Not long ago we got the feeling that the Milwaukee Bucks desired to keep together the Monta Ellis/J.J. Redick backcourt. Then we heard from John Hammond himself that the team would look to work out a long term contract with Brandon Jennings. Furthermore, Hammond said Milwaukee would match any offer its point guard over the past four years received.
Perhaps it was motivated by having the ball so publicly lobbed into his court, but Jennings then spent the weekend good vibes back towards the Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee fans in general. First allowing word to get out to ESPN via e-mail that he was amenable to a return in Milwaukee (also he wants to be The Man), then with a tweet, later deleted, about having unfinished business in Milwaukee.
Well, reports charting the early hours of free agency paint quite a different picture of your Milwaukee Bucks:
One source told ESPN.com that the Bucks were now leaning toward not even making an offer to Redick … even after surrendering the promising Tobias Harris to Orlando to get him.
Then came word, via another source, that the Bucks are in the process of launching a hard run in free agency at Hawks restricted free agent point guard Jeff Teague at the behest of new coach Larry Drew, who just had Teague in Atlanta.
As for Ellis? “Looks like they’re going to let him walk,” said the first source.
To be fair, the Bucks have been connected to virtually every free agent wing and guard since midnight on July 1, the moment at which teams could officially start to contact free agents, so that has to be recognized any time these reports come out over the next few days. But it’s definitely interesting if the Bucks are indeed targeting Teague.
Many were disappointed when Hammond so vigorously verbally committed to Brandon Jennings last Friday after introducing new Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nate Wolters. But there was some head scratching and pondering about whether or not Hammond was being sincere or was just attempting to create some leverage for a sign and trade or something along those lines.
Maybe the Bucks are still in love with Jennings. Maybe the Bucks like him, but only desire a friendship at this point and not a long term commitment. We’ll only know what their true feelings are when things shake out over the next 10 days and there’s only time for action, not speculating and talking. Teague is an interesting player, one who didn’t make a big splash in his rookie season, but did get better each season as he was given more opportunity.
As far as Redick and Ellis go, many Bucks fans won’t be too disappointed with their departures, especially if Redick is able to command more than five or six million annually. Of course, his departure will lead to potentially dangerous winds over Southeastern Wisconsin, as fans are sure to do some serious haarumphing over officially losing Tobias Harris for a bit of Redick and a bunch of Ish Smith and Gustavo Ayon.
Other Bucks free agent buzz:
– Redick’s departure could be via sign and trade.
– The Knicks are interested in Ellis, along with the Spurs, Bulls and Suns.
– Mike Dunleavy Jr. will reportedly meet with the Minnesota Timberwolves, as will Redick.