Reggie Jackson

Pistons Notes: Drummond, Rose, Jackson, Wood

Trading Andre Drummond may be more difficult than expected, writes Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. The Pistons are hoping to get a young player or a draft pick in return for their star center. But because Drummond intends to opt out of his contract this summer, teams would be taking a chance by giving up future assets for what could be a short-term rental.

Although the Knicks are the latest team to be mentioned in a possible Drummond deal, a source tells Ellis, “there’s nothing there.” The Pistons reportedly reached out to New York, offering Drummond and another player in exchange for Julius Randle and Frank Ntilikina, whom they have tried to obtain before.

Ellis compares Drummond’s situation to Kemba Walker‘s last season, noting that teams weren’t willing to make significant offers to Charlotte at the deadline, even though Walker is a better player. Ellis suggests the Pistons may elect to unload Drummond for a package of expiring deals, if only to eliminate the risk that he will opt into a $28.7MM salary for next season when the team hopes to be under the salary cap.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • In an interview with K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, Derrick Rose talks about possibly taking part in the skills competition during All-Star Weekend and discusses how he has responded to an increase in his minutes limitation. “I feel healthy. And I’m just trying to play with grace out there,” Rose said. “Trying to take shots that they’re giving me, be smart with my opportunities. It’s been a year since I’ve been at the point guard spot. I came back in the league at small forward with Thibs (then-Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau). And then I went to shooting guard with Minnesota after that. This year, it’s the first year I’m back at point guard.”
  • The Pistons are optimistic that Reggie Jackson may return to the lineup soon, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Jackson, who hasn’t played since the first two games of the season, received encouraging news when he met with a back specialist in Los Angeles last week.
  • Now that Christian Wood‘s $1.6MM contract is officially guaranteed, he has a chance to play a full season for one team for the first time since entering the league in 2015, Beard adds in the same story. “The transition for me has been good. It’s something I hadn’t really thought about,” Wood said. “I didn’t really kind of know the (guarantee) dates, but now it’s something I’m proud of. I’m happy and I think I deserve it.”

Pistons Notes: Griffin, DPE, Jackson, Kennard

After Blake Griffin opted to undergo surgery on his troublesome left knee, head coach Dwane Casey offered some comments on the power forward’s absence, as Rod Beard of the Detroit News relays (Twitter links).

It’s like when Rick Pitino said, ‘Larry Bird isn’t walking through that door.’ … Blake Griffin isn’t walking through that door,” Casey said. “…The 25 points, the leadership, the toughness, the presence of Blake — you’re not going to replace that.”

Griffin had been in and out of the Pistons’ lineup for much of the first half due to his nagging knee issues, appearing in just 18 games. Now that the former No. 1 overall pick is sidelined indefinitely, Casey notes that at least there should be more lineup certainty going forward.

“We know the direction right now,” Casey said. “We know what we’re dealing with — it’s not, ‘Is he playing or is he not playing?'”

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • If the Pistons expect Griffin to miss the rest of the season, it would make sense for them to request a disabled player exception – which would be worth $9.26MM – before next Wednesday’s application deadline. Detroit likely wouldn’t use that exception to sign a free agent, given the team’s proximity to the tax line, but it could come in handy on the trade market. For instance, if the Pistons trade someone like Derrick Rose or Langston Galloway and take back a player on an expiring contract whose salary fits into the DPE, they’d create a trade exception worth $7.3MM, which could be used in the summer or next season.
  • Reggie Jackson saw a specialist in Los Angeles and is making progress as he returns from a back injury, Beard tweets. There remains no timeline for Jackson’s return to the court.
  • There’s also no update on Luke Kennard, Beard adds in another tweet. Two weeks ago, the Pistons indicated that the third-year guard would be re-evaluated on January 7, but it appears he’s still not ready to return from his knee injury.
  • As we noted on Tuesday within our Griffin story, Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link) says one source briefed on Detroit’s efforts to move Andre Drummond expressed confidence that a trade will be made by next month’s deadline.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Collins, Jackson, LeVert, Irving, Kanter

Hawks forward John Collins decided against appealing his 25-game NBA suspension, Sarah Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“I was going to take the first step, but after reconvening with my team and talking some things out, we just decided it was best to move forward,” Collins said. “But it was definitely in consideration.”

Collins, who returned to action without a minutes restriction on Monday after finishing out the suspension, admits the ban for testing positive for a growth hormone injured his reputation.

“I’ve seen some of those comments and they hurt me a little bit, saying ‘This guy’s a cheater,’” Collins said. “I would want to let them know I’m not a cheater and this is something that will never happen again, if I can control it.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Celtics center Enes Kanter will play at Toronto on Christmas, he wrote in a story for The Globe and Mail. Kanter has an ongoing dispute with the current regime in his native Turkey and the government has issued a warrant for his arrest. Kanter wrote in part, “I want to thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, U.S. and Canadian law enforcement, U.S. Senator Ed Markey, the Celtics, the NBA and my managers for working diligently to make my Christmas game against the Raptors possible and ensuring my safety there. And, on Christmas night, I will play in my first game as a Celtic outside the U.S. when I take the court against the Raptors.”
  • Nets guard Caris LeVert is close to returning, ESPN’s Malika Andrews tweets. LeVert participated in most aspects of the team’s practice on Monday and did contact work with the Nets’ coaches. LeVert has been out since mid-November with a thumb injury. Kyrie Irving, who is trying to work his way back from a shoulder injury, still hasn’t been cleared for contact and is unlikely to play Thursday against New York, Andrews adds in another tweet.
  • Pistons guard Reggie Jackson will soon get another evaluation on the back injury that has sidelined him since the first two games this season, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press tweets. Jackson has been doing non-contact activities for several weeks, Ellis adds.

NBA Trade Candidate Watch: Central Division

Over the course of the 2019/20 NBA season, up until February’s trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA, monitoring their value and exploring the likelihood that they’ll be moved. Each of these looks at possible trade candidates focuses on a specific division, as we zero in on three players from that division.

We’re just three days away from December 15, the date when more than 120 players who signed new contracts this past offseason will become trade-eligible. Generally, NBA teams don’t suddenly complete a flurry of trades when the calendar turns to December 15, but it at least provides some hope that one of the leagues’ longest ever trade droughts could come to an end soon.

After initially identifying three trade candidates from the Central last month, we’re circling back to the division today to examine three more. Let’s dive in…

Kevin Love, PF
Cleveland Cavaliers
$28.9MM cap hit; $91.5MM in additional guaranteed salaries through 2022/23

As Jason Lloyd of The Athletic wrote this morning, Love has been the subject of trade rumors for years, but it feels a little different this time.

It seems likely that Love is one of the players who hasn’t been particularly fond of John Beilein‘s coaching style. After all, it was just two months ago that the Cavaliers’ power forward was talking about how much he wanted to remain in Cleveland. With the Cavs off to a 5-19 start, the latest reports are suggesting that Love would rather be traded to a contender.

There will be plenty of roadblocks in the way of a potential deal. Matching Love’s cap hit of nearly $29MM will be a challenge for many teams. Even clubs that have the salaries necessary to acquire Love may not agree with the Cavs about his value — Lloyd suggested today that Cleveland wants a first-round pick in return, but that may only be realistic if the club is willing to take back some bad money.

Ersan Ilyasova, PF
Milwaukee Bucks
$7MM cap hit; $7MM non-guaranteed salary for 2020/21

The Bucks have opened the season by winning 22 of their first 25 games, including 16 in a row through Wednesday. If the team continues playing at this level, you could make a strong case that the best approach at the trade deadline would be standing pat.

If Milwaukee does look to upgrade its supporting cast though, Ilyasova looks like the most logical candidate to be moved in such a deal. His $7MM cap hit makes him a good salary-matching chip for mid-level contracts, and his non-guaranteed salary for next season would appeal to teams looking to create flexibility.

The 32-year-old also isn’t such a crucial piece of the rotation that the Bucks would balk at giving him up. He’s not a particularly strong defender or play-maker, so his value comes from his ability to stretch the floor, but he has only made 33.3% of his three-point attempts, his lowest mark since 2013/14, and his 16.3 minutes per game are the fewest he has averaged since 2006/07.

It’s hard to come up with an ideal trade scenario for the Bucks, so Ilyasova is probably more likely to stay put than to change teams within the next couple months. But it won’t be a surprise if he’s dangled in a few trade discussions before February 6.

Reggie Jackson, PG
Detroit Pistons
$18.1MM cap hit; UFA in 2020

If the Pistons fall out of playoff contention in the Eastern Conference, some bigger names could become trade candidates. In that scenario, potential deals involving Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin shouldn’t be entirely ruled out.

But considering the 11-13 Magic currently hold the No. 8 spot in the East, falling out of the playoff race is unlikely unless the Pistons totally bottom out. As such, Jackson is the more logical trade candidate than the team’s two stars, since his expiring $18MM+ salary could be used to build a package for another impact player.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as if there will be many impact players available that will fit the Pistons’ roster. But exploring a trade for a player like D’Angelo Russell using Jackson’s contract as the primary salary-matching piece might make sense if Detroit – which has all its future first-round picks available – remains in win-now mode.

Revisit the rest of our 2019/20 Trade Candidate series right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pistons Notes: Mykhailiuk, Jackson, Doumbouya, Wood

Svi Mykhailiuk is taking advantage of the opportunity that the Pistons‘ early-season injuries have provided, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Mykhailiuk was touted as an elite shooter coming out of Kansas last year, but he didn’t see much playing time as a rookie. He averaged 10.8 minutes in 39 games with the Lakers, then only appeared in three games after a midseason trade to Detroit.

That has changed in the early part of this season, as Mykhailiuk is seeing 17.4 minutes per night and even made his first career start. He is showing signs of his offensive potential, averaging 5.7 PPG and shooting a sizzling .448 from 3-point range.

“He’s in the gym every single day working on his game,” teammate Langston Galloway said. “In there early before everybody gets there. It’s been great to see. He’s working on coming off pick and rolls and knocking down shots. That’s what we need from him. Hope to see that the rest of the year.”

There’s more this morning from Detroit:

  • The eventual return of Reggie Jackson from a stress reaction in his lower back will cause a domino effect for the rotation, Langlois adds in the same story. The Pistons announced Wednesday that Jackson will be sidelined for a few more weeks, but when he does come back the team could be fully healthy for the first time all season. Jackson figures to reclaim the starting point guard role, pushing Bruce Brown into the wing rotation along with Galloway, Tony Snell, Luke Kennard and Mykhailiuk. With coach Dwane Casey using a 10-man rotation, at least one of them should expect a decline in minutes.
  • Casey is taking a typically cautious approach with first-round pick Sekou Doumbouya, observes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Doumbouya has been relegated to the G League for most of the season and is averaging just 2.8 minutes per night in four NBA games. The 18-year-old has played professionally in France and is excelling in Grand Rapids, but Casey wants to give him a gradual adjustment to the NBA. Beard suggests it’s the same approach he took in Toronto with Pascal Siakam and others, though Siakam did start 38 games as a rookie.
  • Christian Wood has been a nice addition to the frontcourt since being claimed off waivers in July, but he was almost in Detroit even sooner, tweets Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press, who states that the Pistons considered signing Wood to a two-way contract in 2018.

Injury Updates: Jackson, Oladipo, Irving, Bogdanovic, Russell

Pistons guard Reggie Jackson is showing progress on his stress reaction in his lower back but he’ll be out at least a few more weeks, according to a team press release. Jackson’s rehabilitation process will continue for another two weeks and he’ll be re-evaluated at the end of that period, the release adds. Jackson, the team’s starting point guard, hasn’t played since the first two games of the season. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

We have more injury updates:

  • Pacers star guard Victor Oladipo has practiced three times in five days with their G League affiliate in Fort Wayne, but there’s no still word on when he might return to action, Akeem Glaspie of the Indianapolis Star reports. “Just trying to get the feel back,” he said. “Coming out here just playing, taking it easy. Not trying to do anything spectacular. When injuries come around you try to rush things. When you rush your body, that’s when things kinda go south. Just gotta be smart about it.”
  • Nets guard Kyrie Irving missed his 10th straight game Wednesday with a shoulder impingement and he’s likely to be out a few more weeks, sources told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Irving has already been ruled out for Brooklyn’s game on Friday. The max player hasn’t spoken to the press since November 14th, further adding to the mystery of Irving’s ailment.
  • Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic has a right knee contusion to go along with left hamstring tightness and will miss at least one game on the team’s upcoming road trip, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee relays.
  • Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing nine games with a sprained right thumb, according to an ESPN report. Russell scored 18 points in 25 minutes in the 106-91 loss to the Hornets.

Eastern Notes: Irving, Waiters, Jackson, Winslow

Kyrie Irving will miss at least two more games for the Nets as he recovers from a shoulder injury, Malika Andrews of ESPN.com reports. Head coach Kenny Atkinson isn’t concerned about Irving’s slow recovery and his lack of travel with the team.

“I think I used to get frustrated more,” Atkinson said of Irving’s slow recovery. “I’ve had my moments of frustration because I want him back so bad. But you hear our performance staff and then you talk to Kyrie and then you get your mind to a place where that’s the smartest thing to do.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Head coach Erik Spoelstra said Dion Waiters will “probably” be active tonight for the Heat, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel tweets. Waiters hasn’t played for Miami since he was suspended for eating an edible — or at all this season.
  • The Pistons‘ medical team evaluated Reggie Jackson‘s back today and the results showed positive signs of progress, as the team announces on Twitter. The point guard’s rehab from a stress reaction will continue and he’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel wonders if Justise Winslow is more valuable to the Heat as a trade chip than a contributor. Winderman makes a case for the team to trade the former top-10 pick and gain additional help.

Reggie Jackson Out At Least Four Weeks With Back Injury

The Pistons‘ injury woes to start the 2019/20 season aren’t letting up, with the team announcing today in a press release that starting point guard Reggie Jackson has been diagnosed with a stress reaction in his lower back. Jackson’s status will be updated when he’s re-evaluated in four weeks, according to the Pistons.

Lower back tightness slowed Jackson in the preseason as well, though he was given the go-ahead to start the regular season. He appeared in just two games before being forced out of action for the last four. Even if he’s ruled ready to return in four weeks when he’s re-evaluated, the veteran guard will miss Detroit’s next 13 games and won’t be back until December.

Besides Jackson, the Pistons have been without another important starter, as knee and hamstring issues have prevented Blake Griffin from making his season debut. Although Griffin has been making progress in his recovery, he has been ruled out for Saturday’s game, so he won’t be back until next week at the earliest.

In Jackson’s absence, Tim Frazier has been starting at point guard and hasn’t looked all that great, with a .258 FG% so far. However, Derrick Rose is handling a larger share of the point guard minutes off the bench, and he has been stellar in the early going, averaging 20.8 PPG on 56.2% shooting in just 25.0 minutes per contest.

With Jackson out for the next several weeks, the Pistons could also turn to Bruce Brown for some minutes at point guard if necessary.

Pistons Notes: Rose, Wood, Morris, Jackson

Derrick Rose has gotten off to a strong start with the Pistons but he’ll remain on a minutes limitation, James Edwards III of The Athletic relays. Rose, who signed a two-year, $15MM contract as a free agent this summer, averaged 25.3 PPG and 5.0 APG in his first three games despite playing 26.3 MPG.

“I got to watch his minutes,” coach Dwane Casey said. “I try to keep his minutes around 27, 28. That limits us to what we can do with him. … If it’s tight or close, we may fudge the numbers a little bit, but for the most part, we’re going to keep it around that number each and every night.”

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Center Christian Wood beat out Joe Johnson for the final roster and made his first meaningful contribution against the Sixers on Saturday night, Rod Beard of the Detroit News notes. Wood, who was claimed off waivers, had 11 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes as Blake Griffin remains sidelined with hamstring and knee injuries. “I was able to show that I want to be in the rotation,” Wood said.
  • Forward Markieff Morris, who is starting while Griffin mends, was fined $35K by the league for directing inappropriate and offensive language toward a game official, according to a league press release. Morris, who joined Detroit on a two-year, $6.56MM contract, made those remarks during the loss to the Sixers.
  • Point guard Reggie Jackson underwent tests on his sore lower back, Keith Langlois of the team’s website tweets. Jackson, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, missed his second consecutive game on Monday. “The doctor’s going to read the results and see what it is,” Casey said.

Pistons Notes: Griffin, Jackson, Drummond, Doumbouya

The absence of Blake Griffin has led to offensive struggles for the Pistons’ starting unit during their first two games, Keith Langlois of the team’s website notes.

With Griffin sidelined for at least five games by hamstring and knee injuries, Markieff Morris has taken his spot in the lineup and Detroit got off to slow starts both times. The situation has become even more complicated due to Reggie Jackson‘s lower back tightness, which forced him to depart the 117-100 home loss to Atlanta early on Thursday.

Casey would prefer to limit the minutes of backup point guard Derrick Rose, who has averaged 23 points in his first two games with Detroit. If Jackson needs to miss games, Rose might have to start instead of the other point option, Tim Frazier, because the offense would have even further limitations without Rose’s playmaking.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Center Andre Drummond can opt of his contract after the season and enter unrestricted free agency. His opening-night performance showed that he’s going all out in his walk year, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. After he racked up 32 points and 23 rebounds in a season-opening victory at Indiana, Drummond responded to a question regarding Twitter #ContractYearDre by saying, “You know it.”
  • The fact that Griffin, who has a long injury history, started the season in street clothes could eventually lead the front office to hit the reset button, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press opines. Dealing Griffin is doubtful given those injury woes and that his max deal takes him through the 2021/22 season. But trade speculation has increased recently due to the possibility of the season going sour quickly, Ellis adds.
  • First-round pick Sekou Doumbouya isn’t expected to have much of an impact in his rookie season, senior adviser Ed Stefanski told Beard during a Q&A session. The 18-year-old was inactive during the first two games due to a concussion. “When we drafted him, we said early publicly that he’s going to take time to come around and we didn’t put any timetable on it,” Stefanski said. “We made a point that this year, early in the season, we didn’t expect him to be in that rotation. If he keeps playing well when February and March roll around, who knows? We’re not going to throw him to the wolves.”