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Latest On Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, Bucks

When the Bucks acquired Monta Ellis from the Warriors at last season's trade deadline, the compressed 2011/12 schedule meant that the team only had 21 games to see Ellis and Brandon Jennings play together in the backcourt. The Bucks expect to get a better idea this season of whether the duo will be a long-term fixture in Milwaukee, but the club won't have a time of time to assess the situation — Ellis can opt out of his contract at season's end, while Jennings could become a restricted free agent.

According to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times, the "scuttlebutt around the league" suggests that Ellis will exercise his early termination option and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. That wouldn't be a shock — the $11MM salary on his 2013/14 option isn't extravagant, and at age 27, Ellis could probably secure a more lucrative, longer-term deal on the open market. For his part, the former Warrior says he's "just thinking about basketball," and that his agent and the Bucks have only talked once about a possible extension.

While there doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency yet regarding Ellis' contract situation, the Bucks only have until the end of the month to work out a contract extension for Jennings. If the two sides don't reach an agreement, Jennings will have the opportunity to sign an offer sheet with a rival team next July. Like Ellis though, Jennings had little to say this week about a new contract, offering: "I think that’s why players hire agents, so they can take care of that."

Jennings, who will earn about $3.18MM in the last year of his rookie contract, did add that he likes Milwaukee, and he has expressed in the past that he'd be open to a long-term extension. Still, as Woelfel writes, agent Bill Duffy is likely to push for a maximum-salary deal, something the Bucks would probably rather avoid.

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