Brandon Jennings wants a contract extension before season

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Brandon Jennings rookie deal is almost up, the Bucks can either come to extension terms with him or give him a qualifying offer and let the market determine his worth (then they can match if they want).

Jennings has said in the past he was doing “his research” on big market teams, but really what he wants is to get paid. First contract after a rookie deal is about the first big kick at the money can. He can point to his 19.1 points per game last season (even if he was a volume scorer shooting just 41.8 percent) and say he should get paid.

Jennings told the Journal Sentinel he would love to get an extension done before the season starts and stay with the Bucks.

“It would be something I’d love to get done with and over with so I don’t have to worry about it,” Jennings said of the contract extension. “But the main thing is just to come into training camp a better player, a better leader … just lead the team to the playoffs.”

The deadline for a deal is Oct. 31, after that it will be the qualifying offer and restricted free agency rout.

The Bucks may want to go three restricted free agency road, as they are running an experiment this season with a small but dynamic backcourt of Jennings and Monta Ellis. They have a coach (Scott Skiles) and a GM (John Hammond) in the last year of their contracts, too. A lot of things could shake up at the end of the season.

Bottom line, the Bucks are not going to know how that will play out by out by Halloween, so they may want to wait. Meanwhile Jennings has to see the Serge Ibaka offer and drool a little. Jennings should realize he’s not going to make that much.

But he is going to get more than the $3.1 million he will get this season. There is a big raise and a bigger contract coming.

And that very well may still be in Milwaukee. It’s just going to take time to get there.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”