It’s weird that a player, even an unrestricted free agent like Brandon Jennings, who scored 17.5 points per game last season, isn’t getting any attention from teams around the league, and is now down to two options with the Milwaukee Bucks – sign a qualifying offer, which is worth about a third of the money he’s looking to make, or try and establish a sign & trade situation.
The Bucks need a point guard – Ellis is gone, and Jeff Teague is staying in Atlanta. Jennings might not be the pass-first classing PG the Bucks might want, but he is still an explosive starter at the position, averaging 17.5 points and 6.5 assists per game last season, although it did come with 39.9% from the field.
Jennings has been looking for an offer sheet all summer, but quietly, as he and his agent have barely been heard since the free agency period took off. He’s looking for a deal that’s around $12 million, but cap space is running out for teams, and considering other deals around the NBA (Monta Ellis, Kevin Martin), it’s hard to believe he’ll be getting that 8-figure salary he’s been dreaming of.
So what now? In order to become a free agent now, he needs the Bucks to rescind their right for a qualifying offer, but that isn’t likely to happen. He can sign the qualifying offer which is worth $4.1 million, making him a free agent next season. Or he can simply sign for the Bucks (and the Bucks are well below the cap, even after adding O.J. Mayo) and start pushing for the sign & trade scenario, hopefully before the season begins.
Moving slowly with the new tax rules and CBA limitations is proving to be very costly for certain players, Jennings maybe feeling the blow more than anyone. In the past, a volume-scorer like himself might have found himself a team willing to pay him more than $10 million a season, but restricted free agency and teams being very watchful over their cap space while also waiting for the boom of 2014 in both free agency and the draft (semi-tanking) has caused an excellent backcourt scorer to find himself in a very weird and uncomfortable situation, without many options left.