The Detroit Pistons hold 8th place in the Eastern Conference, and it doesn’t look like they’ll go much higher. It’s been a bit of a disappointing season. Back before the games began, pundits and analysts had high hopes for the Pistons. Some thought they could claim as high as the 4th seed in the East. Now they’re having trouble just staying in Playoffs contention, and Reggie Jackson seems to be in the midst of a disappearing act.
Once being touted as the future of the Detroit Pistons, Reggie Jackson spent the tail end of the 2015-16 season spearheading a 16-9 stretch of games. He, and Andre Drummond, gave the Pistons hope for a potential breakthrough season. Unfortunately, a knee injury kept him down for a stretch of games, and the Detroit Pistons have floundered with a 27-30 record. Worse, the explosiveness he once had didn’t seem to return with him to the court, when he finally made his way back.
Still The Same Player?
We’ve seen this happen before: a very good player, maybe even a superstar or a potential one, gets injured. They recover, they return – but they can’t reclaim the same dynamism and game. That was the case with Derrick Rose; one could argue the same case for Paul George. Perhaps, the possibility of the same thing happening to Jackson is what’s pushing head coach Stan Van Gundy to consider shipping Jackson out.
Consider Jackson’s stats alone from the ’15-’16 season, to this year’s:
Last Year: 18.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 6.2 APG
This Year: 15.2 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 5.6 APG
Jackson has shown he can still shoot, still drive. He still has the ability to see floor clearly and set up an offense, while generating points of his own. But he’s no longer as dominant, no longer an explosive shell that punishes defenses that don’t adjust.
“Clearly, Van Gundy and his staff doubt that Jackson can return to that form and evolve from there,” the Detroit Free Press writes, “Or they wouldn’t be talking to other teams about trades.”
So, given the trade deadline coming up this Thursday, where could Jasckon wind up? The popular choice still seems to be to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Ricky Rubio. Despite reports of the two teams talking, however, SB Nation has pointed out that such a deal simply doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Wolves need a pass-first guard; the Pistons need someone who stands as an offensive weapon on their own. It’s not a good fit.
The Orlando Magic have come up in trade talks as well. In this scenario, DJ Augustin and Jeff Green would head to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Jackson. That would allow Jackson to make a new name for himself in a youth-oriented team, which also includes new Magic PG Terrence Ross.