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Pistons near sign-and-trade for Brandon Jennings, who will receive three-year, $24 million contract

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Detroit and Milwaukee are nearing a sign-and-trade agreement to send Brandon Jennings to the Pistons, league sources tell Y! Sports.

The sign-and-trade for Jennings to the Pistons will be a three-year, $24 million deal, sources tell Y! Sports.

Update: Wojnarowski:

The Pistons will send Brandon Knight to the Bucks as part of the package for Jennings, league sources tell Y! Sports.

Detroit will also send center Slava Kravtsov and forward Khris Middleton to Bucks as part of sign-and-trade for Jennings, sources tell Y!

The Pistons have not disguised their intent to make the playoffs this season, and Brandon Jennings will help achieve that goal.

I’ve previously dinged Joe Dumars’ offseason work for failing to land a point guard who will definitely be better next season than Brandon Knight was the previous two – hardly a high bar. Jennings provides that.

Still, Jennings is a league-average player and a below-average starter. At 23, he has potential to get better, and his issues have less to do with talent than playing style, which is a setup that is always oh so intriguing. Giving him $8 million a year is probably overpaying, but I don’t think the Pistons are as concerned with getting stuck with a moderately bad contract as they are with upgrading the roster right now.

Knight, who has two years remaining on his rookie deal, comes cheaper, but he’s still a long way from figuring out how to play point guard in the NBA, which might be why Dumars called him a dog. Jennings, who has his own issues running an offense, is at least more talented than Knight. Price aside, I’d definitely rather have Jennings, but it’s difficult to completely dismiss price.

Khris Middleton looked late last season like he could become a rotation-level backup, and Viacheslav Kravtsov has an outside shot of reaching that level. Those aren’t the type of players to worry about in a trade that acquires a starter, and barring a huge surprise, that’s what Jennings is. If an old Chauncey Billups or lost Rodney Stuckey takes the job, this trade has likely gone wrong.

On the bright side when it comes to marginal talent, the Pistons should have no trouble signing Peyton Siva now.

But all that is peripheral. This trade is about Jennings and making the playoffs this season.

Jennings is an upgrade for the Pistons. How much of one and at what cost will determine the long-term ramifications of the deal. For the Pistons, who seem to be thinking more short-term anyway, I don’t think they could have done much better.


  • Jul 30, 20138:58 pm
    by Toozman


    Good trade.  Pistons picked up the best player of the four, and Jennings hasn’t played with low post players like the three we’ll have this year.  Can’t wait to see him on the pick and roll with all of them.

    The talent is upgraded.  That’s a great thing.  Those of you worried about his FG percentage, it’s only a couple points below Knight, who was a spot up shooting guard half of the time.   Jennings often had the ball in his hands with a couple seconds and had to chuck it.  That won’t happen as much with our frontcourt…..

    Good stuff Joe. 

    • Jul 30, 20139:29 pm
      by tarsier


      My concern about Jennings is not his shooting, which is comparable to Knight’s, but his piss-poor D. However, Smith should help make up for that. I’m not sure how I feel about this move, but it is good to see Joe doing something.

      • Jul 30, 20139:41 pm
        by CityofKlompton


        I agree 100% with tarsier.  Jennings has a lot of bad habits he needs to break in order to make a consistent positive impact (offensively and defensively.). Good to see we’re making moves, though.  We’ll at least be exciting to watch a lot of nights with the potential for more.

        • Jul 30, 201310:38 pm
          by I HATE FRANK


          Very concerned about Jenning Shooting…. and his defense…

          But when he is happy he is special, but when his attiude is terrible so is he 

      • Jul 30, 20139:51 pm
        by oats


        Jennings does get twice as many steals as Knight, so there is that. He still needs to stop gambling so much though. I do think he could be a serviceable defender if he gets properly coached.

        • Jul 30, 201310:04 pm
          by CityofKlompton


          He played under Scott Skiles, a defense first coach, in Milwaukee.  Did him quite a bit of good being properly coached there.

          • Jul 30, 201311:54 pm
            by oats

            Fair enough. It still seems like his mistakes are poor technique and that he gambles too much. That should be correctable.

          • Jul 31, 201310:25 am
            by tarsier

            When you have strong defenders behind you, gambling for steals is often a positive.

          • Jul 31, 20132:17 pm
            by CityofKlompton

            I can agree with that  to some extent.  Hopefully Smith, Drummond and Monroe can be good enough to let Jennings do what he does best defensively (go after balls.)  However, he also often over-pursues and leaves an open man when he over extends himself trying to play help defense or double-team an opponent.  If we can play good team-defense, though, we could minimize the mistakes that Jennings makes on that side of the ball.  It will be interesting to see how this team pans out.

        • Jul 30, 201311:32 pm
          by I HATE FRANK


          steals does not mean good defense, especially when u give up soo many points, but maybe they figure that Drummond and Josh will cover up his sins. 

          Anyway it looks officials…

          Good luck Knight, welcome to Motown Brandon 

          • Jul 30, 201311:57 pm
            by oats

            Your arguing against a point I was not making. Notice where I said he might become a serviceable defender. That means I think he is awful defensively right now.

          • Jul 31, 201312:10 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            Honestly Oats…I wasn’t even coming at you like that…I just have mixed emotions right now, and it like the Bynun signing even worse!

            I believe Jenning can be special, hopefully he wants to be here 

  • Jul 30, 20139:09 pm
    by gmehl


    Someone has mentioned it above already but it makes perfect sense to sign Big Ben to mentor our young bigs.with Knight/Slava/Middleton gone and with Jennings and you’d assume Siva being signed we are either going to be looking at a backup centre or another shooter. I

  • Jul 30, 20139:15 pm
    by gmehl


    Someone has mentioned it above already but it makes perfect sense to sign Big Ben to mentor our young bigs while not commanding huge court time. With Knight/Slava/Middleton gone and with Jennings and you’d assume Siva being signed we are either going to be looking at a backup centre or another shooter. With the assumed signing of Siva I would’ve preferred Joe dealing Bynum instead of Middleton. Anyone got a list of capable big men and outside shooters still on the market handy??

    • Jul 30, 20139:30 pm
      by tarsier


      The Bucks probably had no interest in Bynum.

  • Jul 30, 20139:23 pm
    by apa8ren9


    I dont think that you can question that the shackles have been taken off of Joe D.  Now whether you like the move or not you cannot say that the talent level isnt higher.  I like this move.  You overpaid just a bit but not outrageously so.  You still have flexibility with cap space for next year.  You also still have 16 million in expiring contracts in case some other team panics at the trade deadline.  This is a good move.  Without question the Pistons will be more exciting to watch next season.  Now I cant wait for the season to start.  Jennings has talent and its up to the coaching staff to harness it.  
    See if Jennings gets wild you sit him and tell him to watch Chauncey play. You have a built in counter measure ready to go.  He knows that he is better than Chauncey at this point but if you dont win games then what does it matter.  If your replacement comes in and does a better job then you have to step it up.  This is win-win.  I can just imagine all of the dimes that are going to be dropped this year with great finishes. 

  • Jul 30, 20139:25 pm
    by Huddy


    I think this is a risk, but probably a necessary one.  I didn’t have faith in Knight becoming a PG and I like KCPs size and potential better at SG.  if Knight doesn’t make the leap this year there are little to no FA PGs that are an upgrade available (from what I remember).  Beyond FAs idk what team with a PG better than Jennings is giving up their floor general besides Robdo at a much higher price with worse spacing issues.  Seems like best available, but with pretty good potential and problems that are mostly decision making as opposed to actual skill issues.

    • Jul 30, 20139:47 pm
      by gmehl


      “Beyond FAs idk what team with a PG better than Jennings is giving up their floor general besides Rondo at a much higher price with worse spacing issues”

      You also have to factor in that we didn’t have to trade away Monroe or Drummond to get a starting caliber PG which was Boston’s starting asking price for Rondo. As wrong as it sounds the ball is now in Monroe’s court to see if he fits the rebuilding process. Monroe has no doubt been our best player the last couple of years and will command big money which he will get if he gels with the teams new direction but if he doesn’t he is the next obvious player to be shopped… more than likely for a starting SF. If Mitchell pans out like i think he will and Monroe demands a max deal then Joe better keep his hand on his phone.

      • Jul 30, 20139:55 pm
        by Huddy


        That’s what I meant by higher price, but yeah only lost the least productive young player and a pretty short deal

  • Jul 30, 201310:32 pm
    by Terrell


    Last trade Joe should do!  Three team trade……
    Detroit trades: Stuckey, Villanueva, 2018 1st round protected
    New Orleans trades: Gordon, Whitney

    Pg: Jennings
    Sg: Gordon
    Sf: Smith
    C: Drummond


    Then sign Tyrus Thomas 

  • Jul 30, 201310:35 pm


    Mixed feelings…. Knight is a better defender, better shooter, and just seems like a better team…. I feel like we shouldn’t give up on Knight…

    But if Jenning can get his sh*t together he can be real good really soon…

    This trade scares and intriques me 

    • Jul 30, 201311:17 pm
      by jamesjones_det


      For 8 mill a year I think it’s worth the gamble.  I have the same mixed feelings about how he will fit, but at least it’s not a crazy amount of money and a 5 year deal.
      I do think Jenning’s is a better passer than Knight but he will need to work on the rest of his game if he’s going to take a step toward the next level.

    • Jul 31, 201310:44 am
      by frankie d


      Dont count on it! 

    • Jul 31, 20132:35 pm
      by G


      I’m not sure if Knight is a better shooter than Jennings or not, although Jennings’ shot is definitely come & go. Knight’s defensive advantage isn’t big enough however, and Jennings has been more of a PG his entire NBA career than Knight ever has. The money is what makes me nervous, but I like this team a LOT better than I did before the deal.

  • Jul 30, 201311:13 pm
    by jamesjones_det


    It’s official.  3 years 24 mill for Jennings.  Knight, Middleton and Karvtsov to MIL.

  • Jul 31, 201312:31 am


    Well atleast we say Joe aggressive this summer

  • Jul 31, 201312:43 am
    by FreeDreDrummond


    how does anyone hate this?  first off did anyone watch brandon knight last year?  i felt sorry for him.  he says the right things.  he tries really really hard but hes just not very good.  you could make an argument that he was the worst nba starter in the league, maybe minus kendrick perkins.  the deal is solid (cant believe knight agreed to a 3 yr 24 mil deal).  how many pg do you know that can drop 55 pts.  yes he plays like a fool at times.  

    remember when chauncey billups was on his 4th team in 5 yrs?  dumars got him on the cheap.  he was a young dude that multi teams gave up on but still had upside.  that is what i like about this trade.  name another pg that has the ability to drop 55 pts on someone that is available via trade?  we gave up scrubs for him.  jennings plays like a fool most of the time but hes not a finished product.  i like what dumars has done this offseason.  lets see how it plays out

  • Jul 31, 20131:44 am
    by Anthony Jordan


    I don’t understand the argument as to whether or not he “fits” with this team. Jennings is a better passer and ball handler than Knight which is a plus. People always complain about him being a ball hog but this kid has shown flashes of being a great passer as well that can be honed by Cheeks and Chauncey (something that Knight rarely shown except in Summer League last year.) Speaking of Cheeks, I think he had a say in this decision considering that the PG spot is his expertise and that Joe is hoping that Cheeks can be a long time coach here. Maybe Cheeks see more PG potential in Jennings than Knight. And everybody complaining about his ability to stretch the floor… Um Brandon Knight is not much better than Jennings at the 3 point line so I don’t understand that argument. The main knock against Jennings is his reputation of being immature and being a streaky shooter. But even with those knocks against him, he is an upgrade over Knight in all catagories with the exception of FG% and maybe defense.

  • Jul 31, 20131:51 am
    by gtg2013


    I hate this trade. Unless Dumars signs Ben Wallace to fill the 15th roster spot, because that would just be insanely great.

    • Jul 31, 20132:57 pm
      by G


      <Right, because acquiring the best player in a trade is NEVER a good move>

      The reality is Detroit went from being a #7 seed at BEST to a mid-level playoff contender. I wouldn’t expect them to make the top 4, but the #5 spot is now within reach. I like how the trade evened Detroit’s roster, even though I still don’t like Smith as much as a SF.

      • Jul 31, 20133:07 pm
        by tarsier


        You seriously overstate the impact of this trade. The Pistons weren’t finishing in the top 5 of the East before and they still aren’t. But before and after, their range of possibilities are about the same: anywhere from 6th-11th.

        • Aug 2, 20131:23 am
          by Max


          I live in New York and travel among Knicks’ fans.  My family and friends are Knicks fans.  I assume you think they are the five.   Well, New Yorkers would disagree with you and reacted to the trade by thinking the Pistons could be ahead of them.    When you look at the two rosters, I don’t know why you assume New York will be better.   Anthony over Smith is their only clear advantage and Smith is a damn good player.  Monroe is the biggest advantage either team has over the other if Monroe lines up at the four and even that might not be much of an advantage if Stat and Bargnani are reasonably healthy.   I’d give the Knicks the decided edge because they are coming off of a much better season and have been there, done that, but I don’t see at all why you think they are written in stone.  I also think the Knicks will be hurt by the departure of Kidd.  

  • Jul 31, 20132:57 am
    by Denzil


    I love all of these quotes about how Brandon Jennings is an average player, below average starter & definitely a 2nd tier PG…….REALLY???  This kid has ALL KINDS OF UPSIDE!!!  C’mon, he’s been playing on lame Bucks team w/ no scoring threat @ all outside of Monte Ellis & still puts up pretty GOOD #’s:  17.5 Pts, 6.5 Asst’s, over 3 Reb’s & a steal & half per game.  But he’s not good enough 2 start!?!?  His shooting kinda sux @ 40%, BUT he is a PG & has had 2 create most of his takes.  Not many “open” looks in Milwaukee on the court over the last couple years.  All U had 2 guard was Ellis & Jennings 2 beat them.  Now we have Chauncey on-board to mentor the kid & he has all kinds of weapons 2 dish 2……………..WOW!  He’s over 10 dimes a game next year!!!  Watch………D

  • Jul 31, 20136:17 am
    by Chris


    Like the trade Jennings has much bigger upside then knight and most of his FG% issues are because he had no choice but to force shots in MIL there was really only a streaky ellis as a scoring threat. Now he will be in a lineup where he will be in a lot of pick and roll situations which from what ive seen hes good at running and post double teams will mean hell get easy open shots, and when hes open hes a knockdown shooter

  • Jul 31, 20139:04 am


    Im not going to spend all day talking about Knight although I am going to follow him closely this season….

    But For the Record: Knight is a better shooter and defender than Jenning, Jenning has shot under 40% 3 times out of his 4 years in the league, previous to this year Jennings shoot 33% and 32% for 3′s. Also defensively its Not even CLOSE!

    http://www.82games.com/1213/12MIL2.HTM - Jennings

    http://www.82games.com/1213/12DET3.HTM - Knight

    I believe Jennings can become a special PG quicker than Knight, because of ball-handling and court vision.  Ability to create for other easier, but I dont know if that all Jennings wants to be.

    Knight also had an incredible work ethic, we piss on things like that but it helps a locker room and helps a bad teams from falling apart, and he was never considered a selfish or me first player, which also helps a team. Knight never complain to the media about how he was being used, or about the horrible coaching, and Knight was willing to take a back to to Drummond, Monroe, and likely Josh Smith.  Somethings that Jenning has never been know for doing.

    So YES! im excited about the Jennings “Move’ not really the player atleast not right now, but Im excited that Dumars didnt sit idle and settle.

    So now its wait and see…

  • Jul 31, 201310:10 am
    by Einstein


    I’m torn on this trade; Brandon Knight is an elite athlete at the PG position which is the way of the new NBA. Jennings is not. Right now, Jennings is better – but at 4x the salary? Jennings is what I would label a “chucker” and I’ve never been impressed by his defense.

    Detroit was in a quandary where they probably had 10-12 guys that could crack a rotation, but to be a playoff team you really want to improve talent to have that number at 8-9. They have that now….I’m just not a fan of Jennings. I hope I’m proved wrong. I liked Knight. I liked my Ukrainian bro Slava. Middleton can really shoot it. Detroit obviously is in win-now mode. We just have to hope it works out.

    • Jul 31, 201310:22 am
      by jamesjones_det


      I disagree with the win-now part a little bit.  There are plenty of young guys on this team to last 5 years easy, it’s not like we are trading for 27+ year olds like we did during the last run.  Jennings is also only 23 (about a year and a half older than Knight), if they develop at similar rates I don’t think losing Knight will impact long term growth.
      However I agree with the fact we have a lot of avg guys on this roster, but hey so did those early 2000′s teams and they did pretty good.  It should be interesting to watch if nothing else.

    • Jul 31, 201312:36 pm
      by tarsier


      I don’t care about the extra salary (it’s just under 3x, not 4x anyway) for this season because the Pistons already used up their cap space. So it is only next summer that it really makes any difference (the following year, Knight’s contract will no longer be dictated by rookie scale). Unfortunately, that is a summer the Pistons were set up to have cap room. Losing about $4.5M of that room does hurt.

      I’d love to trade Jerebko+Bynum+whichever is worse of Singler/Datome for Caron Butler, Hedo Turkoglu, Marvin Williams, Richard Jefferson, or Trevor Ariza. Jerebko would have to establish himself as an asset to make that happen without throwing in a pick, but that would open up max or near-max cap space for next offseason (right now the Pistons are on track to have about $10M of space assuming they end up sacrificing their draft pick to Charlotte).

      • Jul 31, 20132:12 pm
        by Jens


        @tarsier: And who do you wanna sign with all that cap space? I mean, seriously we are not getting any of the real big fishes in 2014 (LeBron to Miami or Cleveland, Melo to LA or Knicks, the rest of the Heat will stay in Miami, Rudy Gay has Player Option).

        • Jul 31, 20133:22 pm
          by tarsier


          Who knows, but there are lots of options. Obviously you make your pitch to James if he opts out, but nobody expects him to come.

          Pierce, Deng, Nowitzki, Granger, George, Gasol, and Bryant will all be FAs. On the next tier of interest are Sanders, Cousins, Gortat, Bledsoe, Hayward, Lowry, and Turner. Players who may become FAs include Bosh, Wade, Anthony, and Wall.

          Obviously some of these possibilities would necessitate a follow-up trade (you don’t need 3 8 figure big men plus Drummond on the team).

          But the point is that it is easy to get another guy who can produce like Jerebko or Bynum for a comparable annual rate. It is not easy to get very good players. It is damn near impossible to get superstars. So might as well take a shot at it.

    • Jul 31, 20132:02 pm
      by Jens


      Strongly disagree with your opinion Knight is the better athlete than Jennings. Knight has alwaysbeen overrated in that regard just because the Pistons had a Play for him running backdoor for te lob. But Jennings was even supposed to participate in the slam dunk contest 2011 before he got hurt. He is way quicker than Knight anyway.

      I´d also claim Jennings is more talented. I am only concerned a Little because he can be a headcase at times. 

      • Jul 31, 20132:40 pm
        by I HATE FRANK


        dunking and jump isnt the only measurement for being a better athlete…

        We have never seen Knight, in his fullness, Knightis going to surprise people with the Bucks. He has an incredible frame that developed more and more each year, I also notice his dunk attempts against bigger defenders.

        His lateral quickness made him a very capable defender against PG and SG….

        Im just hoping that Jennings plays the PG position, at a higher level…. if not then we didnt walk away with the advantage in this deal….

  • [...] bloggers are lukewarm on the deal, as Dan Feldman writes: Still, Jennings is a league-average player and a below-average starter. At 23, he has potential to [...]

    • Jul 31, 20132:44 pm
      by I HATE FRANK


      I agree….Jennings has to tap into the potential….

      He handles the ball way too much not to either average more assist, or shoot a much better percentage….

      im hoping Arnie can get Jenning to Bulk up a bit, that will help him not shy away from contact going to the basket

  • Jul 31, 20133:33 pm
    by danny


    This is a horribl deal!  Jennings is a one season wonder.  There is no upgrade hear!  Where is the patience with these younger players like Knight who is still only 21 and Middleton???  I hope Knight becomes an all star!  Its much more exciting to watch a team grow from the bottom up than to go out and pay for a bunch of overrated, overinflated free agents.  I hate the lack of patience in pro sports! 
    Joe you suck!  I was so excited for this season, but no my interest level in the pistons has just been down graded!

    • Jul 31, 201310:03 pm
      by jamesjones_det


      I hear most players don’t go from avg to superstar after 3 years but that’s what I hear…  pun intended.

  • Jul 31, 20135:00 pm
    by BooG


    Some of you seem to know nothing about basketball. Jennings is an upgrade. He shot poorly because of who he played with. Who did he have as a weapon in the frontcourt in Milwaukee?? Monroe & Smith are WAY better than anyone Jennings played with. And he’s being coached & mentored by Cheeks & Billups. I think we’ll be fine. This helps us now & in the future because his contract isn’t ridiculous. He has room to grow as a player too. 

    What’s really funny is I’ve read posts from some of you questioning what Knight would do as our starting PG & now you’re tripping over this trade for Jennings. Can anyone in Detroit be satified with anything??? Chill & let the training camp & preseason play out before talking about how the team will mesh & so-called spacing issues. And I’m almost certain another move or 2 will be made before the trade deadline. We’re a playoff team that still has room to get better. What more can you ask for??


  • Aug 1, 201312:19 am
    by dacata


    Jennings reminds me of a poor man’s Allen Iverson.  Wiry and creates havoc in passing lanes and gets a bit trigger happy jacking up shots.  If he can pick and chose his moments a bit better, build some upper body strength via some Billups tutoring, he could become an elite PG in this league in my opinion.  He has all the physical tool – its a question of decision making and controlling the tempo for BJ.

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