NBA: Bucks sign Jennings
MILWAUKEE ó The Milwaukee Bucks signed first-round draft pick Brandon Jennings to a two-year contract worth almost $4.5 million on Tuesday.
Jennings was picked 10th overall in June and signed the rookie-scale deal that includes team options for 2011-12 and 2012-13.
The slot for the 10th pick pays at least $3.75 million over two years, but teams can sign players for slightly than the scale. Jennings will make a just over $2.16 million this season and $2.33 million in 2010-11.
“I’m excited to sign my contract and make my NBA career official,” Jennings said. “I look forward to working with Coach (Scott) Skiles and learning everything I can from him, as well as my teammates. I can’t wait to get the season started and contribute to the success of our team.”
Jennings, 19, is expected to be the point guard of the future for the Bucks and general manager John Hammond has repeatedly praised Jennings’ unselfishness. Milwaukee’s other top point guards include Ramon Sessions, who is a restricted free agent and has a qualifying offer from the Bucks, and Luke Ridnour, who has one year left on his contract.
Playing in the summer league in Las Vegas, Jennings led all players in assists (8.2) and steals (3.6) while scoring 14.6 points in the five games.
He chose to play in Italy last season instead of going to college after being the 2008 Naismith Player of the Year as a senior at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He had committed to play at Arizona, but elected to turn pro and joined Lottomatica Virtus Roma of the Italian League, averaging 5.5 points and 1.6 rebounds in 27 games last season.
Jennings learned one lesson shortly after he was drafted when he drew unwanted attention for a profanity-laced and provocative telephone conversation on YouTube that incorrectly discussed his new team’s personnel moves.
He said he didn’t know he was being recorded and shouldn’t have been talking about team business that he didn’t know anything about.