Dallas Mavericks have "level of interest" in Brandon Jennings
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Dallas Mavericks have an interest in acquiring Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings in advance of the February 21 trade deadline.
The 23-year old Jennings, who makes about $3.18 million this season, will be a restricted free agent in the off-season. After signing a new agent last week, some believe Jennings will be looking for a near max-value contract.
Because he is a restricted free agent, the Bucks could offer Jennings more than any other team, but two questions come to mind: Is he worth it? Does he want to commit to Milwaukee for the long term? Those will be questions General Manager John Hammond must answer before February 21, or they risk letting the young Buck get away without compensation.
Jennings has had a solid season averaging 18.5 points per game and 6.1 assists, but his shooting percentage is among the worst of NBA point guards.
CLICK HERE to see the ESPN report.
One thing is for certain, nobody on the Bucks roster should be considered safe. They have five expiring contracts (Mike Dunleavy, Samuel Dalembert, Beno Udrih, Marquis Daniels, and Joel Pryzbilla), and Monta Ellis has an $11 million dollar player option for the 2013-2014 season. The lone "crippling" contract on the Bucks payroll is forward Drew Gooden's. Gooden is on the books to earn $6.68 million per season through the 2014-2015 season. That's a lot of money for a player who hasn't played in 38 of the Bucks 50 games this season.
Despite the wizardry Hammond has conducted in digging out of the salary mess left by former GM Larry Harris, the Bucks have been in a decade-long funk. Toiling around the .500 mark, and squeaking into the playoffs (or just missing) year after year is a terrible position to be in. The franchise - from the arena, to the team, to the ownership, is in dire need of a major facelift. Until that happens, the Bucks will continue to be a mediocre, borderline playoff team.