MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks plan to do everything possible to retain the services of point guard Brandon Jennings.
General manager John Hammond told FOXSportsWisconsin.com on Friday that the Bucks will negotiate with Jennings after free agency begins July 1. The Bucks plan to match any offer sheet signed by Jennings with another team.
Hammond confirmed the team has already made a qualifying offer to Jennings, a necessary step to allow the Bucks to match an offer sheet.
Jennings could accept the $4.3 million one-year qualifying offer, play one season with the Bucks and then become an unrestricted free agent.
The 23-year-old averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 assists per game last season, shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Jennings has started 289 of 291 games in his four years with the Bucks, averaging 17.0 points and 5.7 assists.
When asked if the Bucks plan to bring Jennings back, Hammond’s response was “100 percent.”
“Our intentions would be to negotiate with Brandon and hopefully we can come to an agreement before he goes out into the market or needs to go out into the market,” Hammond said. “If it does happen and he goes on the market and signs an offer sheet, our intentions will be to match that.”
There has been a running dialogue between the Bucks and Jennings recently, and while neither side can talk about a contract until July 1, Hammond feels the conversations have gone well.
“Brandon has been very positive,” Hammond said. “We’ve talked over the last few weeks. We can’t talk about contractual issues but we can talk about our team and check with him to see if he’s doing OK. He’s been tremendous, and he’s been very positive.”
Hammond said the Bucks plan to have conversations with the agents for unrestricted free agents Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick. Ellis opting out of the final year of his contract did not change any of Hammond’s plans.
“We didn’t expect anything different,” Hammond said. “That was a decision he made and at the end of the day I feel it will be a good decision for him.”