There are quite a few names being suggested as future Dallas Mavericks players in the current trade talks, but the Mavs have been looking for a point guard for quite some time, and with Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks possibly on the trading block, they just might try and make a move for him.
Jennings, 23, is leading the Bucks to a 25-25 season so far – a team that’s mostly based on the abilities of him and his backcourt teammate, Monta Ellis. Jennings is on the final year of his rookie contract this season, and becomes a restricted free agent this summer, meaning the team that holds his contract has the right to match any offer made to him. While not being part of the upper echelon of points guards in the NBA, Jennings is still one of the best in the league, averaging 18.5 points and a career high 6.1 assists this season.
Jennings fits the desires of Mark Cuban for what he wants from his franchise point guard, something he doesn’t see in Darren Collison, who has done a decent job for the 22-29 Mavs, but clearly isn’t the player Jennings is, even losing his starting spot to Derek Fisher and sometimes his closing spot to Mike James.
Jennings isn’t the complete or perfect package – his size (6’1) makes him a liability on defense against post ups, and he often tries to make too much happen on his own, shooting less than 40% from the field this season. Still, Mark Cuban believes the Mavs have the right kind of system to turn Jennings from a good point guard into an All-Star.
Whatever we saw in Nash and Finley with Donnie Nelson back then, same type of thing. There’s been lots of players we picked up over time that weren’t All-Stars that turned into cornerstones. We’d take those. They don’t have to be proven. They’d have to be someone we think it’s just a question of time or system or coaching or whatever.
One problem with a possible trade might be the Bucks trying to get rid of the Drew Gooden contract, who is owed $6.7 million for next season as well, but has played in only 12 games this season for the Bucks, not really being part of the current rotation. Monta Ellis has also been mentioned more than once in trade scenarios, but it’s unlikely the Mavs might try to take a player who isn’t a natural point guard, and mirrors the same faults Jennings has, while being older and slightly more of a risk.