Detroit Pistons: Frank Jackson, Hamidou Diallo, both or neither?

Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have six team options this offseason and will have to make decisions on Hamidou Diallo, Frank Jackson and Luka Garza by June 28th.

By then, Detroit will have completed the 2022 NBA Draft and should have a decent idea of which free agents they want to pursue.

Both Jackson and Diallo are on low-cost deals and have shown that they can be productive role players at times, which is something every good team needs.

But the Pistons need far more from their bench next season, as Jackson, Diallo and Kelly Olynyk, three guys they were counting on this season, missed a lot of time with injuries and were ultimately not very reliable role players.

The Detroit Pistons are likely to let Luka Garza walk or sign him to a two-way deal, as they can upgrade the 3rd center spot with a second-round pick or low-cost free agent big.

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But what about Frank and Hamidou? Which one should they keep? Should they keep both? Neither? There is an argument for every option.

The Detroit Pistons should keep both Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson

There is a good chance the Pistons will keep both of these players as they are on team-friendly deals that they could easily outplay.

Diallo had some nice stretches this season, and Jackson has had big games off the bench in the past, and both are only 23-years-old.

Both were hampered by injuries this season and can definitely play better in the future, so keeping them is a low-cost risk that could pay dividends.

The Pistons should keep Hamidou Diallo

Of the two players, Diallo is the better all-around player. He is the most athletic player on the Pistons, can be a high-energy guy off the bench and is adept at grabbing steals.

He can’t shoot at all, but his mid-range game improved slightly this season and he is one of the Pistons’ only above-the-rim finishers, a guy who grab offensive rebounds and finish in transition.

He’s only making $5.2 million next season, and if he doesn’t work out, the Pistons can just let him walk. It’s worth that cost to see if he has another level, and there aren’t a ton of guys in that price range who are available and clearly offer more potential.

The Pistons should keep Frank Jackson

Jackson missed a lot of time with injuries and COVID this season, so we really don’t know which player they are getting, the guy who shot 40 percent from 3-point range last season or the one who shot 30.8 percent this season.

They’d be banking on Jackson returning to last year’s form and even improving, and if he did, he’d be one of the best value contracts in the league considering he is making just $3.1 million next season.

He’s still young and the Pistons should at least see how he works out in a full season before sending him packing.

The Detroit Pistons shouldn’t keep either of them

While both of these guys are on potential value deals, neither of them were very good this season. Diallo still can’t shoot at all and is more-or-less useless in the half court offense.

Yes, he will grab some steals, but he is not a great defender overall and is absolutely terrible off the ball, where he often loses his man.

The Pistons need guys who can shoot, and Diallo is likely to lose his time to Isaiah Livers anyway, so they could be paying $5.2 million for a guy who is not even in the rotation.

Frank Jackson seems like the better choice since he is a better shooter, but are we even sure that he is? Jackson has shot 31, 32 add 30 percent from 3-point range in three out of four seasons, with his 40 percent season as the outlier.

Since Jackson offers next to nothing without shooting and is an undersized tweener guard, the Pistons would be banking heavily on that outlier season being the norm, which it usually isn’t in the NBA.

Jackson is also unreliable, as he’s never played more than 61 games in a season.

If the Detroit Pistons let these two walk, they will save $8 million in cap space, which they may need depending on which free agents they decide to pursue.

If the Pistons don’t draft replacements or think they will strike out in free agency and trades, then I could see both of these guys back, but if Detroit thinks they can upgrade and needs that cap space, these two guys might have played their last games as Pistons.

What do you think? Hami, Frank, neither or both?

Next. Pistons draft: A skilled stretch big for the second round. dark