Detroit Pistons could sign Jordan Bone or Louis King to multi-year deal

Detroit Pistons Louis King. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Louis King. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons could sign Jordan Bone or Louis King to a long-term extension in the aftermath of the Reggie Jackson buyout. Or it could be a veteran.

The Detroit Pistons buying out Reggie Jackson could set the stage for a greater role for rookies Jordan Bone and Louis King, but they’ll need some help.

Bone and King are on two-way contracts, which aren’t publicly tracked because practice reports aren’t readily made available. The 45 days could be running out for each player and there’s only one open roster spot. Donta Hall could also be in consideration after putting together an All-Star campaign in the G League.

Financially, the Pistons cleared up money by buying out Jackson. ESPN’s Bobby Marks reported that Detroit is $2.46 million below the luxury tax and have $1.5 million remaining under the mid-level exception, which would allow Detroit to sign another player to a two-year (or greater) deal.

A potential signing could be similar to that of Isaiah Roby with the Dallas Mavericks. Roby, who was selected by the Pistons 45th overall and traded to Dallas, signed a record-setting four-year, $6.7 million deal. The Mavericks view him as part of their future despite only playing in one game for a playoff-caliber team.

The difference for the Pistons is, it would allow either Bone or King to develop without the pressure of a contract. They could make mistakes knowing they have a future and a path forward to be a part of the team.

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Looking back on senior adviser Ed Stefanski’s remarks after the trade deadline, he values versatile ball handlers. That’s one thing he liked about keeping Luke Kennard after he was the focal point of trade talks.

"“I just think he’s a really good basketball player in today’s game — making 3s, making plays off the bounce, pick-and-rolls, seeing the floor,” Stefanski said. “I don’t think you can have enough playmakers and shooters in today’s NBA game."

Both Bone and King fit that mold. King has been given more of an opportunity, albeit small. He’s scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished five assists in 62 minutes spread across 10 games. He’s also 4 for 11 on 3s and 8 for 21 overall.

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The 6-foot-7, 195-pound wing was ball-dominant in his lone season at Oregon. That fits the mold of what the Pistons want to build moving forward. He also fits the timeline of the young core, as he turns 21 in April.

Bone has not looked good in his 48 NBA minutes. He is 3 for 17 from the field and has missed all eight 3-point attempts but he does have eight assists to two turnovers. Both player have excelled with the Grand Rapids Drive in the G League, and Bone is no exception.

While with the Drive, Bone is averaging 18.3 points, 7 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game while turning the ball over 3.2 times per game. He’s also hitting 41.7% on 3-point attempts for the Drive.

Ultimately, he’s a 6-foot-3 point guard on a team that lacks direction at that position. He may be the most logical option moving forward. He’s 22 and also fits the mold Stefanski previously discussed. But with only Derrick Rose and Brandon Knight in hand, and Bruce Brown developing mid-season, Bone could bring continuity.

But then again, the Pistons could save that to find another veteran, either on the buyout market or as a free agent to help mentor the young Pistons moving forward, as Detroit News reporter Rod Beard suggested.

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