Jennings Gets Paid, Fresh Start In Detroit



HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Brandon Jennings was running low on options. As a restricted free agent from the Milwaukee Bucks, he had strained for more than a year at the leash holding him to that club. Jennings previously talked fondly of bigger markets and then sent max-salary shots across the Bucks’ bow as his semi-freedom approached, a not-so-subtle way of discouraging them from flexing their matching rights.

Unfortunately for Jennings, when he hit the marketplace, the marketplace hit back. It was bad enough that others, including his self-absorbed backcourt mate Monta Ellis, found jobs and millions; it was worse when Jennings’ own team, the Bucks, tried to procure his replacement, Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, with a four-year, $32 million offer sheet it wasn’t willing to give Jennings. The Hawks matched but the message was clear – Jennings’ business with the Bucks had festered into something other than mere leverage.

So his options were few, barring a philosophical change by Milwuakee. Jennings could sign the one-year, $4.5 million qualifying offer with the Bucks and try again next July. In theory, that might have made sense: A motivated player, his team benefiting as he hoists his market value.

But anyone familiar with the Bucks’ situation and locker room knew that scenario would be rife with pitfalls. A sensitive lad, a little light on the maturity scale, Jennings could end up playing self-consciously and, thus, unnaturally. It wouldn’t guarantee that his game – high energy but shoot first, with too many shaky finishes at the rim and a laissez-faire defensive attitude – would budge a bit from the plateau on which it has settled. And an agitated Jennings wouldn’t help a locker room mood hoping for some addition-by-subtraction (Ellis, Samuel Dalembert).

How ‘bout spending 2013-14 in Europe? Jennings, after all, had taken that creative route around the one-and-done eligibility rule prior to the 2009 Draft in which Milwaukee picked him 10th overall. But no, NBA free-agency rules don’t work that way; Jennings still would be Bucks’ property.

So the multiple reports Tuesday afternoon that the Bucks and the Detroit Pistons were completing a sign-and-trade to ship Jennings to Motown made a lot of sense. According to’s Marc Stein and Chris Broussard, Detroit would send to Milwaukee guard Brandon Knight, forward Khris Middleton and center Viacheslav Kravtsov. Estimates of Jennings’ three-year deal ranged from $24 million to more than $25 million, putting him in the same financial neighborhood as Teague but for one year less.

In Jennings, the Pistons get a talented backcourt player who has averaged 17.0 points and 5.7 assists in four NBA seasons. He is a career 39.4 percent shooter, so he won’t bring the range to pull defenses away from big men Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Josh Smith. He’ll be teaming with veteran Chauncey Billups, back with Detroit after a summer signing.

Milwaukee already had added guard O.J. Mayo in free agency, traded to get back Luke Ridnour and introduced its latest addition, former San Antonio guard Gary Neal, to local media Tuesday. Knight, whose trial as Detroit’s point guard suggested to some he was better suited to shooting guard, still has potential to intrigue Bucks GM John Hammond – the No. 8 pick in the 2011 Draft won’t turn 22 until Dec. 2. And since when does a shoot-first point guard trouble the Bucks?


  1. The flat market in Singapore real estate is rising way faster than fundamentals. I excited for it.

  2. ATap24 says:

    I think half the people on this topic are crazy!! I wouldn’t even consider Detroit a contender even with Jennings, Billups, Smith & their promising front court, Billups is decent but is aged and washed up, Smith is athletic and a GOOD player but can’t be the best player on your team, and Jennings is a shoot first PG who’s shooting 39 percent!! Which is why at best Detroit will be an 8th seed in the east, you’re forgetting about Miami, Indiana, New York, Chicago, Brooklyn, Cleveland(addition of Bynum, Jack, & Bennett) Washington (looks more promising than Detroit with their young backcourt and veteran front court) maybe even Boston with the return of a healthy Rondo, Rondo can lead a team right now Jennings well just wait and see.

  3. Bubba says:

    I am just glad that the Bucks got the other Brandon. He has a lot of upside and should complement the Bucks Big Men. As far as Jennings, the Pistons now take a chance on him. I hope Jennings improves his shooting accuracy while playing efficiently, which he should for a playoff team/contender in the Pistons. Billups should be able to mentor Jennings on the court and off the court.

  4. Kimmy says:

    New York

    Ha Ha!!!

    And I’m a Hawks for the East…

  5. Mo says:

    I keep reading people’s comments about the Pistons now needing a SG. HAs everyone forgotten Kentavious Caldwell-Pope? The starters will be like this: PG-Jennings, SG- KCP, SF- Smith, PF- Monroe, C- Drummond. With the bench consisting of Bynum, Billups, Datome, Siva, Jerebko, and Tony Mitchell

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  7. Milwaukee Man says:

    everyone saying Piston is now a playoff team….Trust me you guys just got a parasite onto your team. Jennings is a horrible player who wants to be “the man”. He is a Diva that belongs on the bench. You guys overrated him. I’m so glad we got him out of Milwaukee. Have fun with this parasite Motown.

  8. RJtheRapsfanatic says:

    I love this trade for the Pistons based on its huge potential. The thing for everyone to remember, is that in Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, Detroit has acquired two mid-range happy players. These guys will stop and pop a jumper just about anywhere on the floor, this can be a disastrous thing in some game situations (any Bucks or Hawks fan would tell you a few stories). That being said, if Jennings can become more of a traditional PG in Detroit, he has some stellar big-man weapons in Monroe, Drummond, and now the high-flying Josh Smith. I just hope Smith can channel his inner post game a little more than his mid-range, 3 point “game”.

  9. Realist says:

    My prediction on the East playoff seeing

    1. Miami
    2. Chicago
    3. Indiana
    4. Brooklyn
    5. New York
    6. Detroit/Cleveland
    7. Cleveland/Detroit
    8. Wizards

    • TDR says:

      ny? wizards(lol)?

    • jseed says:

      I will miss Jennings and Detroit will make the playoffs. The one good thing is that we have a rookie point guard in Nate W. that will be better for the bucks in two years. Next year will be rough, but exciting. Its eight seed or bust all over at least. I am happy for Jennings going to a team that will use him properly. Detroit has an inside game and the bucks did not. Jennings scored because he had to. None of last years bucks, except Ellis could get their own shot or even catch and finish if they were not flat footed. All the negative against Jennings was unwarrented. Whats wrong with a guy from LA wanting to play in his hometown. Jennings was a good community guy and I loved what he did with Under Armour and his pick up games with every day average people. I will miss him and root for his success in Detroit. Go Bucks.

  10. DeAntae Bussey says:

    As a pistons fan from detroit I want to say thank you to Joe d. I was pissed when he picked darko. I thought he should’ve been fired after giving Ben Gordon and Charlie V all our money a few years ago but it’s all over now. WE ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS FINALLY! Hopefully Jennings has one more 55 point game in him. I think I’ll be driving from the city to Auburn hills often this year.

  11. Jordan McCance says:

    Remember that chancery can play 2 guards, as he did with the clippers. He’s one of the best three point shooters we have in the league. Jennings is definately more athletic. He’s younger anf more likely to produce for longer, he can drop dimes to chauncey on the outside and monroe and smith down low. I think thepistons are gonna be on the rise these next couple of years

  12. jacob spindler says:

    This is a great reward for all of the loyalty I have shown towards the pistons we are going to be a dangerous team next season!!!!! I am one happy pistons fan

  13. birddog13 says:

    Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, and only one basketball. They now need to do a reality show following this team. It should be hilarious. They can show turnover and bad shot bloopers with the credits at the end each week.

    • Mack313 says:

      Wrong answer. You must be from either Milwaukee or Atlanta. Why all the hate?? You mad because Detroit is moving up and your team is moving down/

    • egg waffle junior says:

      haha that was pretty funny.if they could grow up and play team ball they could be great .lets see if the egos clash or they act like professionalz

  14. Matthewthegreat says:

    The are going to be unstoppable

  15. yolo says:

    bad move by detroit, they already signed smith, who´s shot selection is not the best, now they aquired this chucker. brandon knight has much talent and potensial. detroit should have kept him for much less money instead of sign this guy, who is not a good playmaker, he is a guy who takes bad shots, shoots a bad percentage, and plays isos all the time.

  16. J says:

    the pistons are gonna be a beast of a team

    • evang says:

      no they’re not!! stop. Josh Smith got his contract so he’s gonna play soft unlike he did in Atlanta. Jennings got his contract so he won’t play as hard as he did for the Bucks. Doesn’t anyone realize anymore that good players become average players once they get their contract. The only players that play the same after the get their contract or after they get traded are superstars and Jennings and Josh Smith are not superstars. Could they make the playoffs? Yes, but they will have a losing record. Ask any Sixers fan if that is enough and they’ll tell you no, it’s not enough. Detroit was better off keeping their young players developing them into good solid players and surrounding them by a good coaching staff that will get them to play at their full potential. I’m just saying.

      • TDR says:

        what kind of theory is that?!
        wait and see what happens. u will be proven wrong.
        probably u mad because Detroit is moving up and your team is moving down.

      • J says:

        good players become average?!?!?!?!? the pistons will be a great team end of story not championship calibre but 7 maybe 6th seed in east.

  17. J says:

    bout time somebody signed him now somebody go after greg oden!

  18. Matthew says:

    Pistons trying to make some noise this year…

  19. BigBoy says:

    doesnt matter how talented or how much veteran leadership is in that backcourt now. reality is this was a bad trade for either the pistons organization or andre drummond who was supposed to be a starter alongside monroe. they are not going to play josh smith at 3 spot so how will this turn out? dont know

    • Toocrunk says:

      @BigBoy….Dumars already stated that they are going to play Josh Smith at the 3 while Drummond and Monroe run the front court. Billups will come in behind Jennings. As for the SG spot…they have a lot of options, but a veteran SG would be a better choice. This is a excellent trade for The Pistons. They off loaded 2 scrub player’s contract and got a better PG than they had before. They even have enough money to go after an SG. The Pistons were going after Rudy Gay. Maybe they can still make the deal happen…or go after someone that is close to his performance.

      • Just Joe says:

        Josh will start the game at the three and then they will rotate to different lineups of smith/drummond drummond/monroe and smith/monroe. the odd man out would be monroe because smith and drummond on the floor would make a great defensive front court. Mr. big shot will be more so a coach and mentor than a player but it should be good for our young gaurds. the x factor this year is rodney stuckaberry fin, if he can put it together and become a true combo gaurd like we saw spurts of over the last two seasons. i was very happy with the production of singler he suprised me playing some SG for the pistons early on last year. i like where my team is headed but we will only be grabbing a 6 and under seed. The east is loaded and Cleveland looks like they may make some noise if bynum knees can hold up his hair.

  20. SaYo says:

    dayum, im from milwaukee, but i wish he woulda went to a different team, hes a talented guy, he didnt play so well last year cause he must be fed up with milwaukee bucks, he was improving every 1st 3 year he played, brandon jennings can be a STAR, i wish he would be taken to a different team tho, hope he does goodl ol will always be a fan of his

  21. Jl says:

    Me personally I think that Jennings is a good player, and that we got rid of some of those players that were going to the D league anyway, I wonder if we still have Corey Maggette, cause he would be the missing piece to the team that we need. We probably won’t make it to the playoffs this coming season, but the next, now we need one more play, Richard Hamilton.

  22. B Radd says:

    Love it! Brandon Jennings is Isaia reincarnated! With the Bigs and the addition of Josh Smith, I’m starting believe this team can make a push deep in the playoffs. The only team that can put a halt on their run would be Miami (surprisingly with that big hole in the middle) and that well put together frontcourt of Hibbert, West and George.

  23. Chris says:

    Great get for the Pistons. Jennings has all kinds of talent. Hopefully, Chauncey Billups will help both he and Pope become better guards and and professionals. I like what the Pistons have done with a huge, huge front line, and now some very good talent at the guard spot. Besides Miami and Indiana, there isn’t anyone else in the east that scares me. This Pistons team should make the playoffs.

    • Wildcat says:

      What about a full all star line up in Brooklyn. Williams, j. Johnson, Pierce, KG, and Lopez; with J. Terry and AK coming off the bench. We’ll see if they can gel, but its gonna take size to win in the East this year.

    • Toocrunk says:

      @Chris….Are you kidding me? You say you are only worried about The Pacers and The Heat. Dude, you should also worry about The Chicago Bulls and The Brooklyn Nets. Especially The Nets! The Nets have D.Will, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez, AK-47, Jason Terry, and Blatche. Their starting line up is basically nothing, but ALL STAR players!

      • The Beard says:

        For real, the Nets and Bulls are the teams to beat now. If the Pacers get Granger back this season then it’ll be a race between those three teams in the east. The Heat are good but didn’t get any better this offseason, while all three of those teams did. My pick is the Nets with their full all-star lineup and veteran leaders to win the East. If anyone should be scared it’s the Heat!

  24. Bob says:

    In my eyes Detroit win this trade, but it seems as thought they gave up too much to get a guy the Bucks would probably have given away next year. His PPG and APG stats are nice, but 39.4 is horrendous. Knight also had some upside so I’m surprised they couldn’t get a little more for him. Anyway Detroit with Smith and Billups are shaping up nicely, their is gonna be drastic movement in the east this year.

    • BigBoy says:

      jennings nearly doubled knights APG with less turnovers. the guy with more upside is most likely jennings

  25. Tret says:

    Nice TRADE!
    IF IF IF, Brandon Jennings will accept his role as a SG then Chauncey and Brandon will be the one of the more dangerous back-up on the league (still have faith on Chauncey though).
    Brandon needs to get buff and chauncey needs to get healthy, well healthier.
    I really think brandon is SG, he is not a PG.

    • BigBoy says:

      wow its the opposite here. chauncey is not the allstar PG and former finals mvp he was when he won it all with detroit sometime ago. brandon has to be the PG. chauncey is not going to be a starter. either stuckey will get another shot at that starting role or they’re trusting kyle singler next year. chauncey is backup guard but never will start on this team.

      • yeah says:

        thats why he is saying he still has a faith on chauncey.. he’s not saying that billups is in his former self

    • Did you read at all? says:

      Brandon Knight is part of the trade to Milwaukee. him and Chauncey cant team up if he aint there…

      • did you read at all too? says:


      • Irony says:

        Brandon Jennings. Feeling stupid huh buddy? It’s alright everybody makes mistakes

      • egg waffle junior says:

        haha you dingbat mr jennings shares a first name as the same as sir knight .both be brandon.durp durp

    • JJ says:

      Just cause a PG has a shoot-first mentality, still doesnt mean hes a SG. Brandon is a PG. He’ll look more to facilitate now in the D since hes got teammates who can finish. But you’d be leaving him out to dry if you played Jennings at the SG slot. He already has issues guarding bigger PGs, how you think he’d manage guarding SGs that have 5-7inches on him……

  26. Kimmy says:

    Good article. I would imagine Brandon Jennings is breathing a sigh of relief. Not sure if the Bucks always had plans to trade him, they certainly waited until what seems like the last minute to do so. But bottom line is that they opted out, unlike the Hawks w/ Jeff Teague, of keeping a player who vocalized they don’t don’t want to be where they are. Win-win situation for both the Pistons and the Bucks. Somehow, I think the Detroit Pistons have just jumped up a notch. If players like Jennings and Smith didn’t excel to their potential because they werent good fits w their previous teams, then I say other teams in the East, especially teams like Boston, Hawks, New York, and Milwakee, better beware for this team. The Pistons will definately make the playoffs this season. And that is refreshing.