“I am going to keep my options open, knowing that the time is coming up,” Jennings said. “I’m doing my homework on big-market teams.”
Jennings would be able to sign a long-term extension with the Bucks once the season is over or has the ability to become an unrestricted free agent after next season.
Jennings has led the Bucks in scoring the last two seasons and just missed being named an NBA All-Star this year as he was elected to be a wild card instead. He has also helped Milwaukee remain the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference for a few weeks now. Jennings has been very good for the team and the fans have instantly connected with him. Everyone in Milwaukee assumed he would be with the Bucks for the long haul but it seems he would prefer to see what his options are in the larger markets.
“I’m not saying I won’t (sign an extension with the Bucks) and I’m not saying I will,” Jennings said, according to ESPN. “I’m just keeping my options open.”
Jennings seems to be unsure of himself on several levels. After the Bucks lost to the Phoenix Suns earlier this week, Jennings posted on Twitter: “I’m not a role model so stop trying make me one. My life has no rules I do what I want!”
The tweet was later deleted but not before several Bucks fans witnessed it.
Milwaukee is clearly going through a hard time right now internally with players and coaches not getting along. Shooting guard Stephen Jackson has been nothing but a disturbance in the locker room ever since he missed a bus to the morning shootaround before a game against the New York Knicks four weeks ago. A player who was supposed to bring offense to the team has instead decided to corrupt the Bucks young franchise player. Since the tweet, Jennings has shot 4-16 from the field and has been playing at a sluggish pace.
Ever since players like LeBron James and Chris Bosh formed the “Big Three” with Dwyane Wade in Miami the NBA has changed. All of these star players, or players that think they are stars, want to team up with other All-Stars and try to win championships. Last year Carmelo Anthony forced his way out of Denver to team up with Amar’e Stoudemire in New York and this year Chris Paul forced a trade from New Orleans to Los Angeles. Jennings now thinks he is an All-Star caliber player, which he is on a good day in my opinion, and realizes he will never win a championship in Milwaukee.
“When you start seeing other players like Dwight Howard or CP3, you start thinking,” said Jennings. “It has nothing to do with the city of Milwaukee or anything like that because that’s where I started my career. They’ve been nothing but good to me. (Coach) Scott Skiles and (general manager) John Hammond have been good to me. It’s just that I’m understanding the business of basketball now.”
Sources close to Jennings said he is frustrated with where the franchise is heading, which is completely understandable considering the Bucks have not won an NBA championship since 1971. Not to mention, they have only been in the playoffs three times over the past 12 seasons.
Milwaukee has tried to put together a good team since their electrifying run into the postseason two years ago but they just can’t seem to get it right. Last year, the Bucks were the most injured team in the NBA while this season the chemistry seems to be a little off. Jackson is causing problems in the front office and the coaching staff which is bringing the morale of the entire team down.
The Bucks have looked like contenders at times this season, especially in their two victories over the Miami Heat and one against the Los Angeles Lakers, but then they fall back to Earth with losses against the Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Bobcats.
If Milwaukee is unable to keep Jennings then the franchise will collapse onto itself. Jennings claims he will continue to play hard and try to win while he is with the Bucks but the last two games have already proven the opposite.
“I’m going to keep playing hard every night for the Bucks as long as I’m there,” Jennings said, according to ESPN. “I’m not promising that’s where my future will be. I will make sure me and (agent Bill Duffy) look at all the best options.”