NBA

The Biggest Trade Target on the Pistons Isn’t Blake Griffin

The Pistons are 12-22 and in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, placing them on the outside looking in for a spot in the playoffs. There’s a strong belief around the NBA that the Pistons may look to make trades before the deadline in order to move some of their bigger contracts off of the payroll.

Many people think Blake Griffin could be traded, but there’s a lesser-known player who could draw more interest from teams. Here’s why Reggie Jackson could be the biggest trade target on the Pistons.

Reggie Jackson’s NBA career to date

The Thunder selected Jackson with the 24th overall pick in the 2011 draft. He played for Oklahoma City until they traded him to the Pistons in 2015. In his ninth season in the league, Jackson is averaging 12.9 points, 3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. (He has been limited to just two games this season as he recovers from a back injury.)

Prior to this season, he’d been on an upward trend with his scoring average. He went from 14.5 in 2016-17 to 14.6 in 2017-18. Last season, Jackson’s scoring average increased to 15.4. For the first time in his career, he played in all 82 games while averaging 27.9 minutes per game.

Why Jackson could draw trade interest

Jackson is in the final year of his five-year, $80 million contract. This could make him attractive for a team seeking short-term help to make a playoff push this season but doesn’t want to trade for a player with a long-term commitment.

The Pistons may want to move Jackson to get something in return, rather than losing him for nothing in free agency this summer if they opt not to re-sign him after the season. Of course, in order for a team to trade for Jackson, he must return to the court and prove he is healthy before the trade deadline on February 6.

Potential landing spots for Jackson

According to Fansided, three teams may be interested in dealing for Jackson, if he returns to game action before the deadline.

Orlando Magic

The Magic are on the lookout for a point guard and could be willing to give up Aaron Gordon to get one. Jackson wouldn’t be enough to land Gordon straight-up. But he could be the centerpiece of a trade to help Detroit land Gordon. He could be an insurance policy in case Griffin gets injured. Moving Gordon could help free up some future salaries for Orlando.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder may be interested in having Jackson return to the team if they can get rid of a high-priced contract, like Dennis Schroder, who’s basically a lesser version of Jackson. The Thunder could also use Jackson as a big piece of an eventual rebuild if the team trades Chris Paul and starts over with a new core. If the teams deal for Jackson, Nerlens Noel could go to Detroit in the trade.

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies have a disgruntled player on their hands with Andre Iguodala. He has already requested a buyout — denied by the team. This means he will likely get dealt by the deadline. Jackson could be an intriguing addition for Memphis. He would add to the team’s depth at point guard; Iguodala would improve the Pistons’ depth at the small forward position.

Follow more updates from Sportscasting on our Facebook page.