By Rob Mahoney
Recently re-upped GM John Hammond is reportedly pursuing a variety of leads and discussions that could dramatically influence the Bucks' roster going forward. Josh Smith, J.J. Redick and other available players have been linked to Milwaukee already, in addition to a number of scenarios that would see the Bucks ship out trigger-happy guard Monta Ellis. Yet no matter the twists and turns that these trade rumors take, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports that the Bucks' most attractive trade pieces are off the table:
Yet amid all of those talks, sources say, Jennings has moved alongside Larry Sanders and John Henson on the Bucks’ list of near-untouchables. This is despite Jennings’ widely presumed desire to leave Milwaukee in free agency this summer after failing to seal a contract extension in October like fellow point guards Jrue Holiday, Steph Curry and Ty Lawson and then changing agents earlier this month.
Sanders was a presumed lock to stay in Milwaukee, while Henson's name hasn't often come up in recent trade rumors. Jennings, on the other hand, became theoretically -- if only theoretically -- available based on two bits of reported information:
• After changing agents, it was reported that Jennings would be chasing a max deal as a restricted free agent this summer.
• Chad Ford of ESPN.com reported (ESPN Insider access required) that Jennings and the Bucks had "irreconcilable differences." (When approached about the report, Jennings flatly denied the implication.)