Bucks GM, John Hammond, has a big decision to make with the trade deadline approaching. Does he keep restricted free-agent to-be Brandon Jennings and risk losing him for nothing come free agency, or does he make a move now and get something in return. Also can he trust Jennings claim that he intends to stay in Milwaukee? Hammond has publicly stated his love for Jennings and Ellis, and while he hopes to keep them together, but the Bucks need to cough it up.
Meanwhile Jennings refutes criticisms about his “irreconcilable differences” with the club and that he is reportedly “frustrated” with the team. Here is more from ESPN:
Brandon Jennings said Wednesday he’s not looking to leave the Milwaukee Bucks, despite an ESPN.com story that said he has “irreconcilable differences” with the club.
ESPN.com, in an analysis story on 10 NBA players who could be traded, cited sources as saying Jennings is frustrated. One source called it “irreconcilable differences” and said Jennings wants to be moved before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.
“That is not true,” Jennings said in a text message when asked if his relationship with the Bucks is beyond repair. “Just because I got a new agent doesn’t mean anything. That stuff never came out of my mouth. They’re just reaching for a story since I changed my agent [to Jeff Schwartz].”
ESPN.com said it stands by its reporting.
A year ago, Jennings told ESPN.com that he was “doing [his] homework on big-market teams.” Since then, Jennings’ long-term status in Milwaukee has been the subject of speculation among league insiders, and when Jennings left agent Bill Duffy, the rumors swirled again about whether the guard is unhappy with the Bucks. The Bucks offered Jennings a four-year, $40 million extension, according to sources, but he turned it down. He will become a restricted free agent this summer.
One other theory being floated: Jennings is upset because he didn’t make the Eastern Conference All-Star team, despite leading the Bucks into playoff position by averaging team-highs of 18.5 points and 6.1 assists, or that he wants more exposure than small-market Milwaukee can offer.
Jennings denied that.
“Being in Milwaukee wasn’t the reason I didn’t make the All-Star Game,” Jennings said. “Guys just had better numbers than me.”
When asked about his future on Wednesday, Jennings said he’s only focused on the present.
“That’s something me and Jeff will discuss in the offseason,” he said. “The Milwaukee Bucks are in 8th place in the East, and I’m looking forward to helping them get to the playoffs in the second half of the season.”