Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond went on WSSP 1250 radio Wednesday afternoon to discuss the details in the negotiations involving the non-extension of Brandon Jennings’ rookie contract.
Below are the responses he gave during the course of the radio interview.
On the negotiations and the unlikelihood of an extension before the October 31 deadline:
We have yet a few more hours. It probably would be difficult to get a deal done, but never say ‘never’. At the end of the day, it’s still a business, and look, we want Brandon here long-term and his doesn’t mean that that would not happen.
On the future of the franchise and its relationship with Jennings:
Brandon is going to be a restricted free agent. I think since 1999, there have been 262 restricted free agents; 78% have re-signed with their team. There is a reason that happens. 1) It’s because they’re restricted. 2) I think we are in a more favorable position to bring our own guys back. That’s the goal with Brandon today and that’s always going to be the goal with Brandon: to have him here as a Milwaukee Buck.
On the reasons why a deal wasn’t done:
It’s the business side. That’s Brandon and his representatives having a number which they think is suitable and we as a team with our own number. It’s called negotiations. If you can’t come to an agreement in negotiations, then you make these decisions and you move on.
Once again, Brandon is going to have a job to do, and we have a job to do and I’ll repeat again: we want Brandon here long-term.
On the potentiality that the price of the deal changes between now and this summer’s restricted free agency:
If this negotiating period end tonight, a whole new negotiating period begins at the conclusion of the next season. Of course, numbers could change. Numbers could change from both sides and so it starts all over again.
On the four cornerstones of the franchise — Ellis, Skiles, Hammond and Jennings — having one year left on their contracts:
A guy like Monta understands what he is going through and he is going to play his very best. And I know that Scott is going to do his very best as a coach and I’m going to do my very best and it’s going to be Brandon’s responsibility to do the same should we not get a deal done with him.
On the price for a Jennings’ deal being slotted by the recent signings of Ty Lawson and Steph Curry:
Sure, you could go with that discussion, but once again, if we don’t get a deal done tonight, then the next negotiating period opens up and it will be a new time and a new way to look at things.
Hammond went on to note that the number of first-round picks signed to rookie extensions has dwindled in recent years. He also listed a large number of players in the same situation as Jennings who re-signed with their original team. (I mean, he seriously rattled off approximately 30 to 40 names off the top of his head. I nearly dozed for a second.)
However, when asked if Brandon may feel slighted by not receiving an extension, or if he may feel slighted in the future if he signs an offer sheet and the Bucks match, Hammond did not pick the greatest example ever. In fact, he came up with about the WORST ANSWER EVER. He cited Eric Gordon as his model of professionalism.
Gordon signed with Phoenix in the offseason as a restricted free agent, but had his offer matched by New Orleans and returned to the Hornets. Unfortunately, that situation soured today.
If there’s one clear scenario where everyone loses — Jennings, the Bucks, and their fans — it would be that one. Let’s avoid it, please.