The signing of restricted free agent Reggie Jackson to a maximum deal isn’t the step before trading Brandon Jennings. Instead, the Detroit Pistons plan on playing the both of them together.
The Pistons shooting guard last season, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, averaged 12.7 points while slightly improving his shooting to 34.5% from beyond the arc. Not great, but getting somewhere. And now, if the signing of Jackson tells us something, Caldwell-Pope might be heading to the bench.
Jennings missed the ending of last season with an injury, which gave Jackson, traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder, a chance to show how good he can be with the ball in his hand. He averaged 17.6 points in 27 games, but the more surprising number was 9.2 assists a night. Surely the Pistons found themselves a point guard.
Playing Jackson and Jennings together might not be the best of plans. Both need the ball in their hands, both aren’t the best of defenders, and both aren’t very good shooters. Thinking that one of them might be convinced to play off the ball from time to time, or perhaps simply making them rotate that role, isn’t such a bad idea. But in reality, these things have a tendency to fall apart.
Stanley Johnson, the small forward rookie, is listed as a bench player at the moment. Maybe the Pistons start small and move to a bigger lineup shortly after the start of the game. Stan Van Gundy is probably still considering the possible lineups and rotations.
With Ersan Ilyasova on the team and not forgetting Jodie Meeks, it feels more and more like Van Gundy is building a new version of what he had in Orlando with Dwight Howard. Andre Drummond, and a bunch of guards and wing players to complement his dominant, although still needing a lot of improvement, center.