Bucks sit and wait on Jennings

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by Andrew Coughlin

General Manager John Hammond and the Milwaukee Bucks can play the waiting game with starting point guard Brandon Jennings. It's doubtful the guard will get a max contract.

The Brandon Jennings saga continues as we approach the month of August and the best free agents are pretty much off the board. 

It's rumored that Jennings and the Bucks are far apart on agreeing to a contract extension.  It also seems as if both parties are more than happy to wait it out. 

The Bucks seemingly have the upper hand in this process.  They made Jennings, who is a restricted free agent, a qualifying offer, protecting themselves in case another team wanted his services.  By doing that, they can match any offer made by another team if they so choose.

As of now, either no team has offered a contract to Jennings or they haven't offered anything that Jennings has liked.  My feeling is that Jennings is aiming too high for a point guard that wants to score first and pass second.  If he averaged 8.0 or 9.0 APG and took better shots instead of averaging 6.5 APG and shooting 39% from the field, his price tag would definitely be a little higher.

The Bucks can sit and wait this thing out for as long as they want.  Three things could happen: Jennings comes back to Milwaukee for the one year qualifying offer of $4.5 million, the Bucks sign Jennings to an extension for the price they want or he walks to another team at a price that Milwaukee thinks too steep. 

Any way you slice it up, the Bucks are in a good position regarding their starting PG, this year.

The future of Milwaukee's back-court

What they do next year and beyond is a bit more tricky.

If there is a slim chance that Jennings remains a Buck this year, there's an even smaller chance he's a Buck next year and beyond.  I think it's apparent that both sides want to move on, if not this year, then next.

Milwaukee brought back journeyman PG Luke Ridnour on a one year contract just in case Jennings does leave.  They also drafted PG Nate Wolters in the second round of this years draft. 

If its the goal of the organization to move on from Jennings and try a coach-and-develop approach to Wolters as a long term solution at PG, then they have to really like what they see in the 6'5" guard from South Dakota St.  He was fourth in the nation in scoring last season, but the conference (Summit League) he played in wasn't exactly a powerhouse.

I saw Wolters play in the Las Vegas Summer League.  Every time he was in the game he was pressured full court by the opposing defense and handled the ball very well.  His quickness wasn't anything to write home about, but his decision making was sound and his passes were crisp, especially on the pick-and-role with John Henson.  Wolters let the game come to him and never really forced anything.

Granted, that was only summer league, but if he can adjust to the speed of the NBA game, he could be the pass first PG the Bucks want and need.  A trait that Jennings would do well to attain himself.

 

Send emails to acoughlin@cbs58.com

If the Bucks do not sign Jennings to a long term deal this year or next year, they will have to find someone in free agency next summer.

Here's a list of unrestricted free agent point guards in 2014:

Kirk Hinrich

Darren Collison

Rodney Stuckey

Ramon Sessions

Shaun Livingston

Aaron Brooks

Steve Blake

Derek Fisher

Earl Watson

D.J. Augustin

Eric Maynor

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