Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
All aboard the rumor train: Marc Stein suggests possible interest in Milwaukee point guard Brandon Jennings.
According to "sources", Dallas may be interested in Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings, who is 23 and will be a restricted free agent after this year, much like fellow '09 draftee Darren Collison.
The source for ESPN's Tim McMahon is, in this case, Marc Stein, who tweeted this:
Mavs, I'm told, do have interest in Brandon Jennings and will be in mix for him if Bucks opt to make RFA-to-be available b4 Feb. 21 deadline— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 13, 2013
Jennings is having another solid if unspectacular season for Milwaukee, averaging 18 and 6 on sub-40% shooting. He is similar in many ways to Collison, especially size and athletic ability. Statistically, you'd be hard pressed to argue there's a major upgrade, with Jennings scoring more but at far lesser efficiency, and both possessing non-elite point guard skills. Jennings' pre-Monta Ellis defensive metrics were much stronger than anything Collison has ever posted, but he is not elite there, either.
Jennings does have the allure of "upside", having been a top 10 pick, and is two years younger than DC. Perhaps the thought is that Jennings could develop greater efficiency in an offensive system like the one Rick Carlisle runs in Dallas.
Of course, the first question with any of these trades should be: why do they do it, and for MIlwaukee, it isn't exactly clear. Reportedly, they want to unload Drew Gooden, who will make just under $7 million per next year and the following one. Jennings is also a RFA, so perhaps they have decided they don't wish to pay him. Still, I'm not sure all that lowers the bar enough to take back the kind of middling offer Dallas likely makes. For Dallas, there is also the issue of whether Gooden's contract makes the deal a non-option.
My initial reaction is that this is just another hot stove bit of hot air. However, I am curious if perhaps there is something going on with Milwaukee. This is also the team that has been shopping Samuel Dalembert, who would be a possible upgrade over Chris Kaman(and has anyone noticed has been out with that concussion thing for a really long time?) and Bernard James. Worth noting also is that Kaman hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and if you head directly west from there, right over Lake Michigan, is Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Hey, while I'm playing fantasy GM here, I'd be really, really curious to get on the phone and see what the asking price for Larry Sanders, the shot-blocking and rebounding athletic dynamo, would be. He is the kind of young piece that, while not putting Dallas over the top, is really intriguing as someone you could pair with Dirk.
Well, unlikely as it might be, this is the season for teasin'. So, what do you think about Brandon Jennings in a Mavs uniform? What would your best offer be?