Bucks Tuesday: Jennings deadline near

ST. FRANCIS, Wis.-The Milwaukee Bucks have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to come to an agreement with point guard Brandon Jennings on a contract extension.

As the deadline nears, it appears an extension is unlikely and that Jennings will become a restricted free agent after the season.

Players drafted in 2009 and still on first-round rookie contracts face the Halloween deadline to be signed to an extension.

This rule is the one of the main reasons Oklahoma City traded guard James Harden to Houston last weekend. Because the Thunder couldn’t agree to a deal with Harden, they got more for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year by trading him before Wednesday and allowing the Rockets to sign him to an extension.

Other than Jennings, Sacramento guard Tyreke Evans, Golden State guard Stephen Curry, Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan, Chicago forward Taj Gibson, Philadelphia guard Jrue Holliday and Denver guard Ty Lawson all enter the final 24 hours without an extension.

Because Jennings would still be a restricted free agent after the season, the Bucks could match any contract he signs with another club; this doesn’t mean his tenure in Milwaukee will be over following the season.

What it does mean, however, is that Jennings enters 2012 in the final year of his contract, just like coach Scott Skiles and general manager John Hammond.

Add to the fact that shooting guard Monta Ellis can opt out of his deal after the season and the reason this is an important season for the franchise becomes clear.

Hurricane Sandy’s impact: Earlier in the week, some concern was expressed whether the Bucks’ trip to Boston for Friday’s season opener would be impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Now that the brunt of the storm has rolled through the Northeast, it appears the Bucks shouldn’t have a problem when they fly into Boston on Thursday.

Boston didn’t get hit nearly as hard by the storm as New York and parts of New Jersey did, and Logan Airport in Boston is open.

Tip-off Luncheon: The Bucks hosted their annual preview luncheon at the InterContinental Hotel in Downtown Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Bucks owner Sen. Herb Kohl, Skiles, Hammond andthe players addressed the crowd, sharing their thoughts on the upcoming season.

Kohl displayed optimism in his current team, and Hammond said he believed in the group of players sitting behind him and that he wanted Bucks fans to feel proud that this is their team on a nightly basis.

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