The Detroit Pistons, in Stan Van Gundy's first trade deadline as both head coach and president of basketball operations, have gone all in on the experience. First, there was the rumored courting of Norris Cole (who was eventually traded, either to New Orleans or Phoenix, still not sure in this madness). Then, Jarrett Jack was just sitting in the wind after the news he may be heading to the Detroit. Then Detroit pulled down everyone's pants and acquired Italian-born Reggie Jackson from the Thunder in exchange for the most luckless PG on the planet, D.J. Augustin, and everyone's favorite mop Kyle Singler.
Then, just to screw with the heartstrings of the fanbase even more, Van Gundy then decided he needed more "veteran presence" and reportedly acquired Tayshaun Prince from the Boston Celtics, for actual moving bodies (and expiring contracts) Jonas Jerebko and Gigi Datome -- which if true, considering Prince was likely going to be bought out, is a massively high price.
Anyway, let's review where the roster stands after that absolute madness (which still might not be over):
50 Joel Anthony C
31 Caron Butler F
5 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope G
8 Spencer Dinwiddie G
0 Andre Drummond C
-- Reggie Jackson G
7 Brandon Jennings G
9 John Lucas III G
35 Cartier Martin F
20 Jodie Meeks G
10 Greg Monroe F/C
-- Tayshaun Prince F
43 Anthony Tolliver F
Options: Brandon Jennings, Reggie Jackson, Spencer Dinwiddie, John Lucas III
With Jennings out for the year, and D.J. Augustin gone after some strong play in Detroit, Reggie Jackson is now the starter in a scenario eerily similar to the Jose Calderon saga of two seasons ago. Also, this could be similar to the James Harden incident in OKC, where a disgruntled 6th man has forced a trade and flourished in new environs.
Whilst Jackson is by no means a better shooter than D.J. Augustin, he is bigger and more athletic. At 6'3" with long arms, he has defensive potential, despite not being a great defender. Also, Jackson suffered in an isolation offense in OKC designed for Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Dion Waiters, the reason Jackson's role diminished. Jackson is an average shooter from behind the line, but is an excellent FT shooter, like D.J. Augustin, who actually has the longest active FT streak in the league.
Hopefully, with Van Gundy's offense more predicated on ball movement than isolation, Reggie Jackson will have a means to shine. Van Gundy said this trade was for the future, so the next 28 games is basically an audition for both Reggie Jackson and Detroit. As a RFA in the summer, Detroit can match any offer he signs, which, if he plays well, they might just do, considering that Brandon Jennings will still be coming off the Achilles tear and take some time to work back to full health.
Options: Caron Butler, Tayshaun Prince, Cartier Martin
Take a look at that list. Try not to vomit. The youngest player in there is Cartier Martin, who turns 31 at the end of the year. Other than him, you have two 34 year olds in the twilight of their careers whose main contributions will be "veteran leadership" and mentoring to the young players.
Prince started the year at the Grizzlies, but was part of the package which saw Memphis land Jeff Green. In Boston, he had a renaissance of sorts, shooting bonkers from behind the arc at .625 albeit on limited sample size. And when I say limited sample size, I mean 5-for-8. For the year, he's shooting .488 at 20-for-41, and .446 from the field.
Van Gundy said this move is also for the future, as Prince is a $7 million expiring contract. This move must be to help clear space to sign both Greg Monroe and Draymond Green. Yeah! That must be it!!! SVGINAFI!!!!!!!
Options: Greg Monroe, Anthony Tolliver
All that's happened here is that the pecking order has been established, with everyone's favourite Swede now gone to the sad confines of Boston. Anthony Tolliver will now get all the extra 0 minutes which Jonas was taking from him, and hopefully he doesn't let complacency set in now that his main competition has gone.
Nothing happened in these positions, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jodie Meeks holding down the 2-guard spot and Andre Drummond the unquestioned #1 option at center.