March 17, 2013
The Milwaukee Bucks will be forced to reshape their backcourt this summer.
Monta Ellis is the team's leading scorer (19.4 points a game) but he remains a gunner, an inefficient scorer (shooting 41.9 percent overall and 24.1 percent from three). He is an unrestricted free agent.
Brandon Jennings if four years younger, scores 18.2 points a game, is a better from three (37.9 percent), dishes out a few more assists, but struggles to finish around the rim. Jennings is a restricted free agent - Milwaukee can match any offer, but Jennings got a new agent who is there to get a bigger deal and ideally get him to a bigger market.
Then there is J.J. Redick, acquired at the trade deadline (in a deal for Tobias Harris, who looks great in Orlando where they gave him some run). One of he game's best shooters and a solid all around player, Redick has averaged 14.2 points a game in limited minutes off the bench. And he is an unrestricted free agent.
And it looks like Milwaukee really wants to keep him, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times.
Some NBA officials say the Bucks have verbally made J.J. Redick a 5-yr, $40 offer … Similar to Ilyasova's contract.— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) March 15, 2013
I think that is a fair offer for Redick, although in a soft free agent market could he see a bigger one from a more desperate team? Also, how much does he like Milwaukee?
Still, good move by the Bucks to be proactive.
I think the Bucks plan to match just about any deal Jennings gets and pair him with Redick - that's a combo that can be very good if Jennings can take another step forward with his game. He needs to finish better both in isolation and off the pick-and-roll (which comes back to finishing at the rim). The Bucks offense simply is not that great this season (21st in NBA in points per possession) and the Redick-Jennings combo can improve that.
If they can keep them both.