NBA Rumor: Milwaukee Won’t Trade Brandon Jennings

By: 06.29.11  •  8 Comments
Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings (photo. Nicky Woo)

As if you’d expect them too. Nah, when you have a 21-year-old (legit) point guard who can pass, shoot (sometimes) and is athletic, you hold onto him. Maybe he never pans out the way you really wanted him to, but you take that chance…especially with the way the game is being played now (no hand-checking, up-and-down, less Mateen Cleaves).

Brandon Jennings needs to stay in Milwaukee. He’s a Buck. Through and through. A young buck. I haven’t really considered the trade rumors to be completely serious (at the very least, less serious than the ones w/ Andrew Bogut, which had my attention for oh….20 seconds). But I guess in Milwaukee’s upheaval of an offseason, after making the largest move yet in the NBA to acquire two new PGs, the question came up.

But Sean Deveney of the Sporting News writes:

Last week, when the Bucks pulled off the draft-day trade that sent Corey Maggette to Charlotte and John Salmons to Sacramento, and brought point guards Shaun Livingston and Beno Udrih, as well as wing man Stephen Jackson, to Milwaukee, speculation immediately bubbled up about what Milwaukee might do with its starting point guard, third-year man Brandon Jennings. Jennings, Livingston and Udrih, plus Keyon Dooling, seemed to be a crowded field at the position.

A source told Sporting News, though, that there were no plans in place to trade Jennings, and that seemed to be confirmed Tuesday when the team introduced its two new point guards. Coach Scott Skiles said he would find ways to get playing time for everyone.

“The way the game is played now, there’s so many opportunities that teams are looking for to put one big man in the game and four versatile guys — four ballhandlers, four shooters, three ballhandlers, three shooters and another big who can shoot and a center. So there’s all kinds of opportunities to get guys into the game and give guys minutes. Beno is a high-level player and there’s no question that there’s going to be times when both of our guards or all three point guards are going to be playing together, no question.”

Versatility. That’s what it’s all about now. It’s become sort of a cliche to say, “there are no positions left in basketball.” But it’s true. Milwaukee says they wanted to add versatility, add playmakers after the debacle that was last season when every quarter, every possession, came down to a still green Jennings creating a shot (either that or watch Carlos Delfino go one-on-one). And they’ve done that.

I’ve never been a huge Jennings guy. Whenever I caught him in high school, I saw a kid with an incredibly high skill level, but something was missing. Maybe it was the body; You can be small and still succeed. It’s just all about core strength – can you take a hit and finish, can you drive through contact? – and I wasn’t sure if I saw that with him. He was hitting tough jump shots, fallaways and step-backs…BUT, he was having to shoot those against teenagers. And to no surprise of my own, he’s still doing that at the next level (the shooting percentages suggest “sometimes”). His hype seemed to swallow him early on during his first season, 55-point game and all. But he’s VERY solid. And he’s young, exciting, coachable and by all accounts, well-liked by pretty much everyone.

Questions. Questions.

But see, that’s why you hold onto him. 21. PG. That career 38% shooting is bound to go up. That career 5.3 dimes a game should improve. We have time. The Bucks might be looking at the playoffs next year, but they have time as well. And Brandon has all the tools.

Sources in Milwaukee say they won’t trade Jennings. They’re making the right move.

What do you think? Would you look to trade Jennings?

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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