Brandon Jennings has made no secret of his desire to leave Milwaukee of late, having threatened to take the qualifying offer from the Bucks this summer and leave as an unrestricted free agent in 2014. He's also expressed his interest in playing with the Mavericks. Jennings backtracked those statements in an interview Thursday with Scoop Jackson of ESPN.com, and indicated he'd like to stick around.
"I said some things, you know, that I probably shouldn't have to make (the fans) think that (these might be my last days in Milwaukee)," Jennings said. "But in general I wouldn't want to leave without actually accomplishing something here and that's getting out of the first round or something like that."
The 23-year-old point guard is set to hit restricted free agency in the offseason, meaning the Bucks will have the right to match offers from other teams as long as they extend a one-year, $4.531MM qualifying offer. Jennings could command offers much greater than that, but taking the qualifying offer would allow him to become an unrestricted free agent in 2014.
If Jennings doesn't take the qualifying offer, the Bucks appear poised to match just about any offer sheet he signs with another team this summer, which likely would be for multiple years. Jackson suggests that the Bucks could choose to sign-and-trade Jennings elsewhere, a maneuver that would allow Jennings to play in another city without taking a pay cut next season. Jennings would have to consent to that, however, and his comments to Jackson indicate he'd be hesitant to do so.
"At the end of the day they have supported me here since day one," Jennings said. "The good and the bad. From my rookie year, from being a little guy that came from Italy that nobody knew about, they still had my back through it all. So at the end of the day, I still love this town and hopefully I'll be here."
This isn't the first time there's been conflicting information on Jennings. A report in February said that he and the Bucks had come to "irreconcilable differences," but Jennings responded that it wasn't true. Regardless, the former 10th overall pick hasn't made it easy to gauge his true feelings, so there will be plenty of intrigue when he and the Bucks must make their decisions in the offseason.