Wednesday’s deadline for the Milwaukee Bucks to reach a contract extension with point guard Brandon Jennings has passed without the two sides coming to an agreement.
Jennings will become a restricted free agent after the season.
“At the end of the day, I’m still under contract with the Milwaukee Bucks,” Jennings said Wednesday. “At the end of the day, no matter what, I’m still going to get paid, so I have to go out there and perform.
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“Now, I can just audition for other teams, too. The fact is if they can see what I can do and what I bring to the table this year for the Bucks, anything can happen in the summertime.”
Jennings has been Milwaukee’s starting point guard since the Bucks made him the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft. He’s been the team’s leading scorer the past two seasons, but now he isn’t sure if he fits into its plans.
“To tell you the truth, I really don’t know,” Jennings said. “I’m going to just play this year out, do what I have to do here. The main goal is still to try to win and try to make the playoffs. Then I’ll be able to make my own decision.”
Players drafted in 2009 and still on first-round rookie contracts faced the Wednesday deadline to sign an extension. Now Jennings will enter the season playing for his next contract. The Bucks will have the right to match any offer sheet he would sign with another team.
The looming deadline did weigh on Jennings’ mind, so it’s something he can now put behind him until the end of the season.
“It was tough,” Jennings said. “You just didn’t know what was going to happen. At the same time, once I got on the court, I just didn’t think about it. It was more off the court, and when you see other players get signed, you get kind of down.”
Other players from the 2009 draft class did get signed. Multiple reports indicate James Harden signed a five-year, $80 million extension with Houston. Warriors guard Stephen Curry got a four-year, $44 extension, and Nuggets guard Ty Lawson signed for four years and $48 million.
“I take this like it’s my rookie year again,” Jennings said. “…You have to prove that you are the best player in that draft class.”