Report: Reggie Jackson could return to Detroit Pistons in a few weeks

Detroit Pistons Reggie Jackson and Dwane Casey. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Reggie Jackson and Dwane Casey. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Reggie Jackson has missed all but two games this season but the Detroit Pistons point guard is nearing a return from a back injury.

The Detroit Pistons’ season has been hampered with injuries and chief among them is starting point guard Reggie Jackson missing all but two games with a back injury.

Jackson saw a back specialist in Los Angeles last week and now there’s growing belief that Jackson could provide a needed punch to the Pistons lineup “in the next couple of weeks,” Detroit News beat writer Rod Beard reported.

When the Pistons have been at their best over the last four seasons, Jackson has been healthy. Detroit made playoff appearances in 2016 and 2019 when Jackson appeared in 79 and 82 regular season games, respectively.

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A season that was met with high expectations after Blake Griffin had an All-NBA-caliber season and Jackson was healthy a year prior, the season has flipped a complete 180 degrees. Detroit is 14-25 entering Saturday’s game against the Chicago Bulls, which seek a season sweep. The Pistons are in an odd predicament being four games behind the Nets and Magic for the seventh playoff spot in the East but also six games from the worst record in the league.

The Pistons are reportedly engaged in trade talks for Andre Drummond with up to seven teams interested. That signals the Pistons could be looking to rebuild around their young core with Luke Kennard, who remains out with a knee injury, Sekou Doumbouya and Bruce Brown.

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Jackson, 29, could provide a huge lift to a Pistons backcourt that has been depleted. Derrick Rose has been kept around his minutes restriction but ramped up to a season-high 36 minutes in Thursday’s overtime loss to the Bulls. Tim Frazier has seen his minutes decreased with Brown getting more time at point guard.

In 287 games with the Pistons, Jackson has a 33.1% assist rate and a 13.4% turnover rate. In those games he has 11.4 offensive win shares and a 2.3 offensive box-plus/minus. Jackson hit his stride last season with a career-best 36.9% from 3-point range. He’s a strong pick-and-roll ball handler that can get downhill and open up space for Pistons shooters.

Time will tell how quickly Jackson can get back to full strength. It’s important for him and the Pistons to get him there. Jackson’s contract expires at the end of the season and going into free agency on an injury isn’t going to help his stock.

This season he’s 4 for 11 with eight assists and one turnover in 36 minutes spread across two games. His decision making has been a strong point for the Pistons since being acquired during the 2014-15 season.

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For Detroit’s sake, it should hope that Jackson gets healthy to either close the book on his Pistons chapter on a high note or to help for a postseason push with a March gauntlet.