The Detroit Pistons just reportedly pulled off a sign-and-trade to acquire Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings. On paper, the Pistons certainly got better. Jennings is certainly a good player with talent and an upgrade over Brandon Knight. However, there are a few reasons why this move was not smart and will set the Pistons back instead of moving them forward.
There is a reason Jennings had not yet been signed to an offer sheet by any team out there, and still the Bucks were eager to get rid of him. The reason being, in many ways Brandon Jennings hurts your team more than he helps it. Sure, his numbers look pretty good (17.5PPG, 6.5 APG), but upon further inspection, Jennings is oftentimes more of a negative than a positive.
One is defensively. At a listed height and weight of 6-foot-1 and 169 pounds, and he’s probably even smaller than that. Jennings is an extremely undersized NBA player. He really can’t defend any position effectively, even his own, where the average NBA point guard has him by about 25 pounds and three inches. This is likely around the size Jennings will be for the remainder of his career, meaning on defense he will always be a liability.
Two, Brandon Jennings takes a lot of bad shots. He isn’t a very good shooter, yet he has a shoot-first mentality. This is a recipe for disaster that is evident in his career shooting numbers of 39 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point range. He was even worse in the playoffs last year, shooting a putrid 30 percent from the field and 21 percent from three while only dishing out four assists. He isn’t a good finisher around the rim, and due to his lack of height he often resorts to fading away on his jump shots. The Pistons’ future is in their promising young big men Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, but Jennings will hinder their development by continuing to hoist up these bad shots. Add the fact that the Pistons already signed a talented player with a questionable shot selection in Josh Smith, and it looks like Drummond and Monroe’s touches are going to be even more limited.
So the Pistons just committed $24 million to a guy who may end up hurting them more than he helps. The deal looks good on paper, but Brandon Jennings’ tenure with the Pistons may turn out to be an air ball.