Saturday Notes: Sessions' status, Jennings getting noticed

  • Stein: Clips the final option for Sessions?
    So what the heck is going on with Ramon Sessions?  At this point your guess is a good as mine.  Gery Woelfel maintains the Knicks are still leaning toward an offer sheet, but opinion seems to vary on that.  In New York, Frank Isola reported today that David Lee is increasingly likely to return to New York for at least a year, while Donne Walsh is also considering the freshly-released Jamaal Tinsley.  And then there's the Clips.  Marc Stein the other day pegged L.A. as a more likely destination, but there's little certainty about that.

    We should learn soon how far the Clips are willing to go with an offer sheet. If Sessions proves unable to land an offer that starts in midlevel territory, Milwaukee will be much more of a threat to match, and that would spare the Bucks from asking too much of Brandon Jennings in his rookie season.

    The Clips tried to initiate sign-and-trade talks with Milwaukee to land Sessions, but the Bucks maintain that they're not interested in L.A.'s newly acquired Sebastian Telfair.

  • HoopsWorld: Sessions not a fan of L.A.?
    Steve Kyler at Hoopsworld indicates that Sessions doesn't want to play in L.A. now that the backcourt has gotten more crowded with the arrival of Sebastian Telfair. Personally, I'm not sure it was ever that appealing given Baron Davis was locked in at PG, Eric Gordon is the long-term SG, and Mike Dunleavy is still involved.  And with Brandon Jennings now in Milwaukee, New York seems like the obvious best destination from a playing time/opportunity standpoints.  What's more interesting is this:
    Most of this is likely moot, as Milwaukee sources say they are likely to match any offers around the median exception, so unless the Clippers and Bucks reach a sign-and-trade deal it does not seem that the Clippers have any shot at Sessions, and it does not seem Sessions has much interest in the Clippers as constructed.
    I'm still doubtful the Bucks would match a long-term offer close to the mid-level, but it's still tough to tell what exactly the Bucks will or won't do.  What is certain is that the Bucks should be pleased to hear that Sessions' stock seems to be cooling.  At Clips Nation, Steve Perrin wonders why Sessions would worry about the presence of Telfair in the first place.  Good question, Steve.
  • Hunt: Bucks smart to play it safe
    Michael Hunt isn't too broken up about the possibility of losing Ramon Sessions, and while I would like to keep Sessions I think he makes a lot of fair points. This I thought was pretty interesting:

    The Bucks, for good or ill, have cast their lot with Brandon Jennings. He is their point guard moving forward and will start, barring unforeseen circumstances, from Day 1. They prefer their first-round pick's upside. They like the fact Jennings is quicker and much more spontaneous with his open-floor decision-making.

    The Bucks have accepted the short-term growing pains that will come with Jennings. They will, to use an unfortunate phrase from a previous general manager, sink or swim with that decision.

    Hunt was advocating Jennings as the starter pretty much as soon as the Bucks had his name called in New York, so I'm not sure if he's projecting his own views on the Bucks or if he's heard something internally suggesting Jennings is the likely starter in November. If Sessions leaves, I've kind of assumed Ridnour would start initially in order to keep the pressure off Jennings.  But then again, with the Bucks going young across the board there wouldn't be much harm in giving Jennings big minutes from the start and letting him get his growing pains out of the way.  I'm not sure that's really Scott Skiles' style of course...
  • Thorpe: Jennings 5th in rookie rankings
    David Thorpe has some kind words for Jodie Meeks too, but it's all about Jennings:

    If Ramon Sessions stays in Milwaukee, Jennings will fall out of the top 10. But because Sessions is expected to leave, Jennings projects to play major minutes. And he's too talented not to put up some impressive numbers.

    Jennings plays like a true point, looking to score only if it's the best option. And he showed in summer league that he can make players better, especially in transition. As I watched him play in Vegas, I kept thinking, "Who wouldn't like playing with this guy?" If Jennings accepts the tough love he'll get from Bucks coach Scott Skiles, he will be a candidate for rookie of the year.

  • PBN | Making a quick Buck
    You can add Sam Amico to the list of people who thinks the Bucks are doomed to the Eastern cellar...but is interested in them anyway.

    Still, this isn't about wins and losses. It's about continuing to learn Skiles' no-nonsense philosophy, weeding out the guys who can't cut it and revamping around the guys who can.

    It's about allowing Redd and Bogut to carry the load as the rookies and second-year guys develop. It's about beginning to get an idea of what type of organization you can become.

    Not that I'm projecting 40 wins or anything, but I think there's also been a bit of overreaction to the losses of Villanueva and RJ. Sure, the Bucks would be better with those guys on the roster, but both guys have better names than games at this point. More important is the number of games the Bucks can get out of Andrew Bogut and Michael Redd, not to mention all the x-factors currently on the roster.

    Does Jennings have the physical and mental makeup to survive and contribute over an 82 game season? Can Amir Johnson stay on the court long enough to shore up the interior defense? Can Ersan Ilyasova translate his success at the highest levels of European competition to the NBA? Can Joe Alexander give the Bucks at least average production at either or both forward spots? Given the injuries a year ago and the number of young players, this has the makings of a team that can surprise people.
  • Bucksketball: Oak Hill's Steve Smith
    Jeremy has an interview with Brandon Jennings' former high school coach, the legendary Steve Smith of Oak Hill Academy.
  • We're Bucked: Jennings in rookie context
    I'd like to welcome Justin Malaise to the Bucks blogger family!  He's got a good look at Jennings' summer league stats and how they compare to other rookie PGs.
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