With Wednesday night’s deadline to extend rookie contracts rapidly approaching, go ahead and count Brandon Jennings among the players who will become restricted free agents when the season ends.
From Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel:
Brandon Jennings is not expected to receive a contract extension from the Bucks before Wednesday night’s deadline.
Discussions with multiple sources indicate the Bucks point guard will not have his rookie-scale contract extended. He would become a restricted free agent next July and the Bucks would have the right to match any contract offers by another team.
The reasons that Milwaukee might want to wait on locking up Jennings for big money now are fairly obvious. Jennings is extremely talented, but he has yet to prove he can perform offensively in an efficient manner or on a consistent basis. There’s All-Star potential there, which is likely part of the reason for the lack of an extension — Jennings is going to want close to those types of dollars, when he hasn’t necessarily shown he’s worth them just yet.
Then, of course, we have the part where Jennings has openly discussed wanting to play for a “big market team.” These were fairly harmless comments despite the screaming headlines at the time, but a franchise in Milwaukee wants to make sure its stars want to be there long-term. No one wants to be held hostage by trade demands, so this may have been another factor in the franchise deciding not to extend Jennings, however small.
Finally, after trading for Monta Ellis last season, the Bucks have somewhat of a duplication of duty now at the guard position. Both Jennings and Ellis prefer to carry the heavy lifting from a scoring perspective, and both like to play with the ball in their hands. Milwaukee may have decided to wait and see on Jennings in order to get a good look at what a full season of this backcourt experiment will look like, and then decide whether or not it was a success.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.