Selfless. That is a word I NEVER thought I would associate with Brandon Jennings. However, he is willing to do what is in his and the team's best interest. One of the ways he is doing that is by agreeing to play at least one game with the Pistons D-League affiliate Grand Rapids Drive.
Brandon Jennings will play for @grdleague on Saturday, SVG says— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) December 17, 2015
Brandon Jennings did not have to agree to play with the D-League. It was well within his veteran rights to wait for an actual NBA game.
Now, could he be concerned that Stan Van Gundy wouldn't play him until he could get him enough practice time? Maybe. However, Jennings has been saying all the right team things for a while now. He's willing to come off the bench so that he doesn't disrupt the flow of the starters. This is in a contract year where he's not guaranteed to be re-signed by the Pistons and if vying for large amounts of that exploding cap.
This is the perfect time for Jennings to get in a game also. The Pistons play against Chicago on Friday and then do not play again until Tuesday in Miami. This means that there will be at least one practice in there where Jennings can get meaningful time after his game with the Drive. How he plays with the Drive could determine what gets run in practice. It has been speculated that Jennings could be ready to play as soon as Tuesday.
Wish I lived in Michigan so I could go see him play Saturday. But on the bright side, full D-League games are broadcasted on Youtube here.
UPDATE: Here is the press release from the Pistons:
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The Detroit Pistons announced today that guard Brandon Jennings has been assigned to the team's NBA Development League (D-League) affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. Jennings, who is continuing his rehabilitation process, will see his first game action on Saturday, December 19 vs. the Iowa Energy.
The six-year NBA veteran missed 41 games last season and has not played this season after suffering a ruptured left Achilles tendon at Milwaukee on January 24, 2015. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound guard was acquired in a trade from Milwaukee on July 31, 2013 and has averaged 15.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.2 steals in 121 games with Detroit.
"This is a great example of the many benefits our D-League team offers, supporting Tom Gores' vision to push for a hybrid affiliation with the Grand Rapids Drive," said Jeff Bower, general manager of the Detroit Pistons. "It gives Brandon an opportunity to go play in a game, work on his conditioning and compete in a similar system that's being run by Otis Smith and his staff."
Jennings will join Festus Ezeli of the Golden State Warriors as one of the most notable NBA players to play in a D-League game on a rehab assignment to date. Ezeli played in two games with the Santa Cruz Warriors in late January 2015 after missing 16 games due to sprained left ankle. He returned to help the Warriors win the 2015 NBA Championship. Other prominent NBA players who practiced with D-League teams, but did not play, while on rehab assignments include Rajon Rondo, Amar'e Stoudemire, Kawhi Leonard and Carl Landry.