Bucks general manager John Hammond said Friday that he was "taken a little bit off guard" by Brandon Jennings' comments about his future and thinking about moving to a bigger market.
Jennings made the comments in an ESPN article by Chris Broussard and the Bucks point guard followed up with some remarks after the team shootaround Friday morning at Quicken Loans Arena.
It has been a busy time for Jennings, who also said Friday he had "a major chip" on his shoulder after not being selected Thursday for the Eastern Conference all-star team and would use it as motivation to try to lead the Bucks back to the playoffs.
"I'd like to say how much respect we as an organization have for Brandon and how much we appreciate what he's done for us since he's been a Milwaukee Buck," Hammond said in an interview Friday afternoon.
"But what Brandon has done is put the cart before the horse, so to speak. The five guys mentioned (in the ESPN story) all signed rookie extensions and all had player options at the end of those extensions. That's the case with Dwight Howard right now."
The five players named in the story were LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Howard.
"They're all multiple-time all-stars," Hammond said. "They had player options and chose to explore them. Brandon is on a rookie contract."
Jennings mentioned Howard and Paul in talking about his own thinking. The Orlando center is a six-time all-star making his fifth All-Star Game start this season, while Paul is a five-time all-star making his third start.
"I know Brandon's name was mentioned in the all-star discussion, which is a real honor to him," Hammond said. "But when Brandon mentions himself with such players, while I appreciate his comments, I will be excited if some day other people around the NBA are also mentioning Brandon's name with Chris Paul and Dwight Howard."
Hammond said the Bucks have believed in Jennings when others didn't, including draft night in 2009 when they chose him with the 10th overall pick.
"We all remember draft night when Brandon wasn't even in the auditorium," Hammond said. "There was speculation Brandon could fall in the draft. Brandon did come back in the auditorium after the 11th pick and was announced at that time and put his Bucks hat on.
"Since Day One Brandon has been great for us. Scott (Skiles) put the ball in his hands and made him a starter from Day One. He had a tremendous rookie year and helped lead us into the playoffs."
Jennings cannot be an unrestricted free agent until 2014. He will be eligible to sign an extension with the Bucks this summer and be at the same point center Andrew Bogut was in the summer of 2008.
Bogut, the top overall pick in the 2005 draft, and the Bucks reached a five-year contract extension that summer, shortly after Hammond had been named the team's general manager, replacing Larry Harris.
If Jennings chooses not to sign an extension, he still is under contract to the Bucks next season. The Bucks could make a qualifying offer in the summer of 2013, when Jennings would be a restricted free agent.
Pre-game update: Skiles said before the game against Cleveland that forward Ersan Ilyasova would be available.
Ilyasova missed the Bucks' 105-99 victory over Toronto on Wednesday due to back spasms.
Cleveland coach Byron Scott said he would not be afraid to play point guard Ramon Sessions for big minutes against the Bucks. The Cavs are without rookie starter Kyrie Irving, out due to a concussion.
"One thing, if we go all the way back to training camp, Sess (Sessions) was in tremendous shape," Scott said. "Even two nights ago in the start of the fourth quarter I went to the bench and I kneeled down and said, 'Sess, I'm probably going to have to put you back in there a little earlier than I want.'
"I think it was about a minute later, I said, 'We've got to get him back in there.' I know he's capable of playing 45 (minutes), 48 if I really needed him to."
With Irving out both Friday night and for Saturday's game against Philadelphia, the Cavaliers signed guard Ben Uzoh to a 10-day contract. Uzoh was playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League.