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According to reports, Bucks guard Brandon Jennings is unhappy with his situation in Milwaukee. (PHOTO: David Bernacchi)

Brandon Jennings can own Milwaukee


Brandon Jennings is a Milwaukee Buck. He will be for the long term, too, unless he's traded by the Feb. 21 deadline – something that is highly unlikely.

The fact that Jennings is in Milwaukee is indisputable, right? He practices at the Cousins Center in St. Francis, plays games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, has "Milwaukee" across his chest when he suits up.

Let's forget about trade rumors for a second and focus on what we know.

We know Jennings is in Milwaukee. We know he is a restricted free agent. We know that RFA's, under the NBA collective bargaining agreement, are not free to leave and sign with any team they choose.

OK, so why is there such a fuss over his contract situation and his future with the team?

Well, last week, some things happened. Jennings fired his long time agent, Bill Duffy. Then, Racine Journal Times reporter Gery Woelfel hopped on the radio to say Jennings wants a maximum contract and believed Milwaukee's market size prevented him from making the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

Jennings had a simple response to Woelfel's assertions.

You don't have to guess that he's upset about not making the All-Star team – it was a stated goal of his at the end of last season. No one should be surprised by that.

It's definitely true that Jennings is upset about being one of only two players in his draft class to not be extended by Oct. 31. He basically said as much when that day came and went. But NBA agents are smart, and Jennings is smart. They know he's caught between a rock and a hard place as an RFA.

That's not to say he hasn't earned an extension and a raise. We at OnMilwaukee.com have been on the record saying the Bucks should lock up Jennings long term, for a variety of reasons.

Whether he likes it or not, the NBA and players union agreed on a CBA that basically keeps guys like Jennings in Milwaukee for less money than they feel they're worth.

Now, perhaps Jennings changed agents in an effort to get another team to insert so-called "poison pill" years into an offer sheet to ensure the Bucks cannot match the deal.

Houston did this with guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik. The pair signed nearly identical 3 year, $25.1 million offer sheets that had $14.9 million of that coming in the final year.

The thing is, no "poison pill" is going to dissuade the Bucks if they really want to keep Jennings around.

According to Spotrac, the only Bucks with guaranteed money over $4 million past this season are Drew Gooden, Luc Mbah a Moute and Ersan Ilyasova. None of the contracts are particularly restrictive and chances are Gooden will be traded or amnestied prior to 2014-15 anyway.

The Bucks could easily afford a poison pill year (or years) at any point in the next three or four seasons.

Perhaps what Jennings fears is becoming Eric Gordon. Gordon signed a 4-year, $58 million offer sheet – the maximum an unrestricted free agent can get – with the Phoenix Suns. But, the New Orleans Hornets matched.

Now, that $14.5 million annual salary is pretty good – and it's a figure Jennings reportedly wants – but money doesn't buy you everything. Gordon expressed a great desire to get out of New Orleans, but oh well – them's the breaks.

So, a team could offer Jennings that "max" deal and he'll still spend the next four years in Milwaukee, even if he really wanted to leave.

Jennings knows this.

He also knows that can own Milwaukee if he wants. It's why he hasn't gone all Dwight Howard on everyone.

Yes, if he wants. He can be charming, funny, and has a personality people can attach themselves to. But, he can also be distant, unapproachable.

The Bucks are one of just 30 NBA teams in the world, and it can be his. If a new arena is approved and constructed in his tenure, it can be "the house BJ3 built."

He can have restaurants and commercials and whatever else comes with being "the man" in a professional sports town.

It's not wrong to wonder if the grass is greener but if the Bucks match any offer he gets, Jennings knows there is plenty of green in this city, too.


Talkbacks

brewcitypaul | Feb. 13, 2013 at 4:08 p.m. (report)

And just like that.....Jennings said he has "irreconcilible differences" with the Bucks and wants to be traded. Boom. Get out. Nobody will pay to be the star that you are not. Pretty dumb for his agent to leak this info 6 hours before the last home game before the all star break. Prepare to get roasted Jennings

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swoakes | Feb. 13, 2013 at 3:53 p.m. (report)

Forget Jennings. A 39% shooter who wants max money, has a bad attitude, and blames not getting selected to the all star team on the market he's in? Go away.

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brewtownsports | Feb. 13, 2013 at 12:06 p.m. (report)

Brandon Jennings has been a huge disappointment since joining the Bucks. He is a career 40% shooter from the field and is prone to prolonged dry spells during the season. I hope the Bucks don't offer big cash, but this is the same group that thought John Salmons, Corey Maggette, and Stephen Jackson would work. Milwaukee is not interested in Brandon Jennings, the meager attendance at the BMO Harris Center is proof. Time to cut ties.

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brewcitypaul | Feb. 13, 2013 at 11:21 a.m. (report)

I know Jennings is only 23 years old....but it sure would be nice if he could be a professional and not pout like little kid not getting selected for the varsity team. Bucks have not won a game since he changed agents and he looks extremely disengaged. Basically it appears he's trying to play his way out of town ala Stephen Jackson. It's also disheartening to see his FG% continue to be one of the worst in the league for a starting player taking an average of 15 shots. I have a hard time knowing what to do with this kid. I don't know what we can get for him in trade that would be equal value and get us another young starter quality PG (Eric Bledsoe?).....and I don't know how we can win and build a good salary structure if we have to pay him star money upwards of $10M/year for subpar play. My biggest fear is him moving to another team and the light switch going on though.

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