Detroit Pistons: Former player may have landed in perfect situation

Detroit Pistons guard Frank Jackson (5) Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Frank Jackson (5) Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

There was a time when Frank Jackson was making his case to be part of the long-term future of the Detroit Pistons.

In 2020-21 the combo guard found his niche, hitting over 40 percent from 3-point range and providing the Pistons with some instant offense off the bench. Jackson can be a game changer and occasionally get hot and have a big game, which was something Detroit desperately needed at the time.

His 2021-22 season was undone by COVID and a back injury and he was never able to get back to where he was even though he averaged more points. His shooting numbers dropped to the worst of his career, which is why Detroit decided to pass when his free agency came up. It was a disappointing season for Jackson, whose drop-off probably cost him a guaranteed deal.

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Jackson was one of many ex-Pistons among notable available free agents up until yesterday, when it was reported that he signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Phoenix Suns.

It’s too bad things didn’t work out with the Detroit Pistons, as Jackson was a fan favorite who showed promise as a backup guard, but it may have worked out better for him, as he is now in a situation where he can thrive.

Detroit Pistons: Frank Jackson on the Suns

The deal Jackson signed is not guaranteed, so the Suns could just view him as training camp competition and nothing more.

But when you look at their depth chart, there is a chance Jackson can find a spot, as the Suns are not deep at guard.

They have 37-year-old Chris Paul running the point, and though he’s been pretty reliable over the last three seasons, there is always a chance he gets hurt or needs some games off for load management, which pushes every other guard up a spot.

After Paul the Suns have only Cameron Payne and Duane Washington Jr. at backup point guard, so even if CP3 stays healthy, there could be some minutes for Jackson as the third point guard.

After Devin Booker, the Suns have Landry Shamet and Damion Lee at shooting guard, so again, Jackson could find himself getting some minutes as the third guy at the two as well.

The real concern for the Suns should be that all three of these guys (Jackson, Payne and Shamet) are similar players in that they are undersized, change-of-pace guys who aren’t great or versatile defenders.

But the Suns’ lack of depth at both guard spots could give Frank Jackson a chance, which he clearly was not going to get with the Detroit Pistons. Good luck, Frank, fans of the Pistons are hoping it works out.

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