Central Notes: Jackson, Perkins, Bulls

Reggie Jackson has embraced his new role as the Pistons’ floor leader but he’s not ready to become the leader in the locker room, according to David Mayo of MLive.com. Jackson, who becomes a restricted free agent after the season, was acquired by Detroit from the Thunder at the trade deadline. “It’s hard, it’s really hard,” Pistons president of basketball operations and coach Stan Van Gundy said in the story. “You don’t have a relationship with guys yet. That’s why I think it’s tough for point guards. And yet, as a point guard, you’re expected to organize and lead and everything else. I think it’s a major challenge when you haven’t been with the team all year.” Jackson has already been organizing post-game restaurant outings with teammates, according to Mayo, which is perhaps an indication that he would welcome the opportunity to sign with the club long-term.

In other news around the Central Division:

  • The contract that Kendrick Perkins signed with the Cavs is a minimum-salary affair that runs only until season’s end, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reveals on his Cavs salary page (Twitter link).
  • The Pistons created two traded player exceptions in the deal for Jackson, Pincus tweets. Along with one worth $1.09MM for Kyle Singler, they also created a $796K exception for D.J. Augustin, according to Pincus. That will give the Pistons more flexibility to make trades this offseason.
  • The mood around the Bulls is glum in the wake of Derrick Rose‘s latest knee surgery, and there’s concern he may not recover mentally after undergoing three knee operations since the 2011/12 playoffs, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. His teammates took the news particularly hard. “Very tough news, unexpected,’’ Pau Gasol said to Chicago beat reporters. “Heartbreaking in a way because of how much he has been through the last couple of years. Difficult to deal with; we feel for him. He’s definitely a key player for us, as well.’’ Even if Rose is able to return this season, it might difficult for him to be effective because of the intensity level of the postseason, Cowley adds.
  • The Bulls could add another player to the roster depending upon the timetable for Rose’s return, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets. The decision on whether to sign a free agent will hinge on whether Rose is out for the season or not, according to Johnson.

Will Joseph contributed to this post.

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