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How Brandon Jennings can retake control of his career

The point guard continues to wait for resolution on his restricted free agency. What can he do to force the issue?


Brandon Jennings isn't happy. The point guard is reportedly becoming increasingly agitated with the lack of action from the Bucks or other teams as he twists in the wind of restricted free agency. Jeff Teague, who suddenly seems inextricably entwined with Jennings, got a decent offer sheet with the Bucks late last week; the Hawks matched. The Bucks also reacquired Jennings' old partner Luke Ridnour last week, and let Monta Ellis barrel down to Dallas.

Jennings is apparently waiting for Milwaukee to make a fat offer that apparently isn't coming. Meanwhile, teams are running out of salary cap space. Atlanta and Dallas were the spots that made the most sense, and they went other directions. (It must really chafe Jennings to see Teague preferred by two teams, the Bucks and the Hawks.)

But Jennings can take back control of his career. Here are three ways.

1. Sign the Bucks' qualifying offer. Jennings would get paid $4.5 million in 2013-14 if he just signs the qualifying offer the Bucks had to offer to make him a restricted free agent. Doing so would set Jennings up for unrestricted free agent in 2014, where fewer high-scoring point guards are on track to be available and where Jennings' camp can be more aggressive in finding a team. Restricted free agent really ruins everything for some players. Jennings turned out to be one of those players. Timing is everything. The timing isn't really working out this time. There's a simple mechanism to push out the decision and process for another year. Do it!

2. Get really active looking for a sign-and-trade home. It's not clear what Jennings' agent is doing to find the point guard a home. But the sign-and-trade market should be more fruitful than true free agency at this point. Again, cap space is drying up. General manager ambition is not. Tax-paying teams can't participate, but there are plenty of squads in play who might be interested in a point guard who once dropped 55 as a rookie. I think. Probably. My read of Jennings is that he's a much better teammate and floor leader than he's given credit for, so attitude concerns are probably mostly unfounded. The lucky team would just have to convince itself that its coach can bestow upon Jennings the skill of knowing when not to shoot.

3. Go to China. I'm telling you, Brandon Jennings would be the greatest Chinese Basketball Association player in history from Day 1. Look at the most successful Americans in China (Stephon Marbury, J.R. Smith): scorers without conscience. Even Quincy Douby, the NBA washout who once dropped 75 in a CBA game, 44 in an All-Star Game and more than 50 in a Finals game, suggests that Jennings would be a star in China. He won't make the money he would have in the NBA, but Jennings has always followed a different drumbeat. (Remember Rome?) Even if he goes over for only 2-3 years, he can win an international fan base before returning triumphantly to the States and claiming what's his: a massive contract.

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