Always a frustrating player to own, Brandon Jennings at least used to rack up big counting stats to make up for his inefficiency. However, he struggled in his return from Achilles surgery last season, averaging just 6.9 points and 3.5 assists per game with the Magic and Pistons, and is likely to see a similar role this year with the Knicks, backing up Derrick Rose. Given Rose's injury history, there's a chance Jennings will get a decent amount of playing time eventually this season, but there isn't much reason to look Jennings' way on Draft Day.
Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said Friday that he doesn't expect Jennings to see "big minutes" alongside Derrick Rose this season, Ian Begley of ESPN.com reports. Jennings has served as a starting point guard for much of his career, but after rejoining the Pistons in late December of last season after returning from a torn Achilles tendon, he was forced to settle for backup duties behind Reggie Jackson. The Pistons ended up shipping Jennings to Orlando prior the trade deadline, where he again served in a reserve capacity, finishing the campaign with cumulative averages of 6.9 points, 3.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 three-pointers in 18.1 minutes per game. Though he's only 27 years old and was brought in by the Knicks this offseason on a one-year deal, Jennings looked quite rusty in his return from the Achilles injury and may struggle to regain the explosiveness he showed earlier in his career. More significantly, Jennings' subpar shooting marks won't make him an ideal backcourt partner with Derrick Rose, who doesn't offer much of an impact from three-point range. As a result, Jennings again looks to be in line for the top backup job at point guard, with Courtney Lee assuming most of the minutes at shooting guard next to Rose.
Jennings signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Knicks on Monday, Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago reports. One of the more active teams during free agency this offseason, the Knicks have picked up another backcourt piece, inking Jennings to a one-year deal. Jennings appeared to have a falling out with Magic coach Scott Skiles at the end of the season, making his departure all the more unsurprising. Jennings should provide another affordable depth option for the Knicks in the backcourt, likely taking the role as Derrick Rose's backup at point guard. Considering Rose's lengthy injury history, Jennings is in a good spot to see extended playing time down the road should anything happen to the Knicks' new starter.
Jennings was a DNP-CD in the Magic's season finale Wednesday. Jennings concluded the season with a string of four straight DNP-CDs, which did not appear to be injury-related. It's unclear if something was going on behind the scenes, but coach Scott Skiles chose to go with Elfrid Payton and C.J. Watson as his two point guards down the stretch. The 26-year-old Jennings, who came to Orlando in a deadline deal with Detroit, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Jennings had eight points (2-7 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 2-5 FT), three rebounds, three assists, and one steal across 17 minutes during the Magic's 108-97 loss to the Heat on Friday. Jennings moved to a bench role with Elfrid Payton re-claiming his spot in the starting lineup. However, Jennings saw just 11 minutes during Wednesday's start versus the Pistons, and is averaging 22 minutes per contest over the last five games. Meanwhile, fellow backup point guard C.J. Watson played 19 minutes on Friday, so there is plenty of competition for minutes even if Victor Oladipo (wrist) remains sidelined on Saturday.
Jennings will return to the bench for Friday's game against Miami, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports. Jennings has started the last six contests, partially due to an injury to Elfrid Payton, but he'll return to the bench Friday as Payton moves back into the lineup. Despite starting Wednesday's matchup with Detroit, Jennings only played 11 minutes to Payton's 34, so both players' roles should remain fairly constant Friday. However, Victor Oladipo is considered "50-50" to play due to a wrist injury, so if he's ultimately held out, Jennings could potentially see increased minutes off the ball.
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Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||56||251||38.0||94||34.3||139||76.8||735||13.12||27.2|