upset but he’s still better than both the Gordons. All they do is shoot. Redick would be a good get for the Bucks. I’d even take Harrington too. I like Smith but he won’t re-sign and we’d have to give up a lot just for a rental

      • Really? Maybe we just haven’t seen him fully healthy but when he’s been healthy this year it’s nothing to hang a career on. When comparing him to BJ, BJ’s got more points, assists, rebounds, 3s; Gordon’s a better shooter and that’s about it. And like you even say he can’t stay healthy.

  7. Lots of legitimate angles to view above… not quite sure whats the best option. A Smith rental seems short-sighted;hate to give talent away
    for short term improvement ( how much improvement?). I know what my dream is: Smith is somehow,someway, encouraged to stick with us for at least 1 more season ( Iknow its a L O N G S H O T)….!
    Put a legitimate team on the floor- others will consider coming to Milwaukee if WINNING is possible. Sanders,Smith,Ilyasova strong frontcourt. Guards…yeah a problem, but NOT unsolvable.

    Think positive BUCKS fans

  8. If we can get a guarantee of Smith staying you do it. I think Ellis and Harris would work. You give up a young guy but if Ers is there he won’t be playing anyway. Then you turn around and send Gooden/Daniels/pick for a SG and you have a good defensive team for a while with Luc Richard, Smith, Sanders, Dalembert, Henson. If it doesn’t work then I would do my best to get Redick w/o giving up one of the core young guys

  9. The only player we should be discussing is aquiring JJ for Ellis. That would better our match our present offensive production and elliminate one contract issue. Yet, we may loose some defensive options, because Ellis is a better defender. It is my opinion that we should take our chances with our present team make up and let it play out. Given time this team is going to become progressivley better as Sanders does. Why we always have to keep re building and not learning to work together. That takes time and I am willing to wait. Henson, Tobias, Sanders, Jennings and the rest of our veteran cast.

    • Ellis is not a better defender. Ellis forces more turnovers but I’d give the slight edge to Redick as far as defense.

    • Jennings has had 4 years of the same results and he wants too much money to be re-signed when his contract is up at the end of the season. Hence the trade talk hombre.

  10. I believe that a Monta Ellis + unprotected 1st rounder for Josh Smith immediately puts the Bucks in discussion for a potential first round upset (over anyone not named the Miami Heat).

    Pg: Jennings
    Sg: Beno Udrih or Mike Dunleavy (Reddick if the trade occurs)
    Sf: Josh Smith
    Pf: Ersan Ilyasova
    C: Larry Sanders

    Bench: M’bah a Moute, Dunleavy, Dalembert with Udoh/Hensen/Harris receiving back-end minutes.

    This could be a scary match-up for a lot of teams. Not only does this make the Bucks one of the deepest teams in the East, but it puts Josh Smith back at his natural position. Beno Udrih at the 2 can be said to be a risk, but Ellis is much thinner and has played there all season. Dunleavy could also slide into that spot, as he is undoubtedly our best shooter. Lastly, if the M’bah a Moute is indeed traded to the Magic for JJ Reddick, he would then slide into the 2 spot and give us a quality back up guard in Udrih.

    Thoughts?

      • It truthfully is his natural position. Could be a match-up nightmare for teams like the Nets, Knicks, Bulls, Pacers. Conversely, Smith on LeBron would be a huge issue.

        • Small Forward is not his natural spot believe me. Josh Smith might think it is, but offensively he is a big time liability to have operating primarily outside of the paint..His best offensive year was 09-10 where he only took 3 shots per game from beyond 16 feet including amazing self control for him from 3 point land where he only shot 7 on the entire season. He shot 51% from the field, had 4.2 Offensive win shares and his offensive rating was 109.

          This year he is averaging 6.3 attempts per game from outside 16 feet and is converting those shots at a 30% rate. He has an offensive rating of 96 and he currently has -0.3 offensive win shares right now.

          If you are speaking strictly to what he does on the defensive end sure he can play the 3, but in a world where Josh Smith potentially plays basketball for the Milwaukee Bucks they do not want him lined up as the starting small forward

    • Are you really willing to give up an unprotected first round pick for the potential of a first round upset?

      I’m not.

      • The fact of the matter is with Smith we would more than likely finish no lower than the 8th seed. Therefore the pick would most definitely be out of the lottery, and likely lead to a future role player. Obviously no one can predict the future, so I completely understand why you would want to play devils advocate.

        • I can’t help but wonder if you know what devil’s advocate means…

          I have no interest in watching the Bucks trade draft picks for rentals that don’t give them a shot at the NBA championship. Josh Smith does not make this a championship caliber team. If we were talking about a sign-and-trade and Smith would stick around for a few more years beyond this season, then yeah, I’d be okay with it, but that’s not going to happen. I’d rather see the Bucks have a chance at having a championship caliber team three years down the road than possibly make it to the second round of the playoffs this season. That first round pick may only turn into a future role player, but role players are important and at least it’s something we’ll have in the future, and who knows, it could turn into an all-star caliber player.

          • I cannot believe you genuinely feel that Milwaukee has a remote chance of making the NBA Finals within three years. In our market we simply cannot compete with the Heat, Knicks, Lakers, Clippers and even the Nets now. As a naturally impatient individual that happens to be a fan of a team that has not won a playoff series since 2000-2001 I am sick of this constant mediocrity. Sure we lose Smith after the season, but Ellis is gone regardless and how many of our last 10 draft picks have really panned out(Not including Bogut obviously). Collier, Haislip, TJ Ford, Yi Jianlian, Joe Alexander, BJ3, Sanders, Jimmer (traded) & Hensen. Recently I must say Hammond has done a much finer job but his past has surely be documented. Not to mention this years draft class appears to be mediocre at best!

          • And I cannot believe you would genuinely be happy about trading draft picks for rentals simply on the hope that maybe we will win a playoff series. You say you’re sick of the constant mediocrity, but you want the Bucks to do everything they can to ensure it continues? That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

            It’s not the giving up Ellis I object to, I understand that he is gone at the end of the year so trading him for a rental is fine. It’s the draft pick I object to. Yes, this draft class doesn’t appear to be good, but trading Ellis and a pick for Smith does nothing more than move our ceiling this year from hopefully not getting swept in the first round to possibly, but probably not winning the series. I seriously cannot believe that is acceptable to you or anyone else.

            Just because previous draft picks have not panned out does not mean future ones can’t.

            And yes, I genuinely feel Milwaukee has a chance of making the NBA finals down the road, maybe not three years, but if built properly, 3-5 years is possible. Yes our market puts us at a disadvantage, but the Brewers have been able to put a competitive team on the field, the Packers have as well. They’ve done it, not by attracting free agents, but by building through the draft, and that’s exactly how the Bucks will have to do it as well.

  11. I’m really glad you made the point that potentially not liking the city of Milwaukee isn’t going to matter for a potential Josh Smith trade. There’s also a difference between the city and the team itself. You can easily like being on a team but not like the city it’s located in. I’m sure Oklahoma City doesn’t have the appeal of Los Angeles or New York (I’ve never been to OKC so I’m assuming), but that obviously doesn’t stop them from bringing in talent and being a legitimate contender. I’m just glad you noted that people look into players’ opinions of cities way too much. The worst I think I’ve seen was Joakim Noah’s opinion of Cleveland (which I found funny, being from Pittsburgh).

    • Money is and always will be the most important factor, and with the new CBA even the Bucks should theoretically be able to lure a big-name player in if they spend judiciously in the mean-time.

      • Which is why your comment above regarding Eric Gordon has me confused:
        “Jennings has had 4 years of the same results and he wants too much money to be re-signed when his contract is up at the end of the season. Hence the trade talk hombre.”

        You want to trade Jennings for Eric Gordon because Jennings might get too much money, while an oft injured Gordon has a contract for 2013 $14,300 2014, $14,900 2015 $15,500?

      • or maybe I should have used this defense of Jennings for Gordon:

        “Eric Gordon is inarguably better than Brandon Jennings IF he can stay healthy.”

        I understand your frustration with Jennings lack of improvement this year, but I don’t think a trade for Gordon is what you really want…????

        …or maybe the wounds of Redd and Bogut are still to fresh in my memory.

  12. I only ask(on a page that no Bucks exec. reads) to look for a better deal than Josh Smith.. check with Portland about Aldridge or Utah about Jefferson

    The Atlanta Hawks haven’t been blown away by any of the offers that they have received for Josh Smith. Most offers have been underwhelming.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 19, 2013

    While a Smith/Monta trade does make the Bucks better he is a rental and not having the greatest season of his career.. I mean he’s only shooting 50% from the FT line this year.. Every team knows this and that’s why they’re weary.. so I plead for the Bucks to look for a better deal

  13. If we’re talking about renting Josh Smith for the rest of the season, we better not be giving anything up. Trading any picks or Harris for him would only make it more difficult to rebuild after the season.

    Let’s be honest. Right now our ceiling is hopefully not getting swept in the first round. Josh Smith doesn’t suddenly turn us into a championship contender this season, and that’s the only way you can possibly justify trading any young players or picks for a rental.

    Harris may not be ready to blossom into a superstar, but if used properly, he has a lot of potential. He’s only 20 years old.

    I swear, if the Bucks do something like trade Harris and a first round pick for Smith, I’m done being a Bucks fan.

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  15. Why are we not looking to sell? We have good pieces that won’t be back next year so why not trade for a pick, prospect or another proven player who will be here for at least next season. Like maybe Eric Bledsoe.? Of even JJ Reddick..maybe. We have potential, a lot of potential.