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NBA Free Agency: Pistons sign Josh Jackson

Forward and former lottery bust has a chance to establish himself in the league in Detroit

Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Josh Jackson, the former fourth overall pick who quickly washed out of Phoenix is finalizing a deal to continue his career rehabilitation project in Detroit, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Jackson spent last season splitting time between the Memphis Hustle and the Memphis Grizzlies. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 20.3 points and hit 38% of his 3-pointers to go with 7.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.4 blocks.

He was drafted for his potential as an impact defender who could also move the ball and create a little bit for others. Seemingly born to be a complementary player, he couldn’t handle the lofty expectations put on him as a 20-year-old in Phoenix.

His time in the Memphis organization allowed him to develop away from the limelight, and Detroit, which promises to be one of the worst teams in the NBA, should afford him minutes at both forward spots and the chance to further establish himself as a real NBA player.

Still just 23 years old, this is the exact kind of low-risk move a rebuilding team like the Pistons should be making. It’s been obvious since Jackson came into the league he needed a structured environment and someone to mentor him, and Pistons coach Dwane Casey could be just the person to coax the best out of Jackson’s potential.

Yes on 23-year-old reclamation projects, no on giving 30-year-old centers three-year fully guaranteed deals.

The ability to sign Mason Plumlee (to the aforementioned fully guaranteed deal starting at $8 million) and Jahlil Okafor (reportedly for the minimum) plus this deal for Jackson would seemingly take up all of Detroit’s cap space.

But, as we have heard sing the league year started, Troy Weaver plans to be aggressive, more moves are expected, and there is no way Detroit enters the season with five centers.

There is also the question of Christian Wood’s future. There is a chance the Pistons could sign him using early bird rights, but those prospects are dimming by the moment.

If the Pistons make another deal, for a point guard, for example, it would mean that trades would need to be executed to open up the space and roster spots for all the additions Weaver is planning.