The Milwaukee Bucks have elected to not extend Brandon Jennings’ contract before the Oct. 31 deadline. The Bucks have absolutely made the right call to not give the point guard a contract extension in an effort to sign Monta Ellis to a long-term deal at the end of the season.
There is no question Jennings has shown signs of greatness since his arrival in Milwaukee. However, his three years in the NBA can be summed up as a player who takes way too many shots and does not convert nearly enough of them to be effective. It is one thing to average 16 points per game but if he is only making 39 percent of his shots then what is the point.
I have personally stuck behind Jennings since the team drafted him and I have always believed he has the potential to be great. He is phenomenal at making his teammates look good and has been known to catch fire. However, his inability to get to the basket and convert on his own has always hurt his game.
General manager John Hammond has previously stated that he believes Jennings is the long-term solution for Milwaukee. On Wednesday, he made it clear that is no longer the case now that Ellis is on the team. The Bucks would be wise to go after Ellis with all of their resources, as he is a critical piece to the puzzle if Milwaukee ever wants to play in another postseason game.
The Bucks have the option to attract either a point guard or shooting guard in free agency because of Ellis’ ability to play both positions well. Personally, I would go after a legitimate shooting guard and make Ellis the point because of his ability to get to the basket and finish plays.
In the meantime, the Bucks must concentrate on the present as they have a realistic shot at doing some damage in the Eastern Conference. I fully expect Milwaukee to be at least a sixth seed at the end of the season, as well as, make some noise in the playoffs. The Bucks will need Jennings to play at a high level in order to accomplish this.
“I’m going to just play this year out and do what I have to do here,” Jennings said. “The main goal is still trying to win, still trying to make the playoffs.
“Then I’ll be able to make my own decision. The main thing is I could say I’m kind of auditioning for other teams, too. The fact if they see what I can do, what I can bring to the table this year for the Bucks, anything can happen in the summertime. Now I’m just going to take it for what it is and ball out, man. Take this, as it’s my rookie year again.”
Theoretically, this is a win-win for Jennings and Milwaukee. The Bucks will probably get Jennings’ best statistical season to date while he will get a solid offer from another team if he plays top notch basketball.
Jennings has averaged 16.8 points, 5.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game in 211 career contests.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.