First, the good news — Reggie Jackson will not need surgery, and he will be out of the lineup six to eight weeks at the absolute max, according to head coach Stan Van Gundy.
Now the bad news — point guard was the position with the least amount of depth on the Pistons and the point guard plays an outsized role in Van Gundy’s pick-and-roll heavy offensive system.
Now the worse news -- there are few if any appealing options for Detroit if they even wanted to add another point guard.
Adding a point guard has been practically dismissed by Van Gundy, according to local media, who said he didn’t want to sacrifice youth or future assets for a stopgap solution while the team waits for Jackson to return.
You can call it obsessive fandom, analysis by means of distraction or due diligence, but it is worth considering just what is out there if the Pistons decided they couldn’t rely on an Ish Smith/Lorenzo Brown or Ray McCallum point guard rotation.
If anything, the following exhaustive list will assure you that Detroit’s best option might just be to do nothing.
Chalmers looked like a solid NBA backup who could hold his own on defense when he migrated from South Beach to Memphis last season. Unfortunately, he ruptured his Achilles last season. While he’s been cleared to play, it is unlikely he is ready to step on the court on day one and be effective.
Cole has been on Detroit’s radar before, but he recently signed a lucrative contract with China and will be unavailable.
This is the devil that you know. Unfortunately, what we know is that Blake at this point in his career cannot handle backup point guard duties. Still, he knows the Pistons’ playbook and has Van Gundy’s trust so if Detroit was dead set on adding a veteran stop gap Blake would be a prime contender.
Hinrich would be like Steve Blake 2.0 but maybe with better defense. He’s a veteran who won’t give you much, but he also won’t make many mistake, and he also has the benefit of being able to knock down the occasional perimeter jumper.
Squint and Marshall might make a lot of sense as a Jackson substitute. He’s played 160 games in the NBA and seems like he has shown enough to get another chance to stick in the league. He was overmatched as a rookie, played decently on a horrendous Lakers team in 2013-14 (8.8 assists to 2.8 turnovers), played some excellent backup minutes in Milwaukee (56.2 true shooting percentage) and then totally washed out last season in Philly. Assuming he’s more like what he showed with the Bucks than the Sixers, he deserves a spot on an NBA roster.
Waiver Wire Candidates
Will Bynum - Atlanta Hawks
What About Will Bynum?
Jorge Gutierrez - Brooklyn Nets
Unproven, but bounced around the NBA for three seasons
Brian Roberts — Charlotte Hornets
Decent pick-and-roll player, decent defender (I think).
Spencer Dinwiddie — Detroit Pistons
Tall, knows the system, has epic mustache
Phil Pressey -- Golden State Warriors
Was invited to Detroit’s free agent minicamp. 2,000 NBA minutes under his belt.
John Lucas — Minnesota Timberwolves
Familiar with Detroit’s system.
Jameer Nelson — Denver Nuggets
Van Gundy’s starter from his glory days. Unfortunately, Nuggets don’t have the kind of point guard depth to make him expendable.
Delon Wright, Toronto Raptors
Young, tall point guard who can shoot a little and might be crowded out of the Raptors’ roster.
Shelvin Mack or Raul Neto — Utah Jazz
Utah is heavily invested in the development of Dante Exum and has reliable George Hill penciled in at starter. Mack or Neto seem eminently available.