CBSSports: I’m partly reconciled to the fact that no amount of money was going to convince Monta Ellis to come back to the Bucks this season. But Monta to the Knicks? The Bucks offered Ellis a deal that would have paid him $12 million annually over the next three seasons. The cap-gorged Knicks can offer the mini-mid-level exception: around $3.2 million. Egad.
But Ellis, 27, and his Washington, D.C.-based agent, Jeff Fried, are known to be willing to compromise in order to sign with a contending team. And the Knicks, who face the free-agent loss of sixth man of the year J.R. Smith, would provide ample opportunity for Ellis to showcase his scoring prowess deep into the playoffs.
The Bulls, Spurs, Nuggets and Suns also are among the teams who expressed interest in Ellis as the free-agent negotiating period began Monday at 12:01 a.m. ET, league sources said.
KSTP.com: Flip Saunders will reportedly be in Southern California for the next few days, where he’ll get the chance to meet with Wasserman Media Group and try to convince a pair of Bucks, J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy, Jr., to cross the state border and become Timberwolves.
Houston Chronicle: The Rockets are making the same visit to California, and Dunleavy is on their grocery list too.
ESPN: Brandon Jennings is open to the idea of returning to the Bucks. Hallelujah!
When asked via email whether he wants to remain with the Bucks, the flashy point guard said his work in Milwaukee is not finished.
“I definitely want to do more for the city and the franchise,” Jennings responded. “I want to make the playoffs and get out of the first round and become an All-Star for the Bucks. We haven’t had one since Michael Redd so I want to be the first.”
The Bucks need to push for a discount. To be sure, Jennings is young and talented. But he’s a career 39% shooter. He uses his small frame to play apathetic defense. He can’t finish in the paint. John Hammond can bring him back, but it can’t be for a contract that siphons $10-12 million annually out of the Bucks’ budget.
And in the wake of the 2013 Draft, what still remains to be seen is: Which of the 30 NBA teams still need guards badly enough to want Jennings on a long-term, eight-figure deal?
Twitter: If you haven’t already heard, the Bucks need shooting guards. So Milwaukee’s name gets dropped in the discussion surrounding virtually 2-guard who is a free agent, and even some who aren’t.
More free agent rumblings – OJ Mayo’s likely suitors: Jazz, Bucks, Minnesota, Clippers, Blazers, Bobcats, Bulls.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 30, 2013
Thunder G Kevin Martin expected to get interest from OKC, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Minnesota, Dallas and Detroit, source tells Y! Sports.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 30, 2013
Budinger, who is more of a 3, also has interest from Pelicans, Bucks, Indy & Dallas. Also, Kevin Martin was called by Milwaukee already.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 1, 2013
Memphis will meet with free agent guard Tony Allen shortly after start of free agency, sources tell Y! Pacers, Bucks, Knicks in pursuit.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 30, 2013
— Bourbon Street Shots (@BourbonStShots) June 30, 2013
Based on the expected contract sizes and the amount of defense played, the only name in that list that interests me is Tony Allen, even if he’s healthy, backcourt version of Luc Mbah a Moute: a great defender who isn’t a threat to score anywhere but at the rim.
It’s hard to shake the 8-seed thing, isn’t it?