Brandon Jennings trade rumors indicated a deal between the Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets was forming. Those Jennings trade rumors may have already been refuted by Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy. The deal was seemingly close, though details of what the Nets were sending back to the Pistons was not clear. A report from MLive late Thursday, February 4, relays some shock from SVG when he heard about the rumors.
“I got my email today from (general manager) Jeff (Bower) with all the discussions that have gone on, and there was no mention of Brooklyn and no mention of Brandon in any of it. But hey, with the way you guys make (expletive) up this time of the year, it’s always interesting to me to find out stuff that you guys know we’re talking about that we don’t know we’re talking about. I find it interesting and amusing.”
It’s not a secret that the reason new Brandon Jennings trade rumors have come up is his current contract situation. Jennings is in the final season of his deal and makes just over $8.3 million from the Pistons this year. The team has already committed a long-term contract to Reggie Jackson, presumably stating that Jennings won’t be coming back when the NBA free agency period begins. Many teams need a new point guard, which is why his name was expected to surface as the NBA trade deadline approaches.
Since returning from offseason surgery, Jennings has played in 19 games for the Detroit Pistons. In 17.6 minutes a night, he is averaging 6.6 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per game. His shooting percentages are down, though, as Jennings is making just 35 percent from the field, 30 percent from three-point range, and 69.4 percent from the free throw line. Those numbers could possibly hurt his value in the trade market, but he is still a point guard with career averages of 16.1 points, 6.0 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. At just 26 years old, he has a lot of basketball left in his future.
Fantasy basketball owners should certainly pay close attention to the Brandon Jennings trade rumors, as he could wind up with a heavy minutes increase if he is dealt by the Detroit Pistons. There are two ways to look at the situation, though, as the Pistons have to decide if dealing Jennings is in the short-term interest of the franchise. The Pistons are at 26-24 on the season and currently hold the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. This team is well on its way to making the 2016 NBA Playoffs unless it goes through a second half meltdown.
With playoff aspirations at hand, the Pistons have to weigh the possibility of losing Jennings for nothing against sacrificing depth as the postseason approaches. The Pistons are just 2-and-a-half games out of the fourth seed in the East and hosting a first-round series in the NBA Playoffs. That could be a huge deal for the young franchise, especially when it comes to potentially luring free agents in the next NBA offseason. It might create a situation where the team listens to the Brandon Jennings trade rumors, but decides against making a move before the NBA trade deadline.
The rumors about Jennings aren’t going to die down, even if the story of him going to the Brooklyn Nets didn’t make much sense. Why would the 12-38 Nets take on Jennings and give up an asset like a draft pick? It could make sense if a third team were involved or if the Nets were trying to deal Brook Lopez to cut salaries. Otherwise, the conjecture should be received by Pistons fans in the same manner that Stan Van Gundy took it. Brandon Jennings might get traded, but it likely won’t be to the Nets.
[Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]