Friday, February 15, 2013

Who's On The Way Out, Ellis or Jennings?

Two of the Bucks highest profile players are the topic of a swath of trade rumors. Guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis have both been slotted as likely trades before the February twenty-first deadline by a number of media organizations, though each has denied the rumors and both have been adamant about their desire to stay in Milwaukee. 

Jennings, a fan favorite, and the Bucks poster boy, was named the second-most likely player to be traded before the twenty-first. Citing differences impossible to reconcile with the Bucks, even leading sports network ESPN agreed with that statement. Jennings, however, has refuted any of those alleged differences, instead telling reporters at a recent press conference that he would like to stay in Milwaukee past the deadline, especially as the team enters the All-Star Break with a moderate hold on the eighth playoff spot.

Jennings Parts Ways With Duffy

One thing that the twenty-three year old couldn't deny, however, were reports that he and agent Bill Duffy had parted ways. No word on reasons for the split have been revealed by either client nor agent, though rumors are abound that he has already replaced Duffy with Excel Sports Management founder Jeff Schwartz. The move to Schwartz has been a tell-tale sign for some critics of Jennings insistence on wishing to remain with the Bucks.

As with all professional athletes who are represented by an agent, it is plausible to assume that Duffy and his client were in talks with any interested party, as well as with the Bucks organization. Speculation has led many to believe that Duffy's inability to land a max-deal for the point guard over the past few months led to his dismissal, giving reason for Jennings to hire the recently named best agent in the sport, Schwartz.

As a final statement to increase the vagueness of his future home, the point guard ended a recent question and answer session by clearing his name of all responsibility. Claiming a desire to focus his mind on the court, Jennings told reporters that his agent would be the one making the final decision, leaving fans and the Bucks with another week of anxiety before finally knowing whether or not the team's most influential player will be back in uniform on the twenty-second. While his situation has not garnered the media attention of his fellow guard, Monta Ellis has taken a similar hands-off approach to his future in Milwaukee.

Able to relieve himself of his final contract year with the Bucks, the eight-year veteran told reporters this week that his agent and Bucks general manager John Hammond were in talks regarding a contract extension. Not looking to fall into the hype, however, Ellis also said that if there was just one thing he has learned from his near decade in the league, it would be that a trade isn't final until you finally put on that new jersey. Until then, says the guard, he is going to keep doing all that he can to get the Bucks into the postseason. 

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