If it’s any consolation, Brandon Jennings never fails to offer us some theatre. However, to the dismay of many — including me — his never-over-the-top dramatics have finally come to an end after it was reported he would be joining the Detroit Pistons via a sign-and-trade.
In exchange for the 23-year-old misunderstood point guard, the Milwaukee Bucks will receive guard Brandon Knight, forward Khris Middleton and center Slava Kravtsovt from the Pistons.
Jennings averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 assists in 80 games for the Bucks last season, and is now the Pistons second big free agent signing this summer. Earlier, they inked up Atlanta Hawks free agent forward Josh Smith to a four-year $54 million contract.
I actually love this move by the Pistons, for a few reasons. Bear with me.
First, it gives the city of Detroit hope. Some would say false hope (good enough to compete for a bottom playoff seed and that’s it), but hope nonetheless. Even if it is “false hope”, they will be extremely fun to watch. Have you ever been part of (or watched) that one pickup game where the teams just keep exchanging buckets, difficult shot after difficult shot? Well, this is what Detroit could be looking like next season. It won’t be the prettiest of basketball, but it will be fun.
Secondly, let’s not forget that the Pistons brought back Chauncey Billups. He’s a veteran leader, probably willing to mentor young players — especially point guards. Yes, Jennings is at times somewhat of a loose cannon. Billups has an opportiunity to be able to talk some sense into him off the court and maybe teach him a thing or two about being a point guard on the court.
Thirdly, what the Pistons are paying Jennings isn’t all that bad. It’s a roughly $8 mill per season deal.When free agency began, it was reported that, Jennings wanted upwards to $12 million per season. Detroit got him at a bargain (in his eyes).
Lastly, he’s only 23 years old. Jennings is still a kid. He still hasn’t hit his prime. With the right veterans around him, he has a chance to expand his offensive-minded game. He will, especially paired up with another “star” in Smith.
Say what you want, but this isn’t the worst thing in the world for the Pistons. The key here is that is has potential. The jokes about bad shot selection will come, but if Jennings ever “gets it” I believe he can become a really good player.With the right pieces around (maybe one more splash via trade), and Detroit’s young talent, the Pistons can makes some noise next season.
They’re not going to be the “Bad Boy” Pistons, or anything, but at least they’re not going to be those bad Pistons anymore.