According to a report from Marc Spears at Yahoo! Sports, Brandon Jennings has threatened to leave Milwaukee if he plays next season after accepting a qualifying offer.
“If I take the qualifying offer and become an [unrestricted] free agent there is no way I am coming back,” Jennings told Yahoo! Sports on Friday after practice. “There is no way.”
Jennings will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. If he plays next season after signing for a qualifying offer, it would be a one-year deal for approximately $4.5 million. The Bucks would have the right of refusal to match any contracts that other teams offer to Jennings over the summer.
Well, OF COURSE he has to say that.
He’s not going to say, “You know, I’m really looking forward to playing here on a one-year deal for the NBA version of a pittance. Then I’d have to consider my options carefully as an unrestricted free agent since the Bucks can offer me more money than the other 29 NBA teams.”
If the players from his draft class of approximately equivalent value — DeMar DeRozan, Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday — have signed deals that gave them both long-term security and annual salaries in the neighborhood of $10 million, then Jennings would have to be miffed at the prospect of playing for less than half that next season. He would have to push the envelope with the one piece of clout available to him: the threat of leaving.
Jennings also switched agents a month ago to bulwark that ultimatum.
Never mind that the Bucks could offer him more money for more years (five instead of four) as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2014. Jennings has to make his power plays as best he can because the Bucks are working just as hard on the other end.
The Bucks have done everything in their power to gain leverage in future negotiations. Adding J.J. Redick, a starting caliber 2-guard, is the newest twist. The revelation of Monta Ellis, point guard extraordinaire, gives that acquisition an extra potent bite.
Jennings may very well leave town this summer or next. But until it happens, doing his “homework on big-market teams” and switching agents and “auditioning for other teams” are just the necessary threats of his end of the business. We won’t know until later whether those threats were idle or not.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that he just puts too high a price tag on his own worth, too. He definitely overvalues Rudy Gay.
— Preston Schmitt (@pdschmitt1) March 9, 2013