Frank Jackson

Pistons Issue QOs To Hamidou Diallo, Frank Jackson

The Pistons have extended qualifying offers to Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson, ensuring that both players will be restricted free agents this summer, reports James Edwards III of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Acquired from the Thunder in March in a deal that sent Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and a second-round pick to Oklahoma City, Diallo averaged 11.2 PPG and 5.4 RPG on .468/.390/.662 shooting in 20 games (23.3 MPG) for Detroit.

The expectation when Diallo was acquired was that the Pistons would make a strong effort to lock him up to a new deal as a restricted free agent. His qualifying offer will be worth about $2.08MM and will give Detroit the right of first refusal in the event that he signs an offer sheet with another team.

As for Jackson, the former 31st overall pick spent the 2020/21 season on a two-way contract with the Pistons, averaging 9.8 PPG and 2.2 RPG on .457/.407/.813 shooting in 40 games (18.5 MPG).

Because he has four years of NBA service under his belt, Jackson is ineligible to sign another two-way contract, so his qualifying offer will be worth the minimum salary. However, it only needs to be partially guaranteed for the equivalent of a two-way salary (likely around $463K).

The Pistons have two more players eligible for restricted free agency this offseason. I’d expect one of those players – Saben Lee – to get a qualifying offer before this weekend’s deadline, but the other – Dennis Smith Jr. – will likely become an unrestricted free agent.

Central Notes: Holiday, LaVine, Hartenstein, Pistons

The Defensive Player of the Year conversation this season has primarily revolved around candidates like Rudy Gobert and Ben Simmons, but Bucks guard Jrue Holiday believes he should be in that discussion. In fact, that’s an opinion he holds year in and year out, as he tells Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

“Man, I feel like I’m the Defensive Player of the Year every year,” Holiday said. “I’m not joking about that. And I know this is my opinion, and other people have different opinions and they’ll probably think I’m crazy. But I think what I bring defensively on the court, a lot of people don’t really do, to be completely honest.”

As Holiday points out, it’s rare for a guard to receive serious consideration for Defensive Player of the Year honors. The last time a backcourt player won the award was in 1996, when Gary Payton was named DPOY. But Holiday feels that his own performance and versatility on the defensive end of the court shouldn’t be overlooked.

“I think to be able to guard some of these guards night in and night out, every single night, and be able to move laterally, moving your feet, fighting over screens, fighting under screens, guarding them one-on-one 30 feet away from the basket,” Holiday told Haynes. “And there were a couple of years where I was blocking a lot of shots for a guard. So I even protected the rim myself. And then at that, I’m guarding positions one through four, and sometimes five. Defensively, I’ve pretty much done it all. That’s why I think I should be in the conversation every year.”

Here are a few more items from around the Central:

  • While there has been a belief that Zach LaVine will look to maximize his earnings on his next contract, several sources who spoke to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times believe LaVine could be persuaded to take a slight discount if the Bulls continue adding quality players around him. Still, a standard extension for LaVine could only be worth up to about $105MM over four years, so he seems unlikely to accept such a deal — Chicago could offer him significantly more in a renegotiation or once he reaches free agency.
  • Cavaliers big man Isaiah Hartenstein, who holds a minimum-salary player option for 2021/22, said he’d like to remain in Cleveland, but hinted that he’s leaning toward opting out in the hopes of signing a new deal. “So far everything has been good,” Hartenstein said of his time with the Cavs, per Chris Fedor of “Can’t really say what’s going to happen in the future, but I hope we can renegotiate something this summer and I can grow with the young guys. I think that would be a good experience.”
  • In a mailbag for The Detroit News, Rod Beard says that he expects the Pistons to try to re-sign Frank Jackson in free agency, advocates for giving Sekou Doumbouya more time to develop, and addresses a few other Pistons-related topics.

Eastern Notes: Grant, Heat, Jackson, Oladipo, Nunn

Pistons forward Jerami Grant isn’t unfamiliar with lottery finishes, but he feels his current situation is much different from his team’s situation in Philadelphia earlier in his career, writes Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press.

Grant spent just over two seasons with the Sixers from 2014-17, teams that were mostly known for focusing on the future and rebuilding.

“Nah, it’s not the same,” Grant said. “It’s a lot different. It’s not a rebuild, as (general manager) Troy (Weaver) always says. It’s not three or four years into the future. We’re looking forward to doing something big next year. So no, it doesn’t have the same feeling as there.”

The Pistons currently own the league’s third-worst record at 18-43, putting them last in the East. For his part, Grant has averaged 22.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 52 games this season, shooting 43% from the floor and 35% from three-point range.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Heat could be stumbling toward the play-in tournament barring a final late-season push, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes in his latest “Ask Ira” mailbag. Miami has won four of its last five games, but the team still holds just the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference at 32-29. The Heat have upcoming games against the Bulls on Monday, Spurs on Wednesday and Cavaliers on Saturday.
  • James L. Edwards III of The Athletic examines how the Pistons turned two-way player Frank Jackson into a promising sharpshooter. Jackson is averaging 8.4 points per game on 41% from deep — mostly playing off the bench this season. “Being able to play consistently, every time I step on the court I feel I get a little better,” Jackson said. “It’s nice to have teammates who make the nice reads and make the right play. This is my fourth year in the league. I know what it takes to stay ready.”
  • Heat guard Victor Oladipo could have to beat out Kendrick Nunn for playing time should he return this season, Winderman examines in another “Ask Ira” mailbag. Nunn has stepped up his play since re-entering the team’s rotation, averaging 14 points per game on 47% shooting this season.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Central Division

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Central Division:

Frank Jackson, Pistons, 22, SG/PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, two-way ($449K) deal in 2020

An early second-round pick in 2017, Jackson was a rotation player with the Pelicans for two seasons after missing his first year with a foot injury. New Orleans let him walk in the offseason and the Thunder cut him in training camp, but Jackson has revived his career on a two-way contract with the Pistons.

Rather than playing the point, Jackson has thrived in an off-the-ball role under Dwane Casey. He has scored 14 or more points in six of the last eight games, including a go-ahead basket in the final minute against Cleveland on Monday.

It seems a good bet that Jackson, who has dramatically improved his 3-point shooting, will receive a qualifying offer from Detroit’s front office and become a restricted free agent this summer.

Denzel Valentine, Bulls, 27, SF/SG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $4.64MM deal in 2020

Valentine is one of those low-turnover, glue guys that coaches feel comfortable putting on the floor but who doesn’t dent the stat sheet. He has been in Billy Donovan’s rotation most of the season but his shooting numbers remain subpar (38.4% overall, 33.0% from deep). Valentine signed his qualifying offer to stay in Chicago after an unspectacular 2019/20 season. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer and will likely be looking at offers below the QO he inked in the fall. Chicago’s late lottery pick in 2016 might benefit from a change of scenery.

Doug McDermott, Pacers, 29, SF/PF (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $22MM deal in 2018

Dougie McBuckets is one of the cooler nicknames in the league and for much of the season, he’s lived up to it. Currently dealing with an ankle sprain, McDermott is averaging a career-high 12.9 PPG and 3.6 RPG. He’s been more than just a long-range gunner, as 56% of his shot attempts have come from inside the arc. A career 40.7% shooter from deep, McDermott has been a solid rotation player for Indiana since the club signed him to a three-year deal three years ago. He’ll return to unrestricted free agency this summer and could be looking at similar offers.

Bryn Forbes, Bucks, 27, SG, (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $4.79MM deal in 2020

Forbes started the past two seasons in San Antonio but he’s probably best suited in his current role as a second-unit scorer with Milwaukee. Forbes is averaging 9.6 PPG in 19.3 MPG while making a career-best 43.7% of his 3-point attempts. He’ll have an interesting decision this summer, as he holds a $2.45MM option on his contract for next season. If Forbes remains in the rotation and performs well in the postseason, the undrafted guard out of Michigan State will position himself to nix that option in order to pursue multiyear offers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pistons Notes: Doumbouya, Jackson, Hayes, Draft

Pistons second-year forward Sekou Doumbouya has earned more playing time in recent games, serving as a key cog in the team’s rotation this past week.

The 20-year-old saw just over 23 minutes of action on Monday, nine minutes on Tuesday, 13 minutes on Thursday, and nearly 23 minutes on Saturday. He finished with 11 points and three rebounds in Saturday’s contest, also recording two steals and two blocks.

“He’s earning it and he’s playing well,” head coach Dwane Casey said, according to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). “A lot of it is the seriousness of his approach to the game. He’s put in the extra work, and it’s showing.”

The Pistons drafted Doumbouya with the No. 15 pick back in 2019. His role has fluctuated this season, but it’s one that could be worth keeping an eye on as the campaign moves forward.

Here are some other notes from Detroit today:

  • Point guard Frank Jackson is finding his groove as a scoring option off the bench, Keith Langlois of writes. Jackson scored 17 points in just over 20 minutes on Saturday against Portland, shooting 6-of-9 from the floor. “He’s instant offense off the bench,” Casey said. “He’s one of our best defenders on the ball. That young man is really growing right before us. For me, he’s grown as much as anyone else. Just really impressed with his approach. He stays ready. It’s not easy to come off the bench and score the way he does with ease.”
  • Omari Sankofa II examines a number of Pistons-related topics in his latest mailbag, including the return of rookie Killian Hayes (hip). Hayes has only appeared in 11 games this season, averaging 4.9 points per contest on 32% shooting. He made his return against New York last week after missing nearly three months of action.
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News considers which prospect the team should draft if it obtains the No. 2 pick this year. Players such as Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs are all potential options depending on who gets selected with the first pick — which could ultimately wind up with Detroit. The Pistons currently trail the Timberwolves by three games and the Rockets by two games in the NBA’s “reverse standings.”

Central Notes: Holiday, Pistons, Griffin, Pacers

Bucks guard Jrue Holiday hasn’t played since February 6 due to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, but he was back on the team’s bench for Sunday’s win over Sacramento, as Eric Nehm of The Athletic details. While Holiday wasn’t able to suit up on Sunday, his presence on the sidelines was a promising sign, since it means he’s out of quarantine and should be cleared soon.

“He’s close. He’s getting very close,” Budenholzer said of the Bucks’ starting guard. “I think I’m just going to make sure to not make a mistake and say he’s progressing through the health and safety protocols.”

Assuming Holiday is returning from a positive COVID-19 test, which is the belief, he requires a two-day ramping-up period and has to pass certain cardiac tests before he’s given the go-ahead to play in a game. Holiday didn’t practice today, per Budenholzer (Twitter link via Nehm), but the hope is that it won’t be much longer before he’s back in the Bucks’ lineup.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • With Killian Hayes already sidelined and Delon Wright now out for at least a couple weeks, the Pistons‘ young point guards will have an opportunity to show what they’re capable of, Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes (subscriber-only link). While Dennis Smith Jr. was expected to be the main beneficiary, it was two-way player Saben Lee who played 33 minutes on Sunday after Smith got the start. Frank Jackson should also in the mix, but didn’t log any playing time on Sunday.
  • The days of Blake Griffin being a focal point of a team’s offense are over, but his impending divorce with the Pistons will give him an opportunity to revamp his game and try to adjust to a complementary role, says Rafael Canton of RealGM.
  • Postponed games on Saturday and Monday gave the Pacers an opportunity to hold an impromptu “mini-camp,” as head coach Nate Bjorkgren looks to install new tweaks to his offensive and defensive systems, per J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star. Indiana will have a total of six days off between its last game vs. Minnesota on February 17 and its next game vs. Golden State on February 24.

Central Notes: Jackson, Bulls, Doumbouya, Cavaliers

Following injuries to rookie Killian Hayes and veteran reserve Derrick Rose, two-way Pistons point guard Frank Jackson, a late addition to Detroit’s roster last month, has stepped up in an expanded role, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

Pistons head coach Dwane Casey commended the 22-year-old. “I really like Frank,” Casey said. “He’s a quick-twitch kid, an offensive player who’s tough on the ball and he has a lot of toughness about him.”

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr., recovering from a lower back strain incurred on January 8, returned to team practice today, according to Rob Schaeffer of NBC Sports Chicago. Reserves Tomas Satoransky and Chandler Hutchison, having tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of the month, are in different stages of their recovery. Coach Billy Donovan noted that Hutchison, who had symptoms while ill with the virus, can return to Chicago’s practice facility. Satoransky remains in isolation, though Donovan said he was “a day or two away” from being permitted to use the Advocate Center.
  • Pistons are playing the long game with 20-year-old second-year forward Sekou Doumbouya, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Doumbouya has yet to earn rotation minutes behind veteran starters Jerami Grant and Blake Griffin. “It’s a process,” head coach Dwane Casey said of Doumbouya’s minutes. Doumbouya is also slotted behind young forwards Saddiq Bey and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.
  • Joe Vardon and Kelsey Russo of The Athletic posit that the Cavaliers have been winning their recent trades. They suggest that, following the acquisition of former Nets center Jarrett Allen yesterday, veteran center Andre Drummond, on an expiring deal, will now become a candidate for a trade or buyout. The team also added small forward Taurean Prince from Brooklyn. Russo and Vardon applaud the team’s various acquisitions of draft picks, young talent, and solid veterans.

Pistons Sign Frank Jackson To Two-Way Deal

December 27: Detroit has officially inked Jackson to his two-way contract, the team announced in a press release.

December 25: The Pistons are signing guard Frank Jackson to a two-way contract, Eric Woodyard of ESPN tweets.

The Pistons are one of just three teams with an open two-way slot. Rookie guard Saben Lee holds the other two-way contract with Detroit.

Jackson was waived by the Thunder earlier this week and was not claimed. Jackson was the last cut from the Oklahoma City training camp roster.

Jackson was the victim of a numbers game, as OKC already had 15 players on fully guaranteed contracts and he had a partially guaranteed deal. He signed a two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Thunder in the offseason but only $250K was guaranteed.

Jackson, the 31st overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Duke, missed his entire rookie season with a foot injury, but appeared in 120 games for the Pelicans over the last two years, averaging 7.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 1.1 APG on .422/.319/.743 shooting during that time.

The 22-year-old was eligible for restricted free agency this fall, but the Pelicans opted not to tender him a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Thunder Waive Frank Jackson

9:32pm: The Thunder have officially waived Jackson, the team announced in a press release.

9:11pm: The Thunder are waiving guard Frank Jackson, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Oklahoma City was the last team to get down to the 15-player opening-night limit, not including two-way players.

Jackson was vulnerable because OKC already had 15 players on fully guaranteed contracts and he had a partially guaranteed deal. He signed a two-year, minimum-salary contract earlier this month but only $250K was guaranteed.

Jackson, the 31st overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Duke, missed his entire rookie season with a foot injury, but appeared in 120 games for the Pelicans over the last two years, averaging 7.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 1.1 APG on .422/.319/.743 shooting during that time.

The 22-year-old was eligible for restricted free agency this fall, but the Pelicans opted not to tender him a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Northwest Notes: McLaughlin, Jackson, Pokusevski, Bogdanovic

Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders said today that the team hopes to add another point guard to its depth chart behind D’Angelo Russell and Ricky Rubio, tweets Jon Krawczysnki of The Athletic.

While Saunders didn’t explicitly name him as the player the Wolves want to bring aboard, restricted free agent Jordan McLaughlin is the most obvious candidate for that role, Krawczynski notes. McLaughlin, who was on a two-way contract with Minnesota last season, is the only RFA who has yet to secure a new deal for 2020/21.

The qualifying offer McLaughlin received from the Wolves last month is for another two-way deal, but he and the team are likely trying to negotiate a standard contract that would give him a spot on Minnesota’s 15-man roster for the regular season.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Frank Jackson‘s two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Thunder has a partial guarantee worth $250K for 2020/21, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. The second year of Jackson’s new deal is non-guaranteed.
  • Several reports leading up to the 2020 draft linked Aleksej Pokusevski to the Thunder, but the Serbian forward was still surprised to be drafted by Oklahoma City at No. 17, per Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. “Before the draft we didn’t have any contacts,” Pokusevski said. “I didn’t talk to anyone. I was shocked that I was chosen at No. 17 and drafted to OKC. I was shocked. I didn’t know that it was going to happen, and I was very happy about it.”
  • Jazz forward Joe Ingles is looking forward to playing with center Derrick Favors again, writes Aaron Falk of “He’s obviously a guy I feel super comfortable playing with,” Ingles said of Favors, noting that the two veterans played a lot of minutes together during the big man’s previous stint in Utah.
  • Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (wrist) practiced in full this week and looks to be on track to play in the team’s regular season opener, says Tony Jones of The Athletic.