Brandon Jennings extension unlikely, Doron Lamb making his case for minutes

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

With the deadline for extensions looming today, Jennings appears likely to be headed for restricted free agency next summer.

Hoops World | Brandon Jennings extension not happening
Steve and I have talked at length about why Brandon Jennings is unlikely to sign an extension before Wednesday's deadline, and the last couple of days have seen a number of articles suggesting the same. And that's OK: even without a new deal, the Bucks would still have the ability to match any offer Jennings receives as a restricted free agent next summer.

But while a few stories to date have suggested that Jennings' agent Bill Duffy was looking for a deal near the maximum (about four years and a whopping $60ish million), Steve Kyler from Hoops World suggested on Tuesday that Jennings' camp actually has far more (surprisingly) realistic goals:

The Bucks and Jennings are not going to reach an extension deal. One source close to the process said Jennings' camp was looking for a deal in the $9 to $10 million range and the Bucks just don't seem willing to engage that at this point.

To be honest, I find it rather shocking to think that Jennings would ask for "just" $9 or 10 million when a) Ty Lawson just signed for four years and $48 million and b) like many players in his position, Jennings could boost his value further with a big season before he hits restricted free agency. It's not that Jennings is actually worth $12 million annually--not at his current level of production at least--but that presumably wouldn't stop Duffy from pointing to Lawson as the best benchmark for Jennings' next deal, even if Lawson has been the more productive player to date. Add in non-production-related factors--who exactly are the Bucks going to market next year if Jennings and Ellis were gone?--and it wouldn't shock me one bit if Jennings ended up eventually snagging a deal around what Lawson is set to rake in.

This latest report could of course be off, but if the Bucks really are balking at $9-10 million then you might guess that the tenuous employment status of virtually everyone in the organization--coaches, front office staff, players--might have a fair bit to do with it. Everyone is saying the right things for now, but it's no secret that the roster as it currently stands could easily be dismantled if Herb Kohl wasn't so insistent on competing for the playoffs every year. And if the Bucks did clean house going into next summer, there's an obvious argument for letting the new regime make the call on a big decision like Jennings' future.

Putting that aside, what's a fair offer for Jennings? While $9 million is nothing to sneeze at, it's right in the ballpark of what Mike Conley received two years ago (five years, $47 million) and what Goran Dragic hauled in over the summer from the Suns. It doesn't mean those are correct valuations either, but if Jennings improves even marginally this summer then the odds of him getting an offer sheet in excess of that are hardly trivial. All that is speculation for now, but it's a risk that the Bucks may be more willing to take than you might expect.

Fox Sports Wisconsin | Lamb impressing early on
Andrew Gruman's roundup from Monday offered up a couple of bits worth mentioning, including Scott Skiles' glowing assessment of Doron Lamb's game thus far.

"He's an under control player. Offensively he generally doesn't make many mistakes. If he's open he shoots the ball, if he's covered he tries to put it on the floor and makes plays for other people. It seems like obvious things to do but a lot of players don't understand that, especially young players."

It certainly sounds as though Lamb will likely see minutes off the bench at some point in Boston, though it's easy to forget that the former Kentucky star only returned from an elbow injury around a week ago. Perhaps most importantly, Skiles also praised Lamb's defensive potential on Monday, noting that he could become a "very, very good defensive player" once given time to adjust to the NBA game. In short, Skiles has already said more nice things about Lamb in a month than he said about Larry Sanders in two years. But Skiles has been coming around on Larry as well, so maybe the Bucks' coach has finally become a big softy?

Quick hits:

  • SB Nation Chicago | Steve serves up his Bucks preview for SB Nation Chicago.
  • City League Hoops TV | Brandon Jennings' younger brother Terrence Phillips is growing up fast--and following in his brother's footsteps at Oak Hill Academy.
  • SB Nation | The NBA watchability index ranks the Bucks just 16th. Hey, I know the Bucks might not be great, but they at least should be kinda interesting, right?
  • SB Nation | Jon Bois rates all the mascots of the East; as expected, Bango rates well.
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