NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers and 5 Teams That Should Target Brandon Jennings
This is not a good sign for Bucks fans.
The Bucks have a decent core group of Jennings, Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson, but the problem is if Jennings leaves on his own, the team is only receiving cap relief from his rookie deal.
Trading Jennings would certainly shake up a team that currently holds the eighth seed in the East, but letting him walk without getting anything in return would be devastating.
Los Angeles Lakers
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
The lackluster play at point guard this season has to be a concern for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jennings, although only 22 years old, has proved he can be a scorer in the NBA, and he could provide much-needed scoring for a team that is just 20th in points per game this season.
The question is, do the Lakers want a pure scorer next to Kobe Bryant, and can they afford Jennings' first big contract?
Putting up 16.5 shots per game, Jennings would have to transition from being the No. 1 scorer to being the second or third option. But, if he truly likes the idea of playing in the big market near where he grew up, he should be able to adjust.
Acquiring Jennings could be difficult to pull off because of his current rookie deal, worth around $2.5 million, and extending him could be even more difficult because of the Lakers' current payroll.
If the Lakers have any interest in trading away Pau Gasol, they could take back two or three additional expiring contracts and make room for Jennings long-term, although it's debatable whether or not Jennings warrants a player of Gasol's caliber at this point.
If the team is determined to retain Gasol, they still have the power to amnesty any contract of their choosing before having to re-sign Jennings.
Portland Trail Blazers
Photo Credit: msn.foxsports.com
Raymond Felton was supposed to be the long-term answer in Portland, after the Blazers acquired him from the Denver Nuggets for Andre Miller, but his transition has been a rough one. He has put up worse numbers this season as a starter than Miller has in Denver as a backup.
The Trail Blazers have their undisputed star in LaMarcus Aldridge, who has been chosen as a reserve for this year's All-Star game. Finding a consistent second option, however, has been a challenge, and Jennings could step right in and be that player.
A deal for Jennings would possibly force the Blazers to part ways with fan favorites such as Wallace or Nicolas Batum.
New York Knicks
Rob Carr/Getty Images
If you don't, however, and you believe Lin's 15 minutes of fame will quickly expire, Jennings and Madison Square Garden could be a great fit.
The Knicks have some good young pieces they could throw toward Milwaukee if they are willing to sacrifice some depth.
Toney Douglas, Landry Fields and Iman Shumpert should all at least intrigue the Bucks, and could potentially be well worth the price for a Knicks team that, despite averaging the third-most possessions per game in the NBA, ranks only 14th in scoring.
We saw the Knicks trade away depth for Carmelo Anthony last season, but establishing a "big four" could make an 11-15 Knicks team relevant again in the Eastern Conference.
Don't forget that the Knicks also have Baron Davis looming on the bench, preparing to make a comeback. If you think he has anything left in the tank at all, he could be a serviceable backup to a very good scoring point guard.
New Orleans Hornets
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
After sending away Chris Paul this offseason, the New Orleans Hornets have found themselves at 4-22 this season. In the basement of the West, the Hornets are six games behind the next-best team in the conference, the Sacramento Kings.
The team had to get rid of Paul in a similar scenario that the Bucks suddenly find themselves in with Brandon Jennings.
The centerpiece of the Paul trade a few months back was Eric Gordon, who has now missed all but two games of the shortened NBA season.
Despite Gordon being a very good young player, New Orleans has lost the flash that they once had with Paul leading the team.
Jarrett Jack has played well this season, averaging 15.2 points and 6.7 assists per game, and if the Hornets are willing to sell high, the Milwaukee Bucks could show some interest in the 28-year-old point guard.
If they're not, however, a plethora of talented young perimeter players could entice a team that is now driven by the fear of losing its star player for nothing. This would allow the Hornets to bring Jack off the bench, a role he's been in and out of throughout his career.
If the Hornets believe they can convince Jennings to stay in New Orleans, the Bucks might be able to swing a draft pick their way as well—a strategy that worked well for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Devin Harris has proven throughout spurts of his NBA career that he can be a very good point guard.
This is not one of those years.
Averaging only nine points, 4.4 assists and shooting less than 70 percent from the foul line, Harris has underperformed this season, and he has once again been placed on the trade block by the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz would surely welcome Brandon Jennings to Salt Lake City with open arms, but what's in it for the Milwaukee Bucks?
Although it would be a risk to bring along a player who's struggled this season, Harris' contract expires at the same time as Stephen Jackson's, Beno Udrih's and Shaun Livingston's, giving the team room to rebuild if necessary.
The Jazz, however, probably have the bigger risk here because if Jennings really does have bigger markets in mind, Utah just might find itself dealing with a Deron WIlliams situation all over again.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
With the Steve Nash era coming to an end in the near future, what better way for the Suns to begin the rebuilding process than with Brandon Jennings?
The team is 19th in scoring this season. Combine that with being 21st in points per game and the team finds itself 11-15 this season.
Jennings, although not known as a great distributor, would hit the ground running in Phoenix with not only his incredible scoring ability, but also his 1.6 steals per game.
Although there would be virtually no chance of re-signing Nash once the season finished, the Bucks would clear enough cap space to help begin a rebuilding process of their own next season.
With the possibility that Stephen Jackson may want out of Milwaukee, too, swinging the two guards for Nash could benefit both organizations for the future.