A vague Brandon Jennings trade rumor and what it means

One broadly worded sentence arched the eyebrows of more than a few Milwaukee Bucks fans today.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

The Milwaukee Bucks reportedly would be open to listening to offers for guard Brandon Jennings.

That’s the kind of phrase that first is met with a wave of the hand and disinterest because it seems like the Bucks have so much invested in Jennings.  Then you start to think about it.

Jennings struggled through the majority of his first season after hitting one of the highest highs a rookie guard has ever hit during his first month with his 55-point game. He was a sub-40% shooter on the season, despite leading the team in attempts. Last season wasn’t leaps and bounds better. He again made less than 40% of his shots and took a lot of them. His shooting woes coupled with a broken foot to mask any of the minor improvements he made. Season two hardly seemed any better than season one. That’s a sin in the eyes of basketball fans.

We demand improvement and we demand it be measurable and significant. And we especially demand that of a player becoming the face of a franchise. Suddenly a trade doesn’t seem so outrageous. Bucks fans seem fairly evenly split on Jennings — some feel he still has significant potential, while others feel it may be a good time to cash in on that perception since it isn’t reality.

There was probably a fair amount of division as that sentence made its round around the internet. Even though it isn’t a very important sentence when you break it down.

“… reportedly would be open to listening to offers …”

So if that report is accurate, Milwaukee would not hang up the phone immediately if a team called and said “Would you listen to a Jennings offer?” Forgive me if my jaw remains where it is and doesn’t fall to the floor. Milwaukee just came off its most disappointing season since The Anthony Mason Year. It woefully underachieved and appear to have a rather serious problem scoring. Does that sound like a team that can afford not to listen to an offer for Jennings or any other player? If they aren’t willing, they aren’t trying.

But that doesn’t mean they’re looking to trade Jennings. The team has given him an incredibly long leash and has basked in his worldwide travels the last two summers as apart of various NBA programs. There’s been zero indication the team is ready to move forward without him as their point guard, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t trade him if a team through together some absurd offer.

So don’t jump the gun and think the Bucks are attaching a figurative “For Sale” sign to their young point guard just yet.

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook (in the sidebar).

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10 Comments

  1. I think this is potentially dangerous, Jennings is currently the face of this franchise, and has loved being “the guy” in Milwaukee and seems to have really embraced being a Milwaukee Buck. Granted it doesn’t sound like there is much to this rumor at all, but I feel that if Jennings somehow took a rumor like this as “they don’t want me here” he could potentially end up pulling a marbury. Also I think Jennings is the last person on the team they should trade right now with the Bucks salary cap situation where it currently is.

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  4. Jeremy Schmidt

    @Ted
    It’s a two way street. It could derail him, but it could motivate him also. Everyone needs a kick in the ass here and there — athletes included. But yeah, Jennings is certainly out performing his contract, even with slightly above average play. His value remains high in that aspect.

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  6. @Jake

    No sadly he is not, just because his name gets called last during pre game intros does not make him the face of the franchise. He’s their best player, but as far as attracting fans and selling memorabilia Bogut is not as valuable to the Milwaukee Bucks as Brandon Jennings is. Right now when people think of the Milwaukee Bucks they think of Jennings. The position of Point Guard is the most highly coveted position in the NBA. Teams aren’t building for the future around a big man like they used to back in the day. Center is a dying position in the NBA. Being the face of the franchise does not mean you are it’s best player, I think you are misinterpreting what face of the franchise means

  7. Ted is right, Center isnt the Face of the Franchise for a lot of teams, maybe orlando , but other than that. hell no. And lets not get it twisted , the Best player on Milwakee is John Salmons,

  8. Both Jennings AND Bogut are key to the Bucks succeeding. So any talk of trading him after a dissappointing 2nd year, when you remember that both he (and the Big Unit) were injured last season, is nothing short of STUPID!

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