Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Monta Ellis misses 100 percent of the shots he doesn't take. He's also misses 60 percent of the shots he does take this season and 77 percent of his attempts from three-point range.
For a variety of reasons, the backcourt of Ellis and Brandon Jennings just isn't coming to fruition like the Milwaukee Bucks had hoped. Both guards are shooting 40 percent from the field.
And yet the team is still hovering above .500 and they're in line for the final playoff spot.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has unraveled the complicated landscape facing the Bucks ahead of the trade deadline.
Ellis is expected to decline his player option and test the tepid waters of free agency (per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe). Jennings will become a restricted free agent, but Milwaukee has proved unwilling to grant him a long-term, big-money contract in the past.
The Bucks also have several expiring contracts to work with, including Beno Udrih, Samuel Dalembert and Mike Dunleavy (per HoopsHype.com).
A host of options sit before Milwaukee GM John Hammond. His first step, according to Berger, is to move Monta Ellis, who has been tied in with the Josh Smith sweepstakes (per ESPN's Marc Stein).
A trade for Smith would also give the Bucks his Bird rights, so they could give him a five-year deal as opposed to the four-year offers he would get from every other team.
The next step would be to trade Jennings for a player with more long-term appeal to the Bucks. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has J.J Redick as a "major target" for them.
Berger also writes that "one valuable piece who could be added to the mix is Luc Mbah a Moute." One rumored deal packages him and a first-round pick for Redick. That way, the Bucks would get to keep Jennings and have right of first refusal over him as an RFA.
A backcourt of Redick and Jennings would be very potent when combined with Josh Smith at the four. It just might be tough to get all the dominoes to fall by Thursday afternoon's deadline.