An ESPN report circulated late Thursday which reflected Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings discussing alleged big-market desires despite more than one year remaining on his current contract. Jennings, an All-Star snub in 2012, took to Bucks shootaround with the two latest news items creating entirely new story lines for a team in the playoff hunt.
Though the Chris Broussard report stated that Jennings has been looking into “big market teams” upon the expiration of his contract, citing players like Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, the Bucks guard back-tracked a bit on Friday morning, stating that market size may not play as big of a role as reported.
“To tell you the truth,” said Jennings on Friday morning following the team’s shootaround session, “it really doesn’t matter what market it’s in. I’m just keeping my options open. That’s just the main thing. I’m not saying I’m unhappy in Milwaukee, Milwaukee has been very good to me. It’s just one of those things, when the time is coming up, you start thinking. You just never know.”
Milwaukee’s last big-named free agent was the 2005 first-overall pick in Andrew Bogut who decided to extend his rookie contract with the Bucks. Oklahoma City, another small-to-mid-market franchise, has been able to extend both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. On the other end of the spectrum, Cleveland lost LeBron James to Miami while the abovementioned Paul was recently traded to the Clippers.
“Of course [Milwaukee is still an option],” Jennings said. “I never said I’m leaving Milwaukee. That’s one thing I want to get cleared up – I never said that I’m leaving.
“It’s not like we’ve been losing season after season, so I can’t say there are any negatives [with Milwuakee] right now.”
Bucks coach Scott Skiles says that he does not have a problem with the report nor his player discussing his post-contract options.
“There’s a system that is in place,” said Skiles. “The players operate under the system. If people are worried about players exercising their right to do that, they should have changed it when they had the chance. I don’t know why anyone would complain about it – you play the cards you’re dealt.”
Jennings is currently in the midst of a career year, averaging 18.9 points and 5.3 assists per game. The Bucks are presently the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. They will play the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night with tip-off slated for 7:30pm EST.