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Brandon Jennings wants to leave Bucks

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Brandon Jennings wants to leave Bucks

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via Sporting News

 

The Bucks have a dilemma. They rescinded Monta Ellis, they traded JJ Redick and they disrespected Brandon Jennings by offering him just the qualifying offer. They had the balls to do this since they figured they would acquire Jeff Teague, who also wanted to move to the Bucks and reunite with his former coach.

However, the nature of restricted free agency is a tricky one, and once the Atlanta Hawks matched their offer, automatically keeping Teague, the Bucks have no starting point guard to pair with acquisition OJ Mayo. They have no choice but to trade Jennings, as he no longer wants to play for them. But trading a player who clearly wants out is a desperate measure, the other teams know it, and they have almost zero leverage.

 

per Sporting News:

 

 

If the bridge between the Bucks and point guard Brandon Jennings has not entirely burned, at least this can be said: It’s fiercely aflame. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Jennings does not want to go back to play for the Bucks next season.

As it stands, Jennings is a restricted free agent and his rights still belong with the Bucks. He can sign with another team, but Milwaukee has the right to match any offer. That’s one reason teams shied away from Jennings on the free-agent market this summer.

Another reason is that Jennings wants to be paid like the three point guards from his ’09 draft class who received extensions last offseason: Stephen Curry, Ty Lawson and Jrue Holiday. Those players signed deals in the range of four years and $41-48 million. But he is not going to find that money on the current free-agent market, and the Bucks are obviously reluctant to give Jennings that kind of a contract.

Milwaukee offered Atlanta point guard Jeff Teague a four-year, $32 million contract, which the Hawks matched over the weekend. The Bucks have also braced for turbulence at the point guard spot by taking on Luke Ridnour, who played in Milwaukee in ‘08’-09 and ’09-’10, from Minnesota.

Assuming they can’t get together on contract numbers, the options for the two sides are limited. As a restricted free agent, Jennings has the right to sign the Bucks’ qualifying offer, which is set by the collective bargaining agreement at $4.5 million. That would be a one-year commitment and would allow Jennings to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. But that means he might have to play out the season in Milwaukee, which he doesn’t want to do.

Signing the qualifying offer is a rare option, and usually only comes as a result of a serious disconnect between how the player sees his value and how the rest of the league sees it. Since the current framework of rookie contracts went into place, only 12 players have signed their qualifying offers, and only four (Michael Olowokandi, Ben Gordon, Stromile Swift and Ray Felton) of those were Top 10 picks like Jennings.

None of those players returned to their original teams after playing out that final year. Only Gordon, who signed a five-year, $58 million deal with the Pistons in 2009, converted his unrestricted free agency into a big, long-term contract after playing out his season under the qualifying offer.

That figures to be the thrust of what happens with Jennings. He does not want to stay in Milwaukee, but going the Gordon route and playing for the Bucks for one year could give him the path to the contract he wants.

Barring that, the Bucks can either find a sign-and-trade deal that will send him elsewhere and allow the Bucks to get something worthwhile in return or they can have him sign the qualifying offer and trade him after that. NBA rules limit the Bucks’ flexibility under the second option—after signing a qualifying offer, a player has the right to refuse a trade, so Jennings could essentially pick where he wants to play.