11:40pm: The Mavs are interested in point guard Brandon Jennings, and if the Bucks decide to make him available before next week’s trade deadline, Dallas will be one of the teams in the mix, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Mavs owner Mark Cuban, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle have all said in recent days that the team is unlikely to make any deadline deals, but multiple reports suggest that’s not the case. Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio hears the team is seeking offers for Shawn Marion, while Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, as part of a chat with readers today, wrote that anyone aside from Dirk Nowitzki and Elton Brand is liable to be dealt.
Bucks GM John Hammond wants an overwhelming offer in return if he’s to part with Jennings, Amico hears. Jennings’ recent change of agents, from Bill Duffy to Jeff Schwartz, could suggest he wants to join a large-market team when he hits restricted free agency this summer. The Bucks will have the opportunity to match, and the team has reportedly told Jennings they’ll do so with any offer sheet he signs. Still, Milwaukee declined to extend Jennings’ rookie deal this past fall when he was reportedly asking for an annual salary of about $9MM to $10MM, and he could receive offers for much more on the open market.
In his chat, Sefko named Rodrigue Beaubois, Dominique Jones, Vince Carter and Brandan Wright as the Mavs players most likely to be dealt. I don’t think a package involving any combination of them or Marion would be enough to bowl Hammond over to the point that he’d be ready to deal. Though the Mavs have a wealth of expiring contracts, it will be hard for them to match salaries for Jennings, who’s making just $3.179MM this season in the final year of his rookie deal. They’d probably have to take back one of Milwaukee’s less desirable contracts, like that of Drew Gooden, who’s due more than $20MM between this season and 2015. Since the Mavs have their eyes set on pursuing maximum-salary players like Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, I’m not sure they’d be willing to compromise their flexibility to fit one of them under their cap to bring Jennings aboard.