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2013 Free Agency, Latest News, NBA / Jul 30, 2013 / 6:36 pm

Report: Pistons Acquiring Brandon Jennings From The Bucks In Sign-And-Trade

Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings (photo. @BrandonJennings)

According to league sources, Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo! Sports reports the Milwaukee Bucks will send restricted free agent Brandon Jennings to the Detroit Pistons in return for guard Brandon Knight, forward Khris Middleton and center Slava Kravtsov as part of a sign-and-trade with Jennings for a three-year, $24 million deal.

This will be the second big signing the Pistons have done in a busy offseason, with the first involving the free agent signing of former Hawks forward, Josh Smith, to a four-year, $56 million deal earlier in July.

Today we detailed how Jennings appeared to be inching closer to accepting the Bucks’ $4.5 million qualifying offer in order to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. But with the sign-and-trade, he’ll be joining a new Pistons team and making close to what his former backcourt partner in Milwaukee, Monta Ellis, signed to join the Dallas Mavericks.

The 23-year-old Jennings averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 assists per game last season with Milwaukee as they squeezed into the playoffs as the eighth seed in a top-heavy Eastern Conference before being swept in the first round by the eventual champion, Miami. Despite the second consecutive playoff birth, Jennings saw his shooting percentage plummet below 40 percent from the floor last season despite knocking down a career high 37.5 percent of his 3-point field goals.

The drop in his overall field goal percentage can be attributed to an increase in long jumpers inside the arc, and a lower efficiency near the rim. Jennings shot only 29.4 percent from 3-9 feet last year, and saw his field goal percentage at the rim drop from 57.7 in 2012, to 52.4 last season, per hoopdata. Whether Jennings’ shooting woes continue could decide Detroit’s fortunes next season, but with Chauncey Billups returning to Detroit this summer, his presence as a mentor could be advantageous for the younger Jennings.

It remains to be seen whether the pieces Detroit’s GM Joe Dumars acquired this offseason will fit together — we didn’t think so highly of the Rajon Rondo/Brandon Knight flop that didn’t happen — but it’s exciting for Pistons fans who haven’t had a lot to be cheery about after their city declared bankruptcy earlier this month. The Pistons haven’t won a playoff series since 2008, but that might change this season with all the new additions.

How do you think Jennings will do in Detroit?

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  • 2cents

    How is Jennings an upgrade over Knight? Another ball-hog gunner doesn’t make this team better…

  • JackPackage

    He is an upgrade, how much of an upgrade remains to be seen but Jennings at this point in time is a better player than Knight.

    This off-season has been terrible for Detroit, nowhere near as bad as the Charlie-V/Ben Gordon off-season but still…

    Blocked Monroe or Drummond, added two chuckers on expensive contracts and added another offensive-minded guard in the draft.

    Should have drafted Trey Burke and Jamaal Franklin.

    Great move by Milwaukee though, they didn’t really want Jennings, whiffed on Teague and were in desperate need of a ‘PG’.

    Bucks can give Knight and Mayo a full season at starting PG/SG and either tank or get similar production to Jennings/Ellis at a fraction of the price.

  • 2cents

    Mate, very well said. Since winning the ‘chip, Dumars has struck out awfully in every off season. I was excited about the Pistons until they got Smith. Smith is nice, but isn’t at all what they needed.

    Off topic, but now that Detroit is bankrupt, who is going to afford to be able to see them play in person?

  • ablade

    Jennings is a SIGNIFICANT upgrade over knight. I called Jennings contract yesterday, prior to this move happening, in this article (down to the dollar): http://dimemag.com/2013/07/the-top-remaining-free-agents-brandon-jennings-nikola-pekovic-greg-oden/

    In that article I called him a “jack of all trades, master of non”, and his numbers suggest that. I also think with a different back-court running partner his numbers will increase a little.

    Knight however.. he is a disastrous signing. If you look at the Hollinger stats for PG on ESPN they list 82 point guards, you can sort each column by PER, win’s added, Assists, True Shooting %, etc. Jennings is middle of the road, occasionally making his way into the top 20 of some stats. In nearly every category Knight is on the second page, often near the bottom of the second page. The worst of the worst! Literally Go and have a play with it!

    Check this link out: http://www.thenbageek.com/players?direction=asc&positions%5B%5D=PG&sort=%22WP48%22

    Wins Produced per 48. Knight is one of the few players in negative numbers! Having him on your half of the court loses you games! His presence on the court is a negative, you’d be better picking a member of the crowd! (OK maybe that’s a bit extreme, but they’d would have been better off with just about any OTHER PG in the game!).

    THE most baffling part about this is that the Bucks were $9 million short of the minimum team salary cap (introduced in the 2011 CBA to stop teams profiting from the tax payments). That amount included Jennings qualifying offer at $4.5 million, so they could have signed him at the $8 million per year contract he got and they would have still needed to sign at least one more player.

    Instead they’ve taken on an extra three players, none of whom are improvements, and are paying the same. Terrible! There’s no reason to think Kravtsov will play any significant role, he only played 8 minutes in 22 games and did nothing of significance. Middleton got some minutes in a few games last season (28 games), he didn’t have many minutes but made the most of what he got, he could turn out to be surprise part of this deal and actually start the 3 for them!

    The problem is all 3 are on rookie contracts. Doing a quick calculation in my head their contracts amount to $5 million. So they’ve taken on two extra players but are still the best part of $8 million under the cap!

    So what is it all about? Tanking? (would be my guess!) Poor management? /shrug. Unless they WANT to lose games this was a bad move. Even if they had no choice or wanted to tank they could have let Jennings walk for some draft picks and signed someone in free-agency. Even now there are players such as Telfair, Gibson, and others available. All equally as bad as Knight. All would have come for the same money. Detroit didn’t need to clear cap space to make this deal work so if they wanted him (which they obviously did) the deal would have gone through anyway, I’m sure they’d have given up a future pick or two (probably protected. but still…).

    The mind boggles at this whole deal!

  • 2cents

    A number of valid points Ablade, but one thing stats don’t measure is a players character. Pistons are still suffering from lack of a cohesive unit and all the players/coaches from the Pistons raved about Knight. I am not sure Jennings is that “glue” guy who will bring the team together. But let’s hope I am proved wrong.