With the free agent signing period officially open as of today, it wouldn't be surprising to see a sudden flurry of activity. True, many of the biggest deals have already been hashed out and are just a matter of course at this point, but there are still a few interesting scenarios left to play out. One of the most prominent is the cloud of rumors swirling around point guards Brandon Jennings and Jeff Teague. As ESPN's Marc Stein reports, the "dance" is one of the more compelling situations left to resolve. More from Stein:
But putting offer sheet into play could also trigger ramped-up Bucks & Hawks talks on sign-and-trades. MIL happy to send Jennings OR Monta— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 10, 2013
To complicate things further? Hearing Hawks have also registered some interest in free-agent PG Mo Williams, who worked w/Danny Ferry in CLE— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 10, 2013
First, regarding the Mo Williams thing: I don't get how that factors in here. Williams seems like he'd be a backup option if the Hawks somehow lost out on everybody, which seems highly unlikely. And with Lou Williams returning and Atlanta's reported interest in Monta Ellis, it's unclear why they might be targeting Mo.
The strategy for the Bucks to go after Teague with any sort of aggression while maintaining some amount of control over the Jennings situation is highly complicated. As Frank mentioned yesterday, if the team waives Drew Gooden via amnesty, combined with other renouncements, they could sign Teague to an offer sheet while retaining Jennings' rights. But doing so removes all sign-and-trade possibilities with the Hawks, since a signed offer sheet immediately cuts the options for the Hawks down to "match or don't match". However, the Bucks have no de jure restriction on offering Teague a contract as a means of leverage, which would allow Teague to return to the Hawks and ask them to facilitate a trade in lieu of simply signing the offer sheet. But there are complications with that plan as well, from cap space wrangling to the potential repercussions in negotiations with Jennings.
The only advantage in play for Milwaukee is their cap space, which might disappear anyway if they go out and sign another small forward or something. With it, the Bucks have the flexibility to put pressure on Atlanta by subverting the trade talks entirely. Without it, they're stuck in the same boat as the Hawks: unable to get the player they presumably want without accommodating somebody else.
This all ignores Ellis' hand in the whole thing, which complicates things even more since his cap hold has to stay in place for the Bucks to sign-and-trade him, but has to be renounced for the Bucks to have enough space to do much of anything else.
In short, it's a big fat mess--one that should be navigated very carefully.
More from Brew Hoop:
- Why don't all-encompassing metrics like O.J. Mayo?
- Caponomics: NBA announces 13/14 cap and luxury tax figures
- Milwaukee Bucks trade Luc Mbah a Moute to Sacramento Kings for two future 2nd-round picks
- Free Agency Rumors: The Brandon Jennings delusion becoming real (?), Monta Ellis courted by Kings, the many side of Zaza