Somehow, Milwaukee has become the center of the basketball universe for all the wrong reasons, as Monta Ellis weighs his limited options and the Bucks hold the uncertain fate of Brandon Jennings in their hands. Let's start with Ellis. After the dust has settled from the NBA’s free agency carousel, Ellis has been left locked out in the cold, penniless and now agentless.
As a result, Ellis fired his longtime agent, Jeff Fried on Wednesday. No, he’s not latching on with Jay-Z's Roc Nation. Reportedly, he dumped Fried for Dan Fagan after discovering that the market for his services was thinner than what he expected. I’m not sure what he expected to find. There were rumors he believed he could become Dwight Howard's sidekick in Dallas or Atlanta, but there was never any chance of those squads paying Rajon Rondo-money to an undersized volume scorer who’s a liability on the defensive end.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Ellis has the sixth-worst player efficiency rating in NBA history among players who average 19 points per game. That’s one of the major reasons Golden State sent him packing to endure Milwaukee’s long winters, less than a season after he averaged 24 points a game.
It’s unclear whose idea it was to opt out of his $12 million deal after last season. The lack of self awareness exhibited by Ellis is appalling. The Bucks provided him with a fraudulent market worth by offering him a three-year $36 million dollar extension, which he rejected. Ellis isn't returning to the Bucks, especially after OJ Mayo signed a cheaper three-year $24 million deal, but the Lakers won't be reciprocating his interest in them, either.
Jennings’ stock has nosedived since his rookie year. His development as a point guard has stagnated to the point that new head coach Larry Drew is pushing for his former Hawks point guard Jeff Teague.
Essentially, the Bucks and Hawks would swap Jennings and Teague. The Bucks were a squad on the rise after making the postseason for the first time in the Jennings era; now they're a squad in crisis.