Found February 20, 2013 on
Fox Sports Wisconsin:
The closer the calendar gets to Thursday's NBA trade deadline, the more rumors get thrown against the wall, with only a fraction of them actually sticking.
Everything heard this time of year must be taken with heavy skepticism, but those plugged in around the league can usually pinpoint the teams making the most phone calls. This year, three teams have been listed by many as appearing to be the most active, one of them being the Milwaukee Bucks.
Mix in all of the tradable parts the Bucks have on their roster and the history of general manager John Hammond he's made deadline deals in three of his four years in Milwaukee and the odds the Bucks make some sort of late move are pretty good.
The decisions Hammond makes before the 2 p.m. Central deadline Thursday could change the face and direction of the franchise. Because of their contract situations, guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis have found their names swirling in rumors for the past couple of weeks, and that chatter is only going to heat up in the coming hours.
The Bucks are more likely to deal Ellis because his future is not controlled by the team. This offseason, he can opt out of the final year of his contract that would pay him 11 million and become an unrestricted free agent.
Jennings will be a restricted free agent, which means the Bucks could match an offer sheet he signs with another team. A report surfaced last week saying Jennings wanted out of Milwaukee after an agent switch and had "irreconcilable differences" with the organization. Jennings quickly dispelled those rumors and said those words never came out of his mouth.
"Brandon and I talk all the time," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "I talk to a lot of people around the league, a lot of people around Brandon and I don't get that feeling from him, I don't get that feeling from his people.
"I saw that quote. It's just a source, whoever it is. That doesn't carry much weight with me. I just know my conversations with Brandon. He's here. He's a Milwaukee Buck."
The Bucks have been linked to available Atlanta forward Josh Smith but would likely have to give up Ellis to get him. If such deal is on the table, Hammond is faced with an interesting decision because both Smith and Ellis can be unrestricted free agents after the season.
Aside from the two big-name guards, Milwaukee has other tradable pieces other teams would be interested in. Guard Beno Udrih and center Samuel Dalembert have coveted expiring contracts and could be packaged or flipped separately.
With so many options, it's impossible to predict how the Bucks' roster will look come Thursday night, but it's apparent that something needs to be done. As currently assembled, Milwaukee's roster has shown flashes of being a contender in the Eastern Conference but has not been able to sustain momentum.
After Tuesday's overtime loss in Brooklyn, the Bucks are 1.5 games behind seventh-seeded Boston and five full games behind the fourth-seeded Nets. A No. 8 seed would set up a first-round matchup with the defending champion Miami Heat.
"We need to find our spirit again," Boylan said after Tuesday's game. "This shouldn't be that we have to get down the way we've been getting down in order to kind of get our motors going. We have to turn it on right from the beginning.
"We need everybody playing hard. Right now, that's not happening. Until we do that, we're going nowhere."
When there's a struggle to find consistent effort and energy, tweaks to the roster are usually forthcoming. In 2010, Milwaukee was 24-28 at the trade deadline and sitting in ninth place in the East. Hammond shook things up by trading for John Salmons and the Bucks went 22-8 the rest of the way to finish 46-36 and in the sixth playoff spot.
The difference between now and then lies in what Hammond had to give up to make that move. Hakim Warrick had little value, and the Bucks had given up on Joe Alexander panning out. Last year, Milwaukee took a chance on pairing Ellis with Jennings, knowing both could potentially leave the franchise in the near future.
Though the duo hasn't been a failure, the pairing also hasn't worked to perfection. Now Hammond is faced with the decision whether now is the time to break things up or to continue to go ahead with Jennings and Ellis, hoping the team can get hot and improve its playoff seed before facing an uncertain offseason.
The next two days will be not only interesting but critical to the franchise. The only thing for certain is Hammond, fresh off signing his own contract extension, will be the man tasked with deciding which way to take the Bucks.
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Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis is expected to decline his $11 million player option for the 2014 season and become a free agent this summer, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.Fellow Bucks guard Brandon Jennings is also set to become a restricted free agent this offseason. Washburn reports that the Golden State Warriors elected to part ways with Ellis, as the team...
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The Bucks have decided to make Brandon Jennings nearly untouchable in trade talks.
Monta Ellis has an $11 million player option for the 13-14 NBA season that he is expected to decline.
The Milwaukee Bucks continue to discuss Josh Smith trade scenarios with the Atlanta Hawks in advance of Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.
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ESPN.com reported Tuesday that Monta Ellis is...
The Milwaukee Bucks have the assets to make a major trade. The Bucks have a lot of assets -- Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, Ersan Ilyasova and a ridiculous number of expiring contracts -- to get a deal done. One of those assets, Ellis, has piqued the curiosity of the Atlanta Hawks, who are more and more likely to move star forward Josh Smith.
ESPN's Marc Stein reported...
Brandon Jennings wants out, but he’s a restricted free agent next summer. So he’s got less room to move, as opposed to Monta Ellis. Ellis may very well leave $11 mil on the table in order to become a free agent next season. This is huge, and best believe Ellis can be a legitimate contributor to a true contender next season. The Bucks are on the verge of losing their anchors.
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With Thursday's 3 p.m. trade deadline quickly approaching, Milwaukee's future is coming to a pretty quick head. Both Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis will be free agents this summer and it is largely expected that only one will remain with Milwaukee heading to the future. Considering that Jennings is...
MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Bucks had Brooklyn on the ropes for the second straight night.
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Up 15 points in the third quarter, Milwaukee just stopped scoring. The Nets took full-advantage and came away with a 97-94 victory after Monta Ellis missed...
Milwaukee and Atlanta are "seriously" discussing a deal that would send Josh Smith and Devin Harris to the Bucks and Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh, among other players, to the Hawks, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
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Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh are amongst the players discussed that would go the Hawks for Josh Smith and Devin Harris.
With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, Pass the Pill will be keeping you up to date with the latest NBA trade deadline rumors. This post will be updated regularly, so keep checking back to see the hottest buzz.
Updated: Tuesday February 19, 3:55 PM
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