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Next big free agent questions: What about Brandon Jennings and the other restricted free agents?

Jul 8, 2013, 10:30 PM EDT

Milwaukee Bucks v Dallas Mavericks Getty Images

Brandon Jennings. Nikola Pekovic. Jeff Teague. Gerald Henderson. Timofey Mozgov. Gary Neal.

These are the guys who could still make free agency interesting… if another team gets desperate enough to make a big offer.

Now that the big name truly free — meaning unrestricted — free agents are off the market, we turn our attention to the restricted free agents who are still out there. The names above make up the list.

Teams let these players become free agents to let the marketplace set their value. Other teams can come in and make an offer on a player, then the team has three days to decide whether to match. For the teams that comes with the risk that another franchise comes with a big offer and you lose the player for nothing. Or, you could just frustrate the players who do not enjoy watching this play out (Teague apparently is in the frustrated camp).

These are good players, but restricted free agency can have a chilling effect — because the offer can be matched a team that wants to poach a player must make an offer large enough to scare off the other team, but not so large as to be drastically overpaying. So you end up with big contracts for Jeremy Lin.

A couple restricted free agents have found a home this year: Tyreke Evans is headed to New Orleans on a four-year, $44 million deal as part of a sign-and-trade; Tiago Splitter is staying with the Spurs for four years, $36 million.

But there are a lot of guys still on the available list.

There have been multiple reports about Jennings and Teague being part of a sign-and-trade — Teague’s old coach Larry Drew is up in Milwaukee and is interested in coaching him some more. But a reliable source — Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times — says the Bucks may keep him.

That seems a steep price, unless there is a silent suitor trying to steal Jennings away. Are the Bucks bidding against themselves?

Minnesota made an offer to Pekovic, expected to be at $12 million a season. It’s steep, but big men get overpaid a little and he is a perfect fit for them next to Kevin Love so it would be worth it. Pekovic is part of a good young core in Minnesota that should be playoff bound next year. He is expected to give them an answer before Wednesday (when he can sign a deal) but may be waiting to see if a better offer comes in at the last minute.

The Nuggets are reportedly interested in Timofey Mozgov, despite having a plethora of frontcourt men now. The Bobcats reportedly want to keep Henderson but there are no details on those talks.

  1. dezglobal - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Here we go… Desperate teams overpaying for non superstars.

  2. iknowwhatimtalkingabout - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Really enjoyed this article! I’m hoping the celtics make another big move. but despite having traded a 37 year old KG and 35 year old Paul Pierce I truly believe we are playoff bound, considering rondo is back to elite level

    • fm31970 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      You REALLY need to change your handle after that comment.

  3. padraighansen - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Brandon Jennings isn’t worth more than $5 M per year. Incredibly overrated with an inflated sense of his own self worth.

  4. roanboon - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    We must remember that first and foremost the NBA is a business, and a player’s salary reflects not just his talent, but the net benefit to the owner in terms of jersey and ticket sales.

  5. soundsofsuccess7 - Jul 9, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    Bucks should sign and deal Jennings to LA for Nash.

    • skinsfanwill - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      Could you imagine how many fights would break out between Jennings and Kobe over bad shot attempts. Jennings would be toothless by the all-star break.

      • fm31970 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        Kobe would veto this in a heartbeat, and why would the Bucks want an old, injured guard who is locked in for two more years and is way overpaid?

  6. bougin89 - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    This is my nightmare!

    Jennings at just over 11 million a year!?!?!?

    I’d rather he be let go for nothing. Let the tanking and rebuild begin already.

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