The Detroit Pistons have been interesting this season. When the season began, all the fans and analysts thought that they were doomed because of the loss of starting point guard Reggie Jackson. But, low and behold, Stan Van Gundy did what Stan Van Gundy does and did something amazing with the team that no one thought they could do without Jackson: Win. After a rocky start to the season, Van Gundy made the offense flow again by enabling Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris to step up and take a bigger role in the half-court offense.
Everything was clicking for the Pistons and the return of Reggie Jackson was supposed to be a sort of “Second Coming” for Piston fans. Yet, it has not turned out the way that anyone had imagined it to. Jackson has managed to disrupt the chemistry and flow the pre-Jackson offense the Pistons had. Why has the return messed everything up? The answer to that is foggy, but I will do my best to try and explain. Reggie Jackson is not a pass-first point Guard, while Ish Smith was. But, Smith’s inability to make a consistent jump shot hurt the pick-and-roll game with Drummond, so Van Gundy substituted Caldwell-Pope for Jackson and the offense ran beautifully. Sure, it had some kinks but it worked. Then when Jackson returned and was inserted into the starting lineup, things went astray.
Now that Caldwell-Pope can shoot mid-range jumpers and hit threes at a very good rate (38.5%) and Marcus Morris has taken a bigger role in the offense, Jackson is no longer needed to be the big scorer that he was last season. But here’s the things: a player cannot change his playing style to fit the needs of his coach. It is difficult to do. Therefore, Jackson is still trying to put up big numbers and he does not need to do that. Currently, the Pistons are in an offensive rut and the way out, in my opinion, is to trade Reggie Jackson. There are teams that need point guards and Reggie Jackson can fill the void.
Let’s look at the top 3 destinations for Reggie Jackson.
The Bulls have an interesting situation happening right now at the point guard position. Rajon Rondo just finished his benching that started because of Fred Hoiberg, the Chicago Bulls coach. Hoiberg was looking for an uptick in offensive performance at the point guard position, and since Rondo cannot hit the broad side of a barn, Hoiberg chose to go with the younger Michael Carter-Williams. Now it would have been different if Hoiberg decided to have Rondo come off the bench, but he decided that Rondo needed to collect a handful of DNPs.
The backup point guard minutes then went to Isaiah Canaan and Jerian Grant. But, Hoiberg has decided to give Rondo the official backup point guard role behind MCW and that was a smart choice. But, MCW is not the solution that this team needs. The Bulls built this team to win now and that shows because of the addition of Dwyane Wade who is towards the end of his career. If the Bulls want to win now, then they need to go after Reggie Jackson. Reggie can score and does not need to be the primary ballhandler considering Dwyane Wade can bring the ball up the court. Reggie Jackson would fit in with Hoiberg’s offense.
Trade Package: Reggie Jackson for Bobby Portis and a first-round pick
The Magic are not looking at their best right now. Their GM decided to get forward-happy and went after Bismack Biyombo and Serge Ibaka in the offseason. That has really messed up their system because there is little to no floor spacing happening right now in Orlando. Frank Vogel is having to play Aaron Gordon at small forward when he is a true power forward. And to get the talented Bismack Biyombo minutes, Vogel is having to play him at center, but Biyombo is only 6’9. The one starter on the team who can make consistent jump shots is Evan Fournier. If Frank Vogel is forced to stay with the lineup that he has, then a trade for a score-first point guard will be needed.
Reggie Jackson can shoot the ball and help to keep the paint less crowded. Frank Vogel is trying everything to make this offense click and none of his lineups seem to be working because there is a lack of outside shooting. Vogel can insert Jackson into a George Hill type of role and he can let Jackson do his thing. Now if only the Magic could acquire a good true small forward.
Trade Package: Reggie Jackson for Elfrid Payton and a second-round pick
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans are a broken organization. There is no doubting that. The good news is, Anthony Davis is a growing Superstar and the Pelicans are not losing any picks in any of the upcoming drafts (because they have an incoming second rounder from Minnesota even though the Pelicans traded their original pick away).
The Pelicans have a bright future if they can draft the right pieces and if they build around Anthony Davis correctly. That means adding a young, talented point guard. Reggie Jackson can fill that need. He adds a young reliable asset at the point guard position.
Trade Package: Reggie Jackson for a first-round pick and Tim Frazier