The Milwaukee Bucks have traded point guard Brandon Jennings to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for point guard Brandon Knight, small forward Khris Middleton and center Viacheslav Kravtsov, the Pistons announced on Wednesday.
Drafted by the Bucks with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Jennings averaged 17.0 points and 5.7 assists while shooting 39.4 percent from the field in his four years in Milwaukee.
After not receiving a contract extension before the season, Jennings averaged 17.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists last season for the Bucks.
Jennings switched agents from Bill Duffy to Jeff Schwartz in February, hoping new representation would help him land the long-term deal he was seeking.
Instead, Jennings found the Bucks to be unwilling to commit to him.
Milwaukee signed point guard Jeff Teague to a four-year, $32 million offer sheet in early July, but Atlanta matched the offer.
The eighth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the 21-year-old Knight averaged 13.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game while shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 36.7 percent on 3-pointers last season for Detroit.
A highly touted recruit out of high school and a McDonald’s All-American, Knight played one season at the University of Kentucky. Leading the Wildcats to the Final Four, Knight averaged 17.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in his lone season on campus.
Knight played in 66 games and made 60 starts in his rookie season with Detroit, averaging 12.8 points and 3.8 assists. Selected twice to the NBA’s Rising Stars Game, Knight has two years left on his rookie contract and will make $2.7 million next season.
While the Pistons saw Knight as more of a combo guard, he will likely become Milwaukee’s starter at point guard. Those in last year’s guard trio of Jennings, Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick are gone. Ellis signed with Dallas, and Redick was signed and traded to the Clippers.
Knight and free-agent signing O.J. Mayo now likely will be the starting backcourt, with veteran Luke Ridnour and rookie Nate Wolters providing depth at point guard. The Bucks made the signing of free-agent shooting guard Gary Neal official Tuesday, as the former member of the San Antonio Spurs likely will back up Mayo at shooting guard.
Detroit’s second round pick in 2012, Middleton averaged 6.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 27 games last season. The 6-foot-7 small forward out of Texas A&M will add depth to a position of weakness for Milwaukee.
Last season was Kravtsov’s first in the NBA, as the 25-year-old Ukrainian center averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 rebounds in nine minutes per game in 25 contests. The 6-foot-11 center began his professional career in 2005, playing in Ukraine before joining the Pistons.