2016 FA Roundtable: Brandon Jennings

PLUGH: I really don’t like Brandon Jennings’ game. People sometimes pine over the memory of Jordan Hill being selected two slots ahead of him, but not me. Jennings has a lot of jittery, herky jerky moves and he slings up three pointers in bunches. Most of the time it’s out of the flow of the offense and totally inefficient. It’s like Jamal Crawford on acid. The Knicks reportedly wanted to trade for Jennings at the deadline last year, but the idea of giving anything up for him is sickening. I’m being really harsh in my assessment of Jennings game, but there’s no way to paint the picture kindly. If you look at his shot charts he’s dismally below average in almost every spot on the court. It’s amazing, though, how perceptions change when situations change. With Derrick Rose in tow, Brandon Jennings looks like a nice flier on a one-year, $5 million deal off the bench. Nothing about him changes as a player, but the number of gambles the Knicks have made in other areas makes this feel like a “why not” type of move. If Rose is inefficient as the starter, but plays fast to some positive effect, Jennings doesn’t pose any new problems. If the two of them fail to make a positive impact next year, they can both be jettisoned in favor of bigger fish. I’ll never be a fan of Jennings inefficient style of play, but in this particular spot, I’m not mad.

CRONIN: It seems awfully fishy that this dude couldn’t beat a one-year/$5 million contract out there. It makes me worried that everyone thinks his injuries are just too much. Hopefully not. The upside of the deal is also a bit off. I mean, $5 million for a rotation guy who has had at least a half-year of strong play (before suffering a major injury) is not bad, but when the Knicks are going to be really tight with cap space next year (especially since the NBA is now saying that the cap will be $5 million lower than expected next year), there seems to be little chance of him coming back even if he has a decent year. Let’s hope he has a decent year, though!

MA: Jennings has had good games as recently as March, so I don’t mind taking the risk. Unfortunately, if it does pan out, the Knicks could easily lose him. He’s not the most efficient scorer, but he showed in Detroit and Orlando that he could be a distributor. Defensively, I’ll just look away.

UDWARY: It’s a one year, cheap contract for a likely awful player. Not really much else to say. He is one of the very few guys we could have backing up the PG position that will make you hope Rose can play lots of minutes, though.

FISHER-COHEN: Brian, it could be that Jennings is betting on Rose getting hurt, and even if he doesn’t, who’s he competing with for bench minutes? There’s no more Rambis to stuff Vujacic down our throats, so that leaves just Justin Holiday. In any case, I find it hard to care about Jennings given it’s a one year deal, but here’s my best attempt: I would be less surprised to see Jennings repeat that streak he put up in Detroit before the injury than to see Noah outperform his 14/15 numbers or Rose put up NBA average numbers. He’s still just 26. Even in that hot streak, he couldn’t finish at the rim (like the rest of the Knicks!), so it’s not like he was reliant on quickness and leaping ability back then.

KURYLO: If you want to know how I evaluate a player, unless they’re a defensive juggernaut, the first thing I check is their ts%. Jennings’ career is 49.7%. “Yikes”, I think to myself, “maybe he was bad earlier in his career, and has gotten better.” So I then look at the ts% by season. Brandon’s last 4 seasons were 51.0%, 48.6%, 52.2%, and 49.1%. Some years were better, but nowhere near the league average which usually hovers around 54%.

But I’m curious why Jennings is such an inefficient scorer. Career-wise he’s 35% from downtown, which isn’t an Achilles Heel unlike Rose (30.3%). Next I scan free throws wondering if he just doesn’t convert from the line much. Negative — 3.1 makes per 36 and he makes him at just a tad under 80%. Not great numbers, but well enough.


Then I look at the final component of true shooting percentage, his 2P%. HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL! WHAT THE HECK IS THIS KID DOING ON THE COURT? I COULD PROBABLY — OK I COULDN’T — BUT STILL! HOW MANY NBA MINUTES HAS HE GOTTEN??? ALMOST 15,000! AND NO ONE HAS BEEN ABLE TO GET HIM TO SHOOT PROPERLY? Well maybe he doesn’t shoot that often — 15.8 fga/36. WHAT THE @#@*(@#)*!!!!!

Brandon Jennings shoots two point shots at 41.3%. How bad is that? Let’s answer with a trivia question.

In the 3-point era (1980 season), how many NBA players have amassed 14,000 minutes but have only managed to hit 41.3% of their 2 point shots?
A. 5
B. 10
C. 25
D. 50

[Extra credit name the two Knicks – one player and one coach.]

So my parting thoughts are — how many nights will I be throwing stuff at the tv because Knicks point guards are having “an off night”?

Knicks Morning News (2016.07.21)

  • [NYTimes] Nets, With Many New Players, Look to Build Something Lasting
    (Thursday, July 21, 2016 1:16:10 AM)

    The free-agent guard Jeremy Lin was among six players introduced Wednesday, as the team strives to improve.

  • [NYTimes] Jeremy Lin Is Back in New York, and So Is a Glimpse of the Old Linsanity
    (Wednesday, July 20, 2016 11:13:26 PM)

    By returning to a city with the largest Chinese population outside of Asia to play for the Nets, Lin is stepping back into a broader, brighter spotlight.

  • [NYTimes] WNBA Fines 3 Teams, Players for Shirts in Wake of Shootings
    (Thursday, July 21, 2016 5:09:39 AM)

    Social activism is coming at a cost for WNBA players.

  • [NYTimes] Suns, Mavs, Spurs to Play Games in Mexico
    (Wednesday, July 20, 2016 7:36:31 PM)

    The Phoenix Suns will take on the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs in the first consecutive regular-season NBA games in Mexico on Jan. 12 and 14.

  • [NYTimes] Phoenix Suns to Play 2 Regular-Season Games in Mexico
    (Wednesday, July 20, 2016 5:52:25 PM)

    The Phoenix Suns will play two regular-season “home” games in Mexico City this season.

  • [NY Newsday] Carmelo Anthony believes Knicks had shot at landing Dwyane Wade
    (Wednesday, July 20, 2016 9:08:59 PM)

    LAS VEGAS — Carmelo Anthony believes the Knicks had a realistic shot at signing Dwyane Wade during free agency.

  • [NY Newsday] Carmelo Anthony glad J.R. Smith has a championship ring
    (Wednesday, July 20, 2016 7:54:00 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony enjoyed seeing his former teammate and good friend J.R. Smith win a championship with the Cavaliers and respected the way he celebrated.

  • [ESPN] Thursday’s Knicks Links: Jim Boeheim sold Carmelo Anthony on the Olympics
    (Thursday, July 21, 2016 5:10:17 AM)

    Thursday’s Knicks Links: Jim Boeheim sold Carmelo Anthony on the Olympics

  • [ESPN] Carmelo Anthony: Knicks ‘definitely’ had a chance to sign Dwyane Wade
    (Wednesday, July 20, 2016 11:54:50 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony: Knicks ‘definitely’ had a chance to sign Dwyane Wade

  • [NYPost] The Jim Boeheim call to sell Carmelo Anthony on Olympics
    (Wednesday, July 20, 2016 5:40:22 PM)

    LAS VEGAS — Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said he knew Carmelo Anthony was wavering about playing in the 2016 Olympics given all the defections and health and safety concerns in Rio. So Boeheim placed a call to the player who helped him win the 2003 national championship to try to convince him Team USA needed him….

  • [NYPost] Melo: Knicks’ shot at Wade was real — ‘If it was 2 days earlier…’
    (Wednesday, July 20, 2016 5:04:02 PM)

    LAS VEGAS — Not that Carmelo Anthony is pining for him, but the Knicks star thinks if the momentum for Dwyane Wade to leave Miami occurred earlier this month, the Knicks may have had the cap room to snare him. The Knicks had talks with Wade, but he ultimately signed a $23.5 million per year…

  • [NYPost] Coach K: How this Plumlee will help the Knicks
    (Wednesday, July 20, 2016 9:20:56 AM)

    LAS VEGAS — You can excuse Duke and US Olympic Team coach Mike Krzyzewski for mixing up his Plumlees. After all, he’s had three of them. Now all the Plumlee brothers are in the NBA after the Knicks gave Marshall a guaranteed, minimum deal to come to training camp despite going undrafted last month. When The Post…

  • [NYDN] Carmelo Anthony talks about how Knicks almost got Dwyane Wade
    (Wednesday, July 20, 2016 7:24:46 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony revealed that the Knicks had a realistic chance of signing Dwyane Wade.

  • [NYDN] Melo says he may pull a J.R. Smith if he ever wins an NBA title
    (Wednesday, July 20, 2016 4:21:25 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony admired the fashion sense of his good friend and former teammate in both Denver and New York.