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Ellis is rumored to be the main chip in a potential trade for Josh Smith.
The Milwaukee Bucks may be one of the most active teams this trade deadline, but John Hammond's reluctance to make his best trade chips available has mitigated any chance the Bucks had of improving the team.
Hammond declared Brandon Jennings, Larry Sanders and John Henson as "virtually untouchable," according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
All three are promising young players with a lot of potential, but Hammond apparently has forgotten that to acquire the pieces needed to improve his 26-27 Bucks, he will have to give up something of value.
The Bucks refused to include their first-round pick in a potential deal to acquire J.J. Redick, according to Lance Allan of NBC Milwaukee.
They've been rumored to be shopping Monta Ellis (who has an expiring contract), and if Ellis is dealt, they may increase their bidding for Redick. Ellis has been mentioned as the major trade chip in acquiring the Hawks' Josh Smith, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports' Twitter account.
Acquiring Smith would make sense for the Bucks, but only if they felt the talented combo forward would keep his talents in Brew Town.
Smith would give the Bucks the kind of power forward needed to contain the likes of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, and if the Bucks are to ever seriously contend, that goal must be heavily considered.
The Bucks are not a true contender yet—make no mistake. They are a very good fringe playoff team with a real future. However, acquiring the players they need to take the next step will be a difficult task without Hammond making his best players available.