What Re-Signing Reggie Jackson Means for the Pistons
*Photo via USA Today
For years, Reggie Jackson was labeled a capable backup point guard with scoring ability who flashed star power. There was one problem however; he was stuck behind one of the best point guards in the NBA, Russell Westbrook. Jackson, an obvious talent, just needed an opportunity to turn those flashes into full-fledged stardom. Enter, DEEEEETROOOIT BASKETBAAAAAALL.
The Detroit Pistons, who have always had the names to be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, haven't been able to crack the top eight as of late. Like Jackson, they've had the potential to excel, but their pieces just didn’t fit together. Now that they have seemingly established a nice young core, the playoffs should most definitely be in reach, with bigger goals down the line.
With Jackson, the Pistons are getting an excellent scoring point guard who has developed his passing game in the last few years. Jackson, along with Andre Drummond, have already developed chemistry from their short time playing together last season. What Jackson was able to accomplish in 27 starts with Detroit, led Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons management to lock him up to a lucrative contract (5YR/$80MM). With their young core, including Reggie Jackson, in place, what's next for this Pistons team?
In an Eastern Conference that seems to be getting stronger, the Pistons should be able to bring postseason play back to The Palace of Auburn Hills. With the return of former starting point guard Brandon Jennings (ruptured Achilles), it’ll be interesting to see what Detroit’s game plan is. Whether they plan to play both Jennings and Jackson together remains to be seen.
On draft night, the Pistons selected small forward Stanley Johnson, who has shown promise as a two-way player during his lone season at Arizona. It would be foolish to hand him a starting role at the beginning of the season, but, there have also been plenty of different mock depth charts circulating the World Wide Web.
C – Andre Drummond
PF – Ersan Ilyasova? Marcus Morris?
SF – Marcus Morris? Stanley Johnson? Kentavious Caldwell-Pope?
SG – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope? Jodie Meeks? Brandon Jennings?
PG – Reggie Jackson
Have fun figuring that out Stan Van Gundy.
Regardless of how the Pistons look opening night, the signing of Jackson significantly increases the likelihood that Brandon Jennings is traded at some point. If the Pistons can flip Jennings for a quality four man or veteran piece, they would be a contender to slip into the East's elite in a year or so. With their young core and defensive capabilities, the Pistons could quickly climb the East's ranks.
Jackson must transition from a backup role to consistently delivering as a star and focal point of Detroit’s offense. He will also be under the pressure of living up to his massive contract and lead the Pistons to Eastern Conference supremacy. His relationship and chemistry with Drummond could turn into a deadly one-two punch, something the Pistons haven't had in recent memory.
If all goes well for the Pistons during the 2015-2016 NBA season, they will have two borderline All-Stars in Jackson and Drummond leading a young and relentless squad. Coach Van Gundy has been to the NBA Finals before so he knows what it takes to win.
Roster depth chart information courtesy of ESPN.com, CBS Sports, RealGM
Salary information courtesy of Spotrac.com
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