By Dave Holcomb
Point Guard Brandon Jennings finally decided to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks, but he won’t be staying there very long. A week after Milwaukee lost their best baseball player to a season ending suspension, their best basketball player is traded to Detroit.
The Pistons acquired Jennings through a sign-and-trade deal with the Bucks that will send Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton and Slava Kravtsov to Milwaukee. Jennings agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract with Detroit according to RotoWorld.com.
Due to the fact the former McDonald’s All American was a restricted free agent, it looked like Jennings was stuck returning to the Bucks. Just a few weeks ago, he was strongly considering playing under a one-year qualifying offer in Milwaukee, which would have made him an unrestricted free agent after next year.
But everything works out for all sides in this trade. Jennings gets out of Wisconsin while Detroit improves their team dramatically with a new point guard. Despite losing their best player, Milwaukee gains some quality players in the trade to rebuild their team.
It is still extremely premature to call the Pistons a contender, but they are heading in the right direction. Jennings, who averaged 17 points and 6.5 assists per game last year, will play along side Shooting Guard Rodney Stuckey, Forwards Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Center Andre Drummond. The oldest player of those five is 27 with Monroe, Drummond, and Jennings all 23 and younger.
Detroit also brought back guard Chauncey Billups to be a mentor for Brandon Knight. Now with Knight in Milwaukee, Billups will guide Jennings.
With young talented pieces in place, Detroit is on the rise in an average Eastern Conference. Perhaps a year away, but maybe not; a seven or eight seed seems reachable for this team in 2013-2014.