What scuttled trade discussion tells us about Reggie Jackson

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 21: Reggie Jackson
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 21: Reggie Jackson /

The Detroit Pistons were rumored to be discussing a trade of Reggie Jackson to the New Orleans Pelicans. What can we learn from the now-forsaken talks?

After a week of roster upheaval with multiple starters from last year gone and replaced, the Detroit Pistons found themselves in the rumor mill on Tuesday. Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders tweeted that the Pistons and New Orleans Pelicans had discussions about Reggie Jackson.

The updated story included Quincy Pondexter, who hasn’t played in two seasons. Moving Jackson for E’Twaun Moore, Alexis Ajinca and Pondexter wouldn’t do much for the Pistons’ competitive ability. Moore can play either guard position, but Ajinca would give the Pistons four centers and Pondexter would likely be waived or stretched.

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As I noted here, the only rationale for this trade from the Pistons’ perspective is if they’ve decided Jackson’s knee simply won’t recover from tendinitis suffered last season. They could decide that if he can’t go, recouping some savings for him would be better than nothing and it could be easier to move smaller parts coming back than Reggie Jackson as a whole.

However, if this is the return, the Pistons would probably be better off just burying him on the bench and playing the long game.

That said, our best efforts to dissect these perplexing rumors were all for naught, as Scotto updated things on Thursday.

This explains a lot about where these rumors came from. Rather than the Pistons seeking to move Reggie Jackson in a desperate move to salvage anything from what they now consider to be a shell of his former self, this originated from the Pelicans themselves. They want another point guard, and they came calling the Detroit Pistons in the hopes they could get him for cheap.

The Pistons rebuffed them, still believing Jackson can play and that he has utility, so the Pelicans moved on and focused their attention on Rajon Rondo.

What can we determine from this?

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It should set at ease concerns that the Pistons feel urgency to move Reggie Jackson and his contract. It appears they had the chance to move him if they so chose, even if the package coming back wasn’t especially favorable, and they declined. It’s at a vote of confidence that the Pistons are not dissatisfied with Jackson’s rehabilitation and that while they’ll take calls (which Stan Van Gundy has said repeatedly ever since last trade deadline), they’re not actively shopping him.