Storyline: Brandon Jennings Free Agency

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The ex-Pistons point guard was waived by the New York Knicks on Monday, a transaction Jennings reportedly asked for, and is likely to wind up elsewhere. And that’s straight from the mouth of Jeff Schwartz, Jennings’ agent who contacted Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy. “He’s going to go to Charlotte,” Van Gundy told a group of Detroit reporters Monday afternoon. “I wasn’t surprised because I heard about it this morning. His agent contacted me and told me what was going on, so I guess I wasn’t surprised.

Jennings mysteriously sat out the game before the All-Star break/trade deadline with a sore Achilles and claimed it had nothing to do with the potential for a deal. The Knicks had received trade offers for Jennings. He also deactivated his Twitter account for several days in a possible indication the New York market got to him. “Just needed a break from it,’’ Jennings said. “As a Knick player you get all sorts of weird tweets. You play for the Knicks. You’re going to get a lot of tweets. A lot. I just wanted to get off social media for a minute, that’s all. I was able to clear my head.”
1 year ago via ESPN

Jennings said in July that Jackson expects him to win the NBA’s Sixth Man award this season. He’s fine with those expectations, as well as coming off the bench in New York after starting 90 percent of his first 460 regular-season games. “At the end of the day, right now I just want to win, man. I just want to be in a winning environment,” Jennings, whose teams have won 45 percent of the games he’s played in, told Donahue. “I’m in the biggest market, the greatest basketball city, the Mecca, so who cares [about coming off the bench]? Let’s just win. We win, the whole city loves us.”

Ian Begley: The Knicks have their backup point guard in Brandon Jennings. Jennings’ deal is one year and approximately $5 million, league sources confirm to ESPN. CSN Chicago first reported the terms. The Knicks will likely have to renounce their rights to free agents Derrick Williams, Lou Amundson, Sasha Vujacic and Kevin Seraphin to fit Jennings’ deal into cap space. The club should still be able to sign restricted free agent Langston Galloway and free agent Lance Thomas by going over the cap to do so via the Early Bird exception.

Ian Begley: The Knicks have their backup point guard in Brandon Jennings. Jennings’ deal is one year and approximately $5 million, league sources confirm to ESPN. CSN Chicago first reported the terms. The Knicks will likely have to renounce their rights to free agents Derrick Williams, Lou Amundson, Sasha Vujacic and Kevin Seraphin to fit Jennings’ deal into cap space. The club should still be able to sign restricted free agent Langston Galloway and free agent Lance Thomas by going over the cap to do so via the Early Bird exception.

Since being traded to Orlando, Jennings has played in 18 games – starting six – and averaged 7.5 points and 4.1 assists, a significant drop in production from the 15-plus points and seven assists he was averaging during the peak of his career in Detroit. “If a team believes in me and believes that I’m capable of getting back to myself and run a team, I’m down,” Jennings said. “The first thing is taking care of business this summer. That’s the biggest thing. I’ve got all the way until September, so I’ve got a whole summer this summer. My love for the game is crazy, so I’m going to be ready.”

And if it’s his last season in Detroit, he hopes to be a main cog in a playoff push. “My main thing when I come back is to help this team get to the playoffs, because that’s our main goal,” Jennings said. “Everybody feels that’s the goal and what everybody feels around the city. “If I don’t come back the way I was last year, I’m going to be very upset with myself. I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself first right now. I’m not thinking about re-signing here, not re-signing here. I’m just thinking about getting back on the court and taking care of business.”

Still, Jennings mentioned the escalating salaries at media day. Not that it was jealousy. It was more a reminder of what the injury could cost him. The talk with Gores was welcome. “Yeah, especially during the time of when I was injured, and to hear what he had to say to me definitely opened up my eyes and just really helped me through a lot of stuff I was going through,” Jennings said. “Like a father-son type talk. It was some good things that were said, and he definitely gave me a different perspective on things I need to work on and what I need to come back and do.”
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February 24, 2018 | 12:47 pm EST Update
LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer on Saturday said that trading Blake Griffin was “a very difficult decision,” but that considerations about the future, as well as injury and chemistry concerns, necessitated the blockbuster deal with the Detroit Pistons. “[Griffin] is obviously a superstar player,” said Ballmer. “But if you look at what happened injury-wise, if you look at the kind of chemistry we were getting on our team, the thing you can see at the high level with the numbers when I started — one guy got all the assists, one guy got all the points and one guy got all the rebounds. It’s not all quite that way, but I think in the modern NBA, we were seeing it more and more — there’s a greater distribution of responsibility.”
2 hours ago via ESPN
“We have to add some pieces obviously, but I think we’re building for what I think is the modern NBA, and that trend has only accelerated since we signed Blake last summer.” Ballmer said that as the Clippers owner, he doesn’t believe in the practice commonly regarded as “tanking,” whereby teams strip their rosters of high-level talent and endure losing seasons with a focus on accumulating high draft picks.
2 hours ago via ESPN
Ballmer said that the Clippers organization deploys analytics in a number of areas, including health and coaching, but that he was most fascinated by the use of data with regard to the management of the NBA’s complex collective bargaining agreement, which governs the salary cap. Ballmer alluded to a trade the Clippers made this past offseason which sent former Clippers point guard Chris Paul to the Rockets for a collection of players. “I find it a very interesting numeric chess game, if you will,” Ballmer said. “There are teams that absolutely do it better, and do it worse. I see [Morey] sitting in the front row. We made a trade: Chris Paul for a number of guys back from Houston. I thought they did something very clever having a whole set of non-guaranteed contracts that really gave them more flexibility in putting the deal together with us than they would’ve had otherwise.”
2 hours ago via ESPN
The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has transferred guard Josh Magette and forward Andrew White III from Atlanta to the Erie BayHawks, the team’s NBA G League affiliate, it was announced today. Both players are on two-way contracts. In 31 games with Erie (29 starts), Magette has compiled 15.2 points, 9.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 34.8 minutes, leading the G League in assists while ranking 15th in steals.
Asked how he appraised his $2 billion bid for the Clippers in 2014 — then a record for an NBA team — Ballmer said he relied on both quantitative analysis and intelligence of the marketplace and the pool of potential buyers. “I looked at what the cash flows would be, and what kind of multiple you’d put on,” Ballmer said. “A team in L.A. is literally beachfront real estate. It’s worth a lot more than teams everywhere else. Because if you ever get a foreign buyer later on — foreign buyers only want to buy in a few cities, which I knew because it was part of the pressure on the price. There was a lurking foreign buyer, if you will, for the team. But ultimately, I knew what the price was in the good old-fashioned way: I knew what the next bidder wanted to pay.”
2 hours ago via ESPN
February 24, 2018 | 11:03 am EST Update
The All-Star forward became the first player to ever post 45 points, 15 rebounds, five steals and five blocks in a game since the NBA started recording steals and blocks in 1973-74. Davis has been playing at an MVP level since the team lost star center DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending Achilles injury, and it’s given New Orleans the belief that it can remain a contender in the ultra-competitive Western Conference playoff race. “I looked at the stat sheet when we were walking in and I couldn’t believe he had 45 points,” Gentry said. “That’s not a good thing because, now, I almost feel like I’m taking him for granted.”