Pistons Lead

Potential Reggie Jackson Trade Scenarios


The most polarizing Piston of the modern era is always the first person mentioned to be shipped out following a loss.  Considering Detroit hasn’t won a game since December 1st, the cries for change are getting ever louder and Reggie Jackson has not played well enough to quiet the demands for him to be moved.

Image via USA Today Sports Images

The biggest issue is that many Piston fans believe that Jackson has more value around the league than he does, tainting the return they would expect.  There are twenty nine other teams in the league and not many of them would provide even a feasible return. There’s no fun in that though so let’s put on our Joe Dumar’s hat and call around.

Please note this would not be including Pistons’ assets such as draft picks and the combined $8.3 million in trade exceptions generated by previous deals involving Boban Marjanovic and Brice Johnson.  This is simply about Jackson and will only involve other players as needed.

No Clear Fit

Given their current roster construction, Boston and Portland have too many guards and would not have a place for him on the roster.  The following teams have cap situations or cap plans that were too hard to navigate: Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Golden State, Indiana, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Sacramento, Utah and Toronto.

The Bar is Low

The Hawks could offer Kent Bazemore in a one-for-one deal that doesn’t really move the needle for either team. If JR Smith and Rodney Hood are more preferential the Cavaliers could be the one to call.  Maybe Dallas could be convinced to part with Wesley Matthews and Jalen Brunson to bolster their playoff push.  Houston could offer either Brandon Knight or Michael Carter-Williams— as appealing as that is.  Orlando has long been looking for a point guard, but their assets do not match up with Pistons’ needs unless Detroit values Jonathan Simmons, Terrence Ross or DJ Augustin worthwhile.

Teams Potentially Interested

Brooklyn Nets

With both teams over the tax line, trades have to be very closely paired for them to be allowed by the league and while the Pistons may certainly be interested in impending free agent D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn is saving their flexibility for this summer.  This makes the extra year on Jackson’s contract a tough sell unless Detroit is willing to take back even more future money or add assets.  The Pistons should purse opportunities here with Russell now that Brooklyn has locked up Spencer Dinwiddie, but it’s unknown if Jackson could be part of the deal.  Maybe including a first rounder could entice them.  Taking back Jared Dudley would make the salaries match.

New York Knicks

The Pistons have been connected to Damyean Dotson in recent reports, so possibly taking on salary along with him could be in the works.  This also doesn’t add much additional money to the Knicks, who fancy themselves as free agency players in the future.  Courtney Lee could be used to make the salaries work and could be another useful wing.

Philadelphia 76ers

The Pistons have been linked to the polarizing Markelle Fultz.  Any trade for him likely requires something other than Reggie to get it done, such as a lottery protected 1st round pick or a young prospect, but this is about trading Reggie, so Detroit would at least make the offer.  Something like Fultz and Wilson Chandler for Reggie and Langston Galloway works but a trade involving non-Reggie pieces makes more sense.

Phoenix Suns

This trade is very intriguing as a potential play although it probably will not make the team better in the short term.

Washington Wizards

This team is so intriguing there are two options that the Pistons could pursue.  The first is adding Otto Porter, who could compliment the Pistons’ big men well, but would likely require the release of a young asset or pick.  This should still be worth it for the Pistons to take a step forward.  While Otto would immediately become the second highest paid player on the roster, he could add something the Pistons have not seen in years– a dynamic small forward with spacing and defensive potential that could get the team back on track.

If the Wizards were to do this, it’s likely they would look to move Wall quickly as a team with Jackson, Wall and Beal doesn’t make much sense.  The trade would have to look something like Reggie, Jon Leuer and Stanley Johnson for Otto and Tomas Satoransky.

Finally, if the Pistons want to commit to salary cap hell for years to come and take a swing on a former all-star regaining his form, they could trade for Wall.  It would hearken back to the Blake trade of last year with added desperation.  This seems inadvisable in terms of cap implications and the deterioration of Wall’s game.  However, Detroit is struggling to sell tickets at their new arena and sometimes name recognition can bolster attendance.  For those purposes alone, this move could be made and would be something Wall and Kelly Oubre Jr. for Jackson and Jon Leuer.

The Reality

The unfortunate truth at this point is that the Pistons may have to attach useful assets to move on from Jackson and the return would likely not solve their issues in the short term.  Jackson’s deal will end following the 2019-2020 NBA season so likely the best case scenario for the Pistons is to stand pat in that regard and try to make the rest of the roster work around Reggie.




About Corey Rausch

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