How the buyout market could impact the Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons Reggie Jackson. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Reggie Jackson. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons could help a contender by buying out contracts, but they could also help themselves. Here’s a look at how buyouts could impact Detroit.

The buyout market isn’t as lucrative as it has been in previous years but the Detroit Pistons could be impacted in a large way.

Reggie Jackson was reportedly being considered as a buyout candidate as the trade deadline neared to complete the Andre Drummond trade. However, the Pistons waived third-string point guard Tim Frazier instead, in part, due to acquiring Brandon Knight.

On Friday, Pistons senior adviser Ed Stefanski said they hadn’t considered buyouts for any players on the roster.

"“We haven’t looked at that at all, we wanted to get through the trade deadline but we’ll be looking at a lot of different things moving on,” he said."

But as the All-Star break approaches, it provides the Pistons brass an opportunity to re-set and look at the rest of the season. Luke Kennard is expected to return from a knee tendinitis injury that has sidelined him for the last 25 games and John Henson has played well in his first few games in Pistons threads.

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That should open the door for some changes ahead of the final 26 games, in which the Pistons have the second-toughest schedule remaining according to Tankathon. This team is going to take some losses, regardless of who is on the roster.

With Darren Collison remaining retired, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday, Jackson could be a prime target on the buyout market for either the Lakers or Clippers — two title contenders expected to battle in the top of the Western Conference standings.

Jackson, 29, has played well in his 11 games since returning from a lower back injury that kept him out of 41 games. He is averaging 17.0 points, 4.8 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game in those 11 contests. His shooting splits are .392/.406/.781 in that same stretch, in which he’s getting to the free throw line 2.91 times per game.

While his shooting levels aren’t taking form, he’s proving to be a floor spacer and playmaker. He’s also made the playoffs in two of the last four seasons with Detroit, giving a team coveted playoff experience from a veteran guard.

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Though Jackson initially indicated he wasn’t seeking a buyout.

"“I haven’t thought about it; I don’t know who said that,” he told the Detroit News’ Rod Beard."

Other buyout candidates could be the aforementioned Knight or Henson, though Stefanski and coach Dwane Casey have emphasized their desire to have veterans around to teach a young squad in practice and in games.

But Detroit could improve from buying out multiple contracts. Louis King has showed promise in his limited time with the Pistons. His two-way contract is set to run out of NBA days in the near future and a buyout could clear a spot for him for the remainder of the season. The same could be said for Jordan Bone.

While the Pistons are already lacking frontcourt depth — having traded Drummond and Blake Griffin undergoing his second knee surgery in eight months — another youngster in Donta Hall could be worth a look. Hall was recently named to the G-League All-Star team.

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Hall, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward out of Alabama, is averaging 15.0 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals per game with the Grand Rapids Drive. He’s shooting a remarkable 65.7% from the floor, including 31.8% from 3-point range. He could be worth looking into in a minimal rotational role.

King, 20, is a 6-7 wing with a 7-foot wingspan. He’s averaging 15.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in the G League. He’s appeared in 10 NBA games with the Pistons and is 4-for-11 on 3s.

Bone, 22, is caught in the middle of being a really good G League player but has struggled in his nine Pistons appearances, in which he is 3 for 17. Though he does have eight assists to two turnovers. With the Drive, though, he’s scoring a team-best 18.0 points per game with a team-high 7.3 assists per game. He’s also grabbing 3.7 rebounds per game and is shooting 44.4% from the floor and 39.9% from 3-point range.

It’s unlikely the Pistons would buyout three players to make room for all these guys but King could be worth an extended look, and Hall could be worth an initial look. The Pistons could make room with a buyout or two, which would give veterans an opportunity to win elsewhere.

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