December 15th has passed and with it came the eligibility for free agents signed over the summer to be traded. Naturally, this opens up plenty of conversations on whether anyone on any team is going to be traded. Some teams won’t trade anyone; others might make a lot of big trades.
The Milwaukee bucks have quite a few rumors floating around about them, ranging from trades to dissatisfaction. These rumors should be taken with a grain of salt just like any others, but they do make some sense.
The biggest buzz right now has to do with the Bucks’ backcourt, specifically Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. It has been argued since the trade that brought Ellis from the Golden State Warriors last year that this wouldn’t work out. In many situations, those critics are correct; however, every once in a while, the two show signs of tremendous synergy.
According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Milwaukee Bucks have told Brandon Jennings that they will match any offer that the young guard gets in restricted free agency. If that’s the case—and Spears tends to have credible sources—then it would appear Jennings isn’t up for trade.
But what about Monta Ellis?
According to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld, there’s interest in both Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings. However, should Jennings have any offer matched by the Bucks, that would leave Ellis as the likely candidate to leave. Since Ellis can opt out of his contract and hit unrestricted free agency, he might be one that gets traded.
Will The Bucks Make Trades?
That being said, the Bucks are in “Playoffs or Bust” mode. They’re currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference at 14-12. So long as they don’t implode before the trade deadline, it’s hard to imagine either being traded since they’re well on their way to the playoffs. But if February rolls around and the Bucks are playing awful basketball, a trade is possible.
Ersan Ilyasova, though, does have a potential suitor. According to Gary Woelful, the Bucks beat writer, the Brooklyn Nets are very interested in acquiring Ilyasova, who has been having a putrid season thus far. (http://podcast.sportsradio1250.com/wssp2/3780640.mp3) But making that trade happen would prove very difficult.
It’s a simple question: Who do the Nets give away?
MarShon Brooks? Tyshawn Taylor? There simply isn’t enough money in those two players to make a trade economically feasible. While the Nets might really want Ilyasova, a trade just doesn’t seem likely. In the end, though, he can’t be traded until January 15th and the Nets could figure something out.
The final rumor going around is that the big men in Milwaukee are not pleased. In particular, Samuel Dalembert, the 31-year-old center, doesn’t like how he’s being used, playing about 16 minutes a game. The big man is chipping in six points, four rebounds and two blocks in that time, but it’s not how he feels he should be utilized.
In a post-game interview posted by HoopsWorld, Dalembert says, “It is not working. It’s not quite, I thought my role would have been a little bit more. But, like I said it’s coaching and everybody is doing their best.”
If it’s not working then it’s not working, and it might be time to consider some moves. That being said, the standings suggest that it is working and therefore no trades are likely unless the team implodes.
There is one other possibility that Ric Bucher suggested on Sulia. He said that JJ Reddick of the Orlando Magic could be traded and one team that he would fit well with is the Milwaukee Bucks. While he has heard no discussion of this, Reddick does fit the system and if he continues to struggle, it’s not improbable that he be moved before February—perhaps to the Bucks.
The Milwaukee Bucks are full of rumors. In the end, though, they’re all just rumors. The Bucks are currently in sixth place. They have a mentality that they need to get to the playoffs. If they don’t, obviously moves will be made. But for right now, they’re well on their way to a post-season appearance.