Early free agency indications: Bucks are moving on without J.J. Redick and Monta Ellis, moving in with Brandon Jennings

Could Teague blow past Jennings into Milwaukee's starting lineup? (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Could Teague blow past Jennings into Milwaukee’s starting lineup? (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

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.

– Milwaukee is interested in Chase Budinger. Kevin Martin too.

Categories: The Off Season

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  1. If they sign Teague, would Jennings play the 2? They wouldn’t try this again with even smaller players, would they?

  2. Let Jennings go … he’s not “the man.” His concern with being “the man” is disturbing.

    Teague in Milwaukee would be super. Let Jennings go. He will only stay one more year, anyway. We don’t need a lame duck guard around who thinks he’s better than he is.

    • Jennings use of slang to say he wants to be a starting PG should not be disturbing.

      Nobody in the NBA would have a team if they got rid of every player that said they wanted to be a starter.

  3. Yep … letting Ellis and JJ go is fine with me. JJ’s time with the Bucks was disappointing imho – and the Jennings/Ellis experiment was awkward at best. With Jennings, however, they have an average / not top 10 – PG … so, not too excited.

    Any possibility for Josh Smith or similar to come to MKE? I’d like to get excited about the team …

  4. I like the last two possibilities mentioned. Both Martin and Budinger would be pretty good fits, especially Martin. While Teague is good, I don’t know if I’d say he’s that much better than Jennings to worth targeting. Reddick wasn’t great but I don’t think he got enough of a chance with Ellis and Jennings in front of him. But a good SG is needed and probably another SG/SF backup with Dunleavy, Reddick, Ellis probably gone and I wouldn’t trust Ish or Daniels as long-term starters

  5. Realization. The closest comp of Antetokounmpo is Durant (obviously). Durant was stolen from Seattle. The NBA absolutely wants a team back in Seattle and everyone thought it was going to be Sacramento. Did we just draft a guarantee that the Bucks and the next (possible) Durant are heading west the next time stadium negotiations break down?

  6. I’ve commented before that personally for me, the order of who I wanted to keep vs. how likely they were to stay was exact opposite. I wanted to keep Ellis, maybe Redick and not Jennings. Now it appears that Jennings is going to stay, but probably not Redick and most likely not Ellis. I’ve sort of changed my thoughts, I guess I’d still like to keep Redick but not the other two, especially if they were together.

    Side question: Was it last year or the year before that there was the lockout? Seemed like we heard a different story everyday about what Jennings was up to, balling at this playground or that. Haven’t heard much on him at all, or anyone else for that matter. It was two years ago wasn’t it? Anyways, anyone got tabs on any of the Bucks’ offseason goings ons?

  7. Just read Dunleavy signed on with the Bulls. Im actually glad for him to sign on with a contender even if it is a division rival. Good luck Dunleavy! Thanks for the memories!

    • Was hoping he would sign with Milwaukee again and I’m going to miss MD.

      Don’t blame him for pursuing a playoff run, but it’s going to be hard to cheer for him while he’s wearing a Bulls Jersey. Nothing personal, Mike.

  8. Bucks should do the smart thing and play for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Bobcats would trade him, and asking price would probably Ersan for MKG I say do it, but they won’t because its a tanking strategy. MKG could be an easy bull/bodyguard at the 2/3 when Jennings and or Teague is on the court. People don’t understand a two small guard system requires a freak athlete that can honestly play 2 3 or 4… like Shawn Marion or Harrison Barnes. Yes you won’t seem that at the 2, almost ever, but high energy physical swingmen that can set effect quick screens on 1’s and 2’s and then roll under the basket are ten times better than putting another floor spacing 3 out there like Dunleavy.

  9. happyfeethustle

    UGH… Soooo bummered to lose Dunleavy. Granted , he’s not a franchise
    player-but I did like his attitude and respect for the game. Good B-ball IQ too. See ya Mike and Thank You

    Jennings…Jennings…Jennings- Ive had & heard enough about him. Too demand to be “the man” you need credentials-his resume is not impressive
    at all. Decent…yes Above average…NOPE. Bucks MUST find an alternative path to travel now-the ride with Brandon is over. His heart
    isnt really in it for the TEAM or the CITY. Spite cannot be your only motivating factor- Hope to see him leave Milwaukee-trust me, we CAN and we WILL survive w/out B.J.


  10. The Bucks NEED to be terrible this year. They will be stuck in mediocre land until they bottom out. Keep Jennings, he is an above average PG and only 23. Sign OJ Mayo to a reasonable contract (7 mil a year).
    A starting 5 of
    And Henson and Udoh coming off the bench, among others.

    That is an exciting team but not a good team. Top 5 pick next year, supposedly loaded draft. Win!