The Detroit Pistons (27-30) have been exploring a potential Reggie Jackson trade ahead of the Feb. 23 NBA Trade Deadline -- with teams such as the New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves emerging as possible destinations, per fresh reports. Jackson has missed 27 games this season due to a left knee injury.
According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Pistons have been listening to offers for both Andre Drummond and Jackson but are not expected to trade the former. "Any Drummond deal at the deadline is an extreme long shot, but Jackson remains in play for Minnesota (Timberwolves), Orlando (Magic), New Orleans (Pelicans), or some mystery destination. Even if Detroit keeps him (Jackson), missing the playoffs would put dramatic changes on the table this summer," Lowe noted in a report on Wednesday.
With the Pistons barely clinging to the eighth seed, their roster could reportedly receive a complete overhaul entering the 2017-18 season. Jackson, who signed a five-year, $US80 million ($AU103 million) contract ahead of the 2015-16 season, has seen a major drop-off in production as compared to last year. Jackson's points (15.0), assists (5.6), minutes (28.5) and field goal percentage (.422) have seen a considerable dip, propelling Pistons coach-cum-president Stan Van Gundy to place the point guard on the trading block.
Reggie Jackson trade: Three teams are in the mix
The three teams in the mention, the Timberwolves, the Magic and the Pelicans, could all use an upgrade the point guard position. While Minnesota is on the brink of trading Ricky Rubio, the Pelicans fear losing Jrue Holiday to free agency later this summer. The Magic are still hunting for a starting-calibre point guard.
There's been palpable dissension in the Pistons locker room this season, especially since Reggie Jackson's return in December. While Van Gundy has openly criticised his point guard, there was a closed-door meeting in December surrounding the team's poor perimeter defence and lack of ball movement. "It's hard (to endure such drama). Stan told me it would be all pick-and-roll. We had success that way. Now, we didn't know what we were. Are we a pick-and-roll team? Are we a movement team? We didn't have an identity," Jackson had said.
A Reggie Jackson trade is looking likelier by the day. A year ago, the guard had substantially higher trade value but several general managers could still gamble giving up assets for the former Boston college standout. Will the Pistons find a suitable deal ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline? Stay tuned for the latest news and updates.