Options Dwindling For Bucks, Jennings



If someone could shove a stick into the machinery of free agency right now – and the Milwaukee Bucks could bring back point guard Brandon Jennings on the one-year qualifying offer price of $4.3 million – both the team and the player would be well-served.

Of course, the gears will keep turning, teams will assess and re-assess, someone will panic, someone else will blink and Milwaukee general manager John Hammond probably will be faced with matching a multi-year deal for Jennings. Hammond’s preferred choice at point guard, Jeff Teague, was snatched back Saturday by the Atlanta Hawks, who chose to match the restricted 25-year-old’s four-year, $32 million offer sheet from Milwaukee.

As eager as Teague was to continue playing for former Hawks coach Larry Drew in his new gig with the Deer, Atlanta wasn’t willing to lose an asset such as Teague for nothing in return. As the proprietor here at HTB, Sekou Smith, notes, the Hawks’ backcourt is too thin and Teague is too consistent a performer to have picked off, especially by a middle-of-the-pack rival in the Eastern Conference.

That leaves the Bucks and Jennings staring at each other, perhaps to make nice now that their options are dwindling, perhaps to glare a little and scramble like mad to avoid what might be less than a warm-and-fuzzy reconciliation.

It didn’t sound as if Hammond and Jennings would be running slow-motion through a sun-drenched meadow to embrace, in the immediate aftermath of Atlanta’s Teague decision, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Charles F. Gardner reported it:

Bucks general manager John Hammond got the news after his flight landed in Las Vegas, where Milwaukee plays its first NBA Summer League game on Saturday night.

“Now we have to move forward with the job before us,” Hammond said. “We have some work to do.”

The best thing for both sides, it says here, would be to re-up with each other for a year on that $4.3 million qualifying offer. That would allow Jennings to become unrestricted in 2014, freed from the Bucks forever if he truly wants a bigger market or bigger money (and can find someone to offer either or both). It would benefit Milwaukee, too, because they would have a highly motivated point guard, presumably eager to address some of the significant flaws in his game. Like his shot selection. Like his shaky work facilitating teammates. Like his poor percentages finishing at the rim. And like his deteriorating defensive play.

Obviously it would be risky for Jennings to forsake guaranteed money over multiple years if someone offers it. Then again, he has taken the road less traveled before, heading to Europe for a season rather than spending one year at a college campus in the U.S. prior to the 2009 Draft.

His development on the court has stalled because his maturity off it has been playing catch-up. Yet it’s unlikely Hammond and Drew want to go through the season with only newly-added Luke Ridnour, O.J. Mayo as a combo option and raw backups Ish Smith and rookie Nate Wolters at the point.

Jennings, almost as a tease but also in response to a talk last season with interim head coach Jim Boylan, produced a striking month’s work just after the All-Star break. Over 13 games, he averaged 15.5 points and 9.9 assists while shooting 44.8 percent from 3-point range (while reigning in his attempts a bit). Six of his 13 double-double games and seven of his 13 double-digit assists performances came during those 13 games, and the Bucks went 7-6.

It seemed like a salary drive, only it didn’t last. Over Milwaukee’s final 15 regular-season games, Jennings averaged 14.4 points, 5.1 assists and shot 35.9 on 3-pointers, jacking them up at a higher rate again. The Bucks closed 5-10.

Milwaukee, if it’s going to bring him back at all, needs the good Jennings, the motivated Jennings, for most or all of its 82 games, not just 13. Jennings needs to demonstrate his market value, because the gap between what he think he’s worth and what he’s being offered at the moment scarcely could be greater.

Going all in for one year would be best for both sides. Even if it’s unlikely to happen.


  1. jmac32 says:

    In honor of the NBA Draft, take a look back at the historic 1999 NBA Draft here! http://gamesevensports.blogspot.com/2013/07/great-moments-in-nba-draft-history-1999.html

  2. yolo says:

    If Jennings are looking to make big money, he should stay with the bucks this year, play hard and well, and then wait for the big offers next year.

  3. Ka-Kaw says:

    Sign and trade Jennings for Nash wouldnt be bad, maybe even throw Gooden Udoh and Illyasova for Gasol too, if possible. Doesnt hurt to dream lol

  4. JEA says:

    I think the agent and GM did not do what was best for Jennings or the team. The GM knew what he was doing by saying they would match any offer and the agent screwed Jennings by presenting an offer of this is what it will take for Jennings to stay a Buck. Now they are both looking like clowns. Everyone needs to keep in mind that Jennings did not attend college and his time overseas was a waste, so these past four years were like his OJT. All he needs is a mentor to help him grow up on and off the court. I would hate for the Bucks to give up on him and he goes to another team to become a star. Maybe this off season of eating humble will help him mature.

  5. B Radd says:

    You know, I’ve been watching Brandon Jennings for a while now and his situation with Milwaukee and can’t figure out Milwaukee’s next move. What are they gonna do and where exactly are they going from here. Brandon Jennings is also in that very same situationt. I see the Bucks have a potential future star in Larry Sanders but I don’t see that becoming anything without a star on their roster. Jeff Teague!?! Really?!? Brandon Jennings is AI reincarnated fellas, it’s just a matter of time when he decides to become un-humble and just do what he does best and that is putting balls in baskets. Let me know if you can find better because I think them other guys spend they’re days trying to create super teams rather than playing the game to compete. Brandon Jennings is a competitor willing to sacrifice the glory of playing and just handed championship rings but instead he just keeps playing driven to just compete and try to win ball games. As a fan, I’d pay good money to watch this guy play in a pickup game at the park than to watch Carmelo or even LeBron in the NBA Finals. Why? Because I love the sport. The NBA is no longer a sport but a business and it’s sad to me that I can’t watch a game without knowing beforehand who will turn up on top. Keep the sport fair, it’s healthy for everyone who aspires to become a ballplayer someday. Jennings competes alone in Milwaukee together with Monta. They are different from other ballers. They were built to score. If they don’t get back on defense, it’s because they aren’t built for both ends of the court, but at least at one end, they continue to strive to be what they were built on and that is to dazzle us with offense that is a lot better and something I’d pay good money to see.

  6. Trey says:

    Every teams n the league knows his potential

  7. Trey says:

    I disagree u can trade Jennings anytime everytime n the league knows his potential. Jennings just doesn’t care if he stays with the Bucks. He’s more concerned about salary than winning,until he goes to a teams that is accustom to winning then I believe we will c a much better and more consistent Jennings

  8. L.chil says:

    trade him.

  9. chitown says:

    If Jennings had another year on his contract or a player option for next year, he would find better oppurtunities to sign with good teams. He’s still developing so I think he should go to a semi-rebuilding team. But im sure rebuilding team would want a good draft pick for 2014 so they would wait for next year to make some big moves. Teams are bolstered with cap space this year. So some teams that would love to have Jennings wont have the cap space.

  10. What they should have done says:

    should have traded him while he was hot

    • Dee says:

      The Pistons could definitely use B.J in the backcourt. Especially having a coach of Maurice Cheeck’s caliber, who’s very good & great patient at developing young point guard. B.J will work well in the Pistons system along with other young core of players they have. Waiste no time Joe D. make that call & lets bring B.J to the Motown City…GREAT FIT!!!! WILL BE EXITED TO WATCH!!!!

  11. Ted says:

    WE DO NOT WANT BRANDON BACK. I’d start ridnour or ish smith before taking jennings back

  12. shaba says:

    Since the Bucks have shown interest in Teague I think they should work out some kind of deal to send Teague and another player/draft pick there and bring Jennings to Atlanta. I think Jennings would be a great fit in Atlanta, a solid team at the moment lacking a scoring punch in the guard position. I think he could progress well under their new head coach and working in a system alongside Horford and Millsap, Atlanta could have a really good team.

    • IwinUlose says:

      I agree he would be a good fit fir Atlanta they need a scorer he could providethat better than Teague. #gowolves

  13. Dean says:

    In my own opinion I think Jennings should not sign a long term contract with the Bucks. If he waits one more year a lot more opportunities will arise, for ex. LA, NY, ORL, MIA, all these teams will be losing players next summer, and I could see him playing for any of those cities.

  14. HEATFORLIFE says:

    go to the heat

    • Unkle Daddy says:

      It used to be every laker fan thought they got every good player, now it’s every heat fan and I say fan with my tongue in my cheek, because Miami fans are fair wheather at best…

    • Mr.Epal says:

      The Heat don’t need a PG you clown!

  15. Blizzie says:

    I Could See The Knicks Getting Rid Of Felton For Jennings, If Not Back To The Bucks.

  16. Cesar says:

    Im not claiming he is the best player in the world but I believe Brandon is something special. He was playing under two coaches who I believe were the worst for his progression. But we see there outcome. As a teenage rookie the ball was put in his hand to run a Bucks team that included now to this day no consistent scorers. Monta Ellis is a solid player but he was a shot jacker as much as Jennings was which caused them two being together to not work out out for the long run. So back to Jennings we don’t know the relationship the Bucks and Jennings really have but in my opinion I believe Jennings voiced his frustration because the Bucks seemed to be interested in every other player on the planet except for him. Which is shocking because John Hammond stated they are focused on getting Jennings back but disrespects him by attempting for Teague which they knew was gonna fail. The Bucks know Jennings is a young and confident player and already has a chip on his shoulder because for one they didn’t think he would be a high draft pick coming from overseas and second he’s criticized to much for a player not in his prime yet. In order for Jennings to take the next step the Bucks should take the next step also because they are no saints either. With a player friendly coach Jennings has the potential to be a great Buck if the Bucks allow it. If not he will just be another player they let slip away that will go on and have a good career ( Ray Allen is an example ). I say sign him back see how he plays with Drew and if it works it works and if it doesn’t well I guess so long my guy.

  17. cristian says:

    i would like to see Gary Neal in this team

  18. W/E says:

    Poor Bucks, they going nowhere

  19. Javier says:

    100% agree with dmh, this player was better before he know what to do. New York has a chance to add a good point guard…

  20. celentano says:

    Well the Lakers could use B.J and waive Steve Blake,d’ont understand Mitch & Buss at all! Why continue with Blake while Brandon Jennings is still on the market?I think it’s to late now to change they’re roster, they could make some cap space
    by not signing Steve B. and chasing Brandon J.,Brandon is a much better SG or shooting guard than Steve Blake.Brandon is a better game changer than Steve ever can do! Again Jim & Mitch are sleeping on it.

  21. y2jerichoholic says:

    Jennings is a shot jacker. Shot jackers don’t win games.

  22. J says:

    leave go to wizards as backup or warriors as backup

  23. dmh says:

    I think the chemistry with Ellis was horrible. Jennings has more work to do. I don’t think now is the time to stick a fork in the guy. I think playing with a real sg for a season will help. I think that playing in the LD system will help as well. The question is where is the guy’s head at? If his mindset is “I wanna be Mini-Kobe” then it is not going to work. If his head is in the game and he helps his teammates get better, then the sky is the limit. If option 2 is where the guy’s head is at then RFA will bring a great contract in UFA next year.