Detroit Pistons GM Joe Dumars is at it again. Dumars executed a sign-and-trade for Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings. Detroit will send Brandon Knight, Slava Kravtsov, and Khris Middleton to Milwaukee. Jennings will sign a 3-year $24 million deal with the Pistons. Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the deal.
Personally, I’m sad to see Knight go. It was an up and down two seasons in Detroit, but he has a great work ethic and I thought that Chauncey Billups and Mo Cheeks could help speed his development. However, there were rumblings and rumors that people within the Detroit organization were upset with Knight’s slowed development and that could have been a factor in the trade. Knight averaged 13.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and shot 41.0% from the field, including 37.3% from deep.
Another factor in this trade is that the Pistons need shooters. With Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, and Josh Smith the Pistons have no spacing. Neither of those three players shoot particularly well outside the paint. Jennings shot 37.5% from deep last season. Not great, but better than what Knight shot in two seasons in Detroit. Jennings can score in bunches and can straight up carry a team. He also pitched in 6.5 assists last season with the Bucks.
Jennings can be categorized as a volume scorer, which means he takes a lot of shots to get his points. Last season, he averaged 15.6 shot attempts to get his 17.5 points. He made 39.9% of his field goals last season. However, he was playing for a bad Milwaukee team that really had no other reliable options, with the exception of Monta Ellis. So he had to take a lot of shots. The Bucks shouldn’t have been a playoff team last season.
Jennings can also be a hot head, but with a veteran like Billups and a former point guard for a coach in Cheeks, Jennings should be kept on check.
As far as Kravtsov and Middleotn go, they didn’t get much playing time in Detroit during their rookie seasons last season and it’s tough to see how their careers will go. I liked Kravtsov’s toughness, but he wasn’t going to get much playing time with Monroe, Drummond, Charlie Villanueva, and rookie Tony Mitchell there. I liked Middleton’s shooting, but he was buried by Smith, Kyle Singler, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rodney Stuckey.
Overall, I like the trade. Jennings is a guy who can spread the floor, he’s a scorer, and he can also distribute the ball. He won’t have the pressure in Detroit like he had in Milwaukee when teams would just game plan for him and Ellis. He will be able to run the pick and roll with Drummond and we could see “Detroit Lob City” with Jennings, Billups, and Will Bynum throwing lobs to Drummond, Mitchell, and Smith.
I wish Knight, Kravtsov, and Middleton the best in Milwaukee and hopefully they can find success with the Bucks.
For Detroit? Things are looking up and it’s an exciting time to be a Pistons fan.