NBA AM: Are The Bucks Trading Brandon Jennings?
The Bucks Open For Business: The Milwaukee Bucks are sitting in the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference despite injuries, internal strife and some conflicts with the coaching staff and players that would have killed lesser teams.
The Bucks just keep trucking along despite every reason in the world to collapse – now add trade speculation to the mix.
The Milwaukee Bucks are not holding a fire sale, so put your pennies back in your pocket.
It is clear that the Bucks are starting to understand that the guys they thought were franchise cornerstones simply are not those guys and with the trade deadline now two days away, the Bucks are listening to trade offers on players just 3 months ago were deemed untouchable.
Andrew Bogut is the name garnering the most attention in trade circles, but more than one team that’s talked with Milwaukee says the team is also open to trading guard Brandon Jennings and has hinted if the team moved Andrew Bogut, they may be getting a guard back in the deal, making Jennings expendable.
Sam Amick of SI.com first reported the idea of Jennings being available yesterday and sources close to the situation in Milwaukee peg a Bogut deal as the precursor to a Jennings deal.
“If they can move Bogut, they have a separate deal for Jennings,” said the source.
Jennings told reporters last night that he was a little rattled by the trade rumors.
“My phone was full with messages and everything,” Jennings said to Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel. “Now we’re in the hunt to make the playoffs; we’re one game out and we’ve been playing so well since the all-star break.
“Now that I hear my name being mentioned in possible shopping around and stuff like that, my mind is just all over the place right now.”
Jennings says he has not heard anything from the team on the rumors and says he really doesn’t expect them to address the rumors.
“There’s nothing you can possibly do about it,” Jennings said. “You won’t hear from the front office. Of course they wouldn’t tell you.
“The main thing is I’m still able to do what I love and that’s play basketball, at the end of the day. I have no negative thing about it; but my mind is just wandering now.
Jennings may have put himself in the situation with a well-publicized e-mail based article with ESPN, in which he said he was already looking at his free agent options.
A few days later Jennings clarified his stance with HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy and mirrored much of the same concepts yesterday.
“This is where I started my career,” said a worried Jennings. “It can kind of shake up the team, the fact that we’ve been rolling.”
The Golden State Warriors are said to be aggressively pursuing Andrew Bogut, as are the Houston Rockets.
League sources warned last night that a deal for Bogut would have to return real pieces, but given the demand for size, especially centers like Bogut. The Bucks might have a deal to make before Thursdays’ 3pm EST trade deadline and it seems if the Bucks are cleaning out the roster with Bogut.
Moving Brandon Jennings might be the next move made.
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The Jazz Are Buyers: Equipped with a $10 million Traded Player Exception and several moveable roster pieces. The Utah Jazz are one of the buyers in the 2012 NBA trade market.
While Jazz VP of Basketball Operations Kevin O’Connor is trying to keep things low key in the press. He is being clear that the Jazz are open for business.
“We’re active. We’re listening,” O’Connor said to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. “We’re aggressive in trying to talk (about) things.”
“It would have to be something long term,” he said.
The Jazz have gotten nibbles on players such as Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, but both players will need to return real assets for the Jazz’s future and given the size of both players contracts, making a deal that does not return a ton of bloated salary is paramount to a transaction.
“In the job that I have, one of the responsibilities is to improve the team,” O’Connor said. “Now you can’t improve the team without looking to make trades, and that’s what we do. There’s 29 other guys that have the same responsibilities to their teams, and they do the same thing. There’s a lot of conversations.”
With conversation comes trade speculation and rumors and the Jazz have been very good at keeping what they are working on low-key.
“I hope the one thing that we do do is we don’t get names out or possible scenarios out or anything else out,” O’Connor added, “because I think it hurts players.”
The Jazz have the means to be serious players in the march up to the deadline. The Jazz hold a $10.89 million Traded Player Exception from their Mehmet Okur deal with New Jersey earlier this season.
Paul Millsap is owed $8.10 million this season and $8.5 million next season.
Al Jefferson is owed $14 million this season and $15 million next season.
All three assets could make the Jazz the perfect middle man in a deal because of the flexibility that they have. The Jazz have also been looking at ways to move off the $9.31 million owed this year to Devin Harris so do not be surprised to see one or two of those names moved on Thursday.
The Jazz want to make a deal.
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Jamal Crawford On The Move: Portland’s Jamal Crawford knows he’s going to be traded. His contract situation all but assures it. Crawford has the option to be a free agent in July, and the general belief is that Crawford will be opting out of his deal and hitting free agency and the highest bidder come July.
Crawford is no stranger to trade rumors, almost every year of his 12 year NBA career has had his name mentioned at the deadline.
“It’s kind of crazy, to be honest with you,” Crawford said to Joe Freeman of the Oregonian. “It’s never been this bad.”
Crawford has been linked to deals with Minnesota, the LA Clippers and most recently the Charlotte Bobcats.
For what it’s worth, Crawford isn’t seeking a trade, but he understands the situation he’s in.
“At the end of the day, I chose to come here,” Crawford said. “I want to be here. I don’t know how to approach the situation, honestly. I haven’t talked to anybody in the organization. I’m just trying to stay ready for whatever. Hopefully we can finish what we started. If not, well, it’s a business.”
The Portland Trail Blazers are said to be seeking a first round pick in a deal for Crawford, which most teams seem to be balking at.
The LA Clippers do have interest in Crawford however the rumored asking price of Eric Bledsoe and a first round pick is a little rich for LA’s liking, namely because of the number of would-be free agents the team has already.
The Minnesota Timberwolves were linked to Crawford before Ricky Rubio went down to a torn ACL, their interest is still real but the idea of trading Luke Ridnour for Crawford now seems remote.
A Charlotte Bobcats’ deal would be centered on DJ Augustin according to reports.
Landing Augustin for Crawford would be a huge win for the Blazers.
It’s clear Jamal will be on the move before Thursday, and in all honesty the contract he signed in December paved the way for him to be moved.
Kevin Martin On The Move?: The Houston Rockets would love to make a trade for a center or an elite frontcourt big. The Rockets have been linked to Milwaukee’s Andrew Bogut, the Lakers’ Pau Gasol and even New Orleans’ Chris Kaman.
All three have hefty contracts worth more than $14 million per year, and in order for Houston to land one of those players a major chip may have to go out in exchange.
Enter Kevin Martin.
The Rockets tried to trade Martin at the start of the season in a three team deal involving Chris Paul and Pau Gasol, and word is his name has been offered around a few times over the last few weeks.
Martin has been painfully inconsistent recently and it’s clear the chaotic and uncertain future of everything going on in Houston has Martin rattled.
“My reaction is going to be, wherever I am, I’m going to play just how I have my whole career,” Martin said to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “I’m not 37, 38-years-old. My body feels great. My game has been fine before we went on the road. There’s just a lot of inconsistency this year about everything. It’s just about being consistent.”
The Rockets have started going away from Kevin in a major way in the fourth quarter, and the writing seems to be on the wall that the Rockets are moving on without him.
Martin is not scoring the ball like he should and the situation in Houston is getting harder and harder.
Martin says he’s not sure what to expect or how this is going to play out.
“I don’t know,” he said. “You know I’m frustrated. I don’t know. I can’t talk.”
Martin is owed $11.51 million this season and has a final year worth $12.43 million next season.
The Rockets are said to be shopping Terrance Williams, Jonny Flynn, Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger fairly aggressively.
Several teams have expressed interest in Kyle Lowry who is recovering from a bacterial infection. Luis Scola is said to be available but the remaining 3 years and $30.67 million left on his deal after this season is viewed as a huge negative.
The Rockets are the eight seed in the West despite losing six of their last ten games and its fairly clear that if the Rockets can make a deal to add a legit frontcourt player, they seem more than open to it.
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