According to rumors originating from the Milwaukee Bucks organization, in their choice between Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, they prefer selecting the more veteran player, which gives Jennings his wish to pursue free agency and sign for a big-city team, as the Dallas Mavericks looking like the most likely of destinations.
The Mavericks, according to their two-year plan, should have enough cap space to sign Jennings next season, as long as it is not a maximum kind of deal, which some think Jennings is foolishly going to pursue early on, despite knowing there’s no chance he’ll be getting one. The Mavs want enough cap-space to pursue one of the top free agents in 2014, and committing too much for Jennings, who’ll provide them with them with some scoring they really need isn’t going to help.
So it’s about Jennings accepting that his place in the league isn’t among those who make the most money, but he’s still going to get something significantly better than the $3.1 million he earned on his final season of the rookie deal. The Bucks are going to try and keep Monta Ellis (also a free agents) and J.J. Redick as their starting backcourt, although it’s hard to believe they’ll be able to keep both of them as it’s going to take an above the market offer for both to stay.
As for Jennings, who averaged 17.5 points per game last season while adding 6.5 assists, it’s going to be about more than trying to star for a team on a bigger stage. The postseason against the Heat humbled both him and the Bucks, swept in the first round and limited to only 13.3 points per game. His perception of being a volume shooter has to change if he’s going to succeed right along with a team like the Mavs, who have enough talent around him to not tolerate him trying to be the star of the show.
Jennings shot only 39.9% from the field last season, which is a warning sign, but unlike Ellis, it’s still early in his career (he’s only 23 after four seasons in the NBA). As long as his demands stay reasonable and he’s willing to make adjustments in his game, signing Jennings seems like the logical first step to bring the Mavs back into the fray of contention in the West.