Oh the wishes and dreams of many have never seemed so within reach.
According to Chad Ford, the Milwaukee Bucks are among those most active trade seekers in the NBA.
Sure, anyone COULD be traded. We’ve pretty much seen it all in Milwaukee. But it takes two teams to complete a trade. The team that wants to rid itself of a player and the team that
wants to acquire is willing to accept that player. So that leaves us asking ourselves this:
Which Bucks players are other teams most likely to be willing to accept?
Dalembert’s availability should come as no surprise. Milwaukee’s semi-prized off season acquisition has done little more than collect dust on the bench as a Buck and a contract that expires at season’s end. He’s been useful when he’s played recently though, so it’s possible the market has expanded beyond “nothing” for him of late. Yesterday’s crazy 35-point 12-rebound game in just 27 minutes certainly couldn’t have hurt. He’s a serviceable center with a reputation as a shot-blocker and rebounder if nothing else. The expiring contract combined with that seems to have him in the lead for Buck Most Likely To Be Dealt.
How Likely Is It He’ll Be Traded?: Most Likely
Ellis is having the worst season of his career and the oldest season of his career. Of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation. But it could mean caution. Ellis can opt out at the end of the season and most indications are that he will. The best and worst thing about Ellis is that he seems to think he’s a superstar, despite a lack of any reputable data that would back that claim. That’s what leads me to believe he’ll opt out and look for a richer, longer deal. He’s due $11 million next season. Think of this as the Richard Jefferson Situation all over again. He was the craziest guy, until he was the smartest guy. That could be Ellis this summer.
If Ellis were willing to take a smaller role on a better team, I get the feeling someone might court him in the way teams courted Lou Williams. But Ellis seems very reluctant to take that role, even on a great team. It’s easy to get the sense he thinks he could start and be a 35 minute guy on any team in the league. But who’s paying Lou Williams $11 million a year? Not the Hawks. They’re paying him between five and five and a half million annually for the next three.
Last year the market for Ellis was an injured player and a guy who was traded again moments after he arrived to his new team. I’m not sure it’s going to be much better right now and the Bucks want to make the playoffs. It seems unlikely they’ll get a playoff caliber player back for him.
How Likely Is It He’ll Be Traded?: Second Least Likely
I was surprised to see his name listed above. Milwaukee is painfully thin at both guard spots and Udrih has been a valuable backup one and two. I see him most likely to leave in a larger scenario not a one for one sort of trade or anything. His $7.3 million contract is expiring, which always makes a player a bit more coveted, but if Milwaukee is serious about the playoffs, Udrih probably helps get them there.
Ultimately, he’s not really apart of the Bucks future and they have two guards that like to play 40 minutes nightly in front of him. So he’s pretty expendable when you look at the big picture.
How Likely Is It He’ll Be Traded?: Second Most Likely
He’s enjoyed quite a renaissance since A. He started finding his shot again in December and B. Scott Skiles departed. But Ilyasova is owed nearly $33 million after this season and his contract runs through 2016 at least. He’s pretty good, probably a better fit for a team that’s a little bit closer to contending, but most teams that are really good don’t seem to want to commit that sort of money to a player who’s only pretty good and has such bouts of difficulty with his own confidence.
How Likely Is It He’ll Be Traded?: Third Least Likely
I don’t really see him getting traded. But he’s probably the easiest player to move on the team outside of Dalembert. He’s young, he’ll be a restricted free agent and he’s generally improved every year. He’s full of flaws, but he’s got his talents too. The biggest issue with Jennings will be establishing his worth. He’s probably a third banana type of guy, with a second banana type shot-selection. And I mean second banana if that second banana is Russell Westbrook. But he’s so little and it seems unlikely that he’ll suddenly start finishing at the rim with great regularity. But they might have said that about Steve Nash at some point.
It’s just so easy to go back and forth on Jennings. I suppose that’s what makes him such a divisive player in Milwaukee and what ultimately defines him as a level or two below true stars. It’s so hard to see him blossoming into some kind of star though. He’s never really been more than an average passer and streaky shooter. His shot-selection is positively average and he simply isn’t a good finisher. Is that guy with more than $40 million?
Maybe. It’s a tough decision someone is going to have to make at some point, whether it’s the Bucks or another team.
But I think the Bucks are the ones who probably end up deciding.
How Likely Is It He’ll Be Traded?: Least Likely