NBA Trade Rumors: Milwaukee Bucks Would Be Wise to Shop Unhappy Stephen Jackson

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 8, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 27:  Stephen Jackson #5 of the Milwaukee Bucks moves against Ronnie Brewer #11 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 27, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Bucks 107-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Stephen Jackson is benched, almost 34 years old, unhappy and making almost $10 million per season. If that doesn't say "trade me," nothing does.

The Milwaukee Bucks swingman recently told that he was unsure of his role. I'd say that's accurate after you've played a grand total of nine minutes and 29 seconds in three games.

There hasn't been a specific incident to point to that caused the benching. Jackson was suspended for a game for verbally abusing an official.

If I could get a written definition, or better yet, a video demonstration of what that looks like, it would be priceless.

However it's defined, Jackson did it, and it cost him a game. But Jackson has been a notorious arguer with officials for years, it never got him suspended before, and it certainly didn't get him benched.

What gives?

I felt from the moment Jackson was shipped to Milwaukee that he and Scott Skiles were a match made in John Lackey's marriage.

It seemed that a problem between an outspoken player like Jackson and a no-nonsense coach like Skiles was bound to go sour.

The expiration date seems to be imminent. After all, Skiles is the same coach who once had a feud with point guard Jason Kidd while he coached in Phoenix.

Compound that with the fact that Jackson expressed displeasure about playing in Milwaukee from the beginning and it seems the expiration date on this pairing is imminent.

The Bucks have played decently in recent games. They have lost two in a row, but they had won three in a row before that, all without their best player, Andrew Bogut.

In Jackson's place the Bucks have gone with Shaun Livingston, who has averaged eight points and five rebounds, and Beno Udrih off the bench.

Their numbers exceed Jackson's 12 points and three rebounds per game, and the team plays the more balanced offensive style Skiles prefers.

With Bogut likely gone for the year, or somewhere close, this is a good time to remake a roster that is simply not good enough to win now.

The Bucks have to look to the future, and Jackson isn't likely part of that.

If they do trade him, Jackson could offer scoring, and solid defense to a contender. That team must have the youthful assets, or cap room to absorb his near $10 million contract that runs through next season.

No teams have expressed interest as of yet, primarily because he hasn't publicly asked for a trade, and the Bucks haven't shopped him.

If either of those things change, I expect the Bucks will receive some calls for Jackson.

If the Bucks are smart, they will initiate this movement. Jackson is still good enough to bring them back some youthful or draft assets.

Those may not amount to much, but they offer a better chance at improvement that Jackson does, benched and disgruntled.

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