There are only a few people within the Pistons’ organization I feel comfortable with heading into next year: Blake Griffin, George Blaha and Greg Kelser. Push comes to shove, I could be talked into keeping the Dancing Usher as well. All four have proven to be consistent contributors to winning and, hopefully, here to stay. However, thanks in large part to another disappointing season, everyone else should be fair game to become an ex-Piston as February 7th, Trade Deadline 2019, inches closer.
Obviously, some guys on the roster won’t evoke excitement around the league for one reason and/or another. Reggie Bullock, though, has no reason to feel unwanted this trade season.
Bullock made a name for himself as a 3-and-a-pinch-of-D player during his 2+ years in Detroit, and should be rewarded with a generous contract this summer. The well-earned payday, even by lowball standards, will sprint past the Pistons’ puny budget. That alone makes a legitimate case for Detroit to at least explore trade options for the former Tar Heel.
Assuming you’re a rival GM who’s a little light on what Bullock brings to the offensive table, you’re in the right place. Below, I’ll toss my sleazy salesman hat on, and we’ll answer some of the higher-priority Bullock FAQ. At the end, I’ll list my asking price.
(I hate working with real salaries and fake trades because I have a hard time conceptualizing the nuance and ramifications of the Trade Machine. But, for you guys, I’ll give fake trades an honest try.)
How does Detroit utilize his three-point range?
By far, Reggie Bullock’s most coveted asset is an efficient long-ball; he shot 44 percent on 4.5 attempts per game a year ago, and is hovering around 40 percent on 6.6 attempts per game this year.
Once the ball changes hands, like all of Detroit’s perimeter-capable players, Bullock is encouraged to fill the deep corners (and/or wings) as soon as possible:
For the right price, this six-foot-seven habitual corner-filler could be yours.
Early in the shot clock
A staple of the Pistons’ low-octane 24th-ranked offense is an early offense DHO to Bullock on the wing:
Don’t get any funny ideas, though, Blake’s spoken for.
In the Halfcourt
Detroit, as a team, is shooting 34 percent on catch-and-shoot three-pointers (ranked 29th in the league). The amount of wide-open looks Blake Griffin has created this year for his teammates is absurd, and it’s a damn shame those same teammates can’t cash in at a higher clip. A substantial amount of Bullock’s halfcourt long-ball attempts derive from a posting-up Griffin, but at 40 percent on catch-and-shoot three-pointers, he is rightfully excused from guilt:
Heads up: If you enjoy the luxury of a high-IQ post-presence, a simple relocation (usually after a double) is nearly undefeated in creating a good look:
As teams started to directly game plan for Griffin and his back-to-the-basket and face-up wizardry, Casey began to emphasize using the progression (or, at times, all-out counters) of the entry action to capitalize on anxious defenses expecting a Griffin post-touch after a Bullock cross-screen.
A typical Griffin punch:
Spawned this type of kickout:
Overall, Detroit’s offense follows the modern trend and features more motion, flow and reaction elements than strict play designs. Part of that playmaking “magic” includes these Bullock-induced ghost screens:
If you’re looking for a shot maker, I’m telling you, this is your guy.
Tell you what, because I like you, I’ll throw in some extra scouting, free of charge.
No timeouts remaining and it’s the end of the half, this is the play Detroit runs:
Could you see yourself running that play around Memorial Day?
Can he put the ball on the floor and get to the hoop?
Ok, between me and you, what are you hoping to hear? What answer will make your fans happy? Let’s just circle back in a bit.
Is he clutch?
How very Skip Bayless of you. Fair question, I guess, especially if you’re preparing for an extended playoff run.
So, are we talking end-of-the-game-in-the-halfcourt clutch? Draw up a play and Reggie take us home, type thing? Because I have no idea about that, those shots were reserved months ago for Blake to make or miss. The closest thing Bullock has on his scripted heroics resume are the timeout-less looks from a couple paragraphs above. He can, however, “cut-the-lead” with the best of them. In fact, I’d venture to say he’s one of the best cut-the-lead guys the league has to offer.
As a refresher, the Detroit Pistons haven’t been stockpiling wins over the last few years. Unfortunately, we play a lot from behind and are constantly clawing and scratching to cut second half leads. A typical George Blaha fourth quarter call might go something like this:
“Reggie B’s third triple of the game cuts the 76ers’ lead to 17.”
With Bullock on the court, though, no lead is un-cuttable!
That’s a mighty fine 22-point lead you got there, Indiana. It’d be a shame if someone cut into it:
In the blink of an eye, it’s 19. An additional six unanswered threes from that point, and we got ourselves a new ball game. I mean, the Pistons never come back in games like these, but that doesn’t mean you can’t!
Again, what was once a seemingly insurmountable 33-point Celtics’ lead has now been dwindled down to a manageable 30:
After that make, it’s just an easy four more touchdowns, a couple extra points, a timely, bases-loaded home run, and the game would’ve been tied heading down the stretch.
None of that happened, and the Pistons lost by 20, but that’s not the point.
Works on the west coast, too:
And comes standard.
If you’re thinking “what does this have to do with anything?”, know this: guys graduate from cutting the lead in a Pistons’ uniform to making game winning buckets all the time:
The skills are transferable. Is he clutch? Probably. We just can’t prove it.
A three-point marksmen who can reduce any double-digit lead thrown his way?
Serious inquiries only.