clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

DBB Mailbag: Opening Day starters, backup forward Royal Rumble, and trading Reggie Jackson

New DBB contributor Sham Mohile fields questions from Twitter on this week’s mailbag.

NBA: NBA Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

*taps mic*

To the city of Detroit, passionate Pistons fans, and the thriving NBA community both on and offline…

I’m home.

The last 15 months away from the keyboard have been long and arduous, with my opinions being relegated to the constraints of the 280 characters allowed by Twitter. My opinions have been bottled up, bursting at the seams, like my Levi’s after my fifth helping of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.

My opinions required an outlet with both journalistic prestige amongst Pistons fans, combined with the stylistic freedom to allow for my writing voice to shine through and not be held to the constraints of a blog site focused on revenue.

My opinions now have a home. Detroit Bad Boys. I’m home.

Although, yes, I had my first official start and ascended the ranks on Fansided’s Pistons blog site, PistonPowered, my first piece to ever hit the blogosphere was published on Detroit Bad Boys. I was born on Detroit Bad Boys, raised in PistonPowered, and now I’m back home where it all was conceived.

As far as an opening night starting lineup, there are 4 easy locks:

PG: Reggie Jackson
SF: Tony Snell
PF: Blake Griffin
C: Andre Drummond

The final spot will really depend on if Dwane Casey believes that Luke Kennard will be better served off the bench versus running with the starters. If I had to make the call, I would let Luke Kennard come off the bench and give Bruce Brown the nod at shooting guard. However, Luke Kennard would add much-needed spacing to that starting lineup and Casey likely will start him there opening night.

Before I jump into Sekou Doumbouya’s minutes distribution during his inaugural season as a Detroit Piston, it’s important to note the shrewd, yet effective, roster creation that “GM” Ed Stefanski undertook this summer.

Signing Markieff Morris for depth at the forward spots, flipping noted sharpshooter Jon Leuer for Tony Snell AND the 30th pick in the draft, solidifying both backup PG spots with Derrick Rose (a clear upgrade from Ish Smith) and Tim Frazier (an even clearer upgrade from Jose Calderon) among other moves, while still remaining under the luxury tax, is Sean Marks levels of brilliant.

With that said, I don’t believe Sekou Doumbouya will receive many minutes his first season. I do believe he can come in and contribute on the defensive end, with the occasional transition bucket here and there, but I do believe he needs refinement on the offensive end. It will come with time. Doumbouya is extremely raw with an enormous upside. Snagging him where the Pistons did is incredible in itself, and the ancillary moves Stefanksi performed in free agency buys Doumbouya time to develop at a reasonable pace.

Now, if Snell or Morris goes down with an injury, I could see Doumbouya stepping in and contributing at either forward spot, but if Doumbouya (and his limitations on offense) are relied upon for meaningful minutes on a projected playoff team, the Pistons are likely in a bad spot.

It all boils down to the crust. Are we talking thin crust or thick crust? I could easily eat a large pizza in one sitting, with an opportunity for more if the crust is thin enough. Either way, the mass amounts of cheesy goodness will be washed down with a swig of Pepto Bismol and an antacid.

Do you remember when Reggie Jackson, not Andre Drummond, was the secret to the Pistons success? Competent point guard play was paramount to the Pistons success during the Stan Van Gundy era, and Reggie Jackson was the perfect cog in SVG’s machine. Then injuries struck. Knee tendinitis and ankle sprains forced Reggie Jackson to evolve from a downhill, attack-the-rim scorer to more of a shooter and floater specialist. Last season, Reggie Jackson remained healthy and evolved into one of the best off-the-catch shooters on the team.

The Pistons shouldn’t be looking to trade Reggie Jackson midseason if they are looking to remain competitive in the playoff race, unless there is a return that provides the Pistons with a substantial upgrade at another position. If Reggie Jackson is on the block, the Pistons most likely have punted on the season.

The Pistons should be looking to get future assets in return for a Reggie Jackson rental to a contending team. If not, Reggie Jackson should be part of a package to acquire a top-25 player in the league at a position of need. Maybe DeMar DeRozan is a good fit next to Blake Griffin. Bradley Beal would be a pipe dream, but would likely come at the cost of eating John Wall’s behemoth contract and noted injury history.

Tale of the Tape:

Thon Maker: 7’1”, 221 lb, 7’3” wingspan

Christian Wood: 6’10”, 220 lb, 7’3” wingspan

Michael Beasley: 6’8”, 235 lb, 7’0” wingspan

In a WWE-style Royal Rumble match, my initial reaction would be to bet money on Michael Beasley. Not only does he have the unpredictability that would bode well in such a match, he also has a low center of gravity and is the heaviest of the bunch. It would be very difficult to throw him over the top rope with those measurables. I’ll give the edge to Thon Maker over Christian Wood simply because of the height advantage that Thon Maker has, however I wouldn’t bet my mortgage on that.

On the basketball court, I will remove Thon Maker from this hypothetical because he will be a key contributor as a backup at both the power forward and center positions. Christian Wood was my initial thought to have the clear shot at obtaining the reserve center role, but the addition of Michael Beasley intrigues me. Beasley would not be competing for the same spot as Wood or Maker, leading me to believe that the Pistons signed Beasley to provide some much-needed shot-creation off the bench. If the Pistons decide to move on from Wood for Beasley, Maker and (to a much lesser extent) Blake Griffin will have to eat up some minutes as the backup center.

My gut reaction is telling me that Beasley is a camp invite only, and simply a tool to push Wood and others to work hard before the season begins. Barring a trade, Beasley will most likely be shown the door and Wood will solidify himself as the backup center.