Bucks Prefer To Keep Ellis Over Jennings?

With three potential big-money free agent guards hitting the open market this summer, the Bucks aren't expected to bring back the entire trio of Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, and J.J. Redick. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com though, there's a "rising belief in exec circles" that the Bucks would prefer to re-sign Ellis rather than Jennings, going with a backcourt of Ellis and Redick (Twitter links).

When I previewed the Bucks' offseason last week, I predicted that the team would look to re-sign Jennings and Redick over Ellis. Since Milwaukee will have the right to match rival offers for the restricted Jennings, the team will have a little more control over his free agency. Ellis, on the other hand, can become an unrestricted free agent if he exercises his early termination option by June 20th, meaning he'd be able to to sign anywhere he wanted without giving the Bucks a chance to make a counter-offer. Ellis also reportedly nearly had a physical altercation with Larry Sanders following one of Milwaukee's playoff losses to the Heat last month.

On the court, the 27-year-old Ellis and 23-year-old Jennings had very similar seasons in 2012/13. Ellis recorded averages of 19.2 PPG and 6.0 APG to go along with a 16.2 PER and .416 FG%, while Jennings posted marks of 17.5 PPG, 6.5 APG, 16.1 PER, and .399 FG%. Although Jennings' relative youth would seem to give him a slight edge over Ellis, the team may also believe Jennings doesn't want to be in Milwaukee long-term, since he has suggested as much in various comments over the last couple years.

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