Related Tags: The Detroit Pistons
With rumours circulating left and right about a potential Markelle Fultz trade before the deadline this season, another team has reportedly stepped up their interest in the number one overall pick: the Detroit Pistons. This is per a report by Vince Ellis of the Free Press on Thursday.
The Pistons have been an intriguing team this season with a stellar frontcourt being held back by a weak guard rotation consisting of Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith at the point guard spot. Ish Smith is currently out with an injury and is having a slightly below average season in the backup point guard role, averaging 9.2 points and 3.0 assists with just 1.1 turnovers in 24.4 minutes per game. He has been injured for the last week but should be back soon. Up til the injury he has played 22 games, in all of which he came off the bench. He’s been averaging a 9.0 PER this season which is a lot lower than what he was managing last season (15.4) showing that he has been very inefficient through the first 22 games this season.
Reggie Jackson is the current starting point guard and is averaging 15.3 points, 4.3 assists, and 1.9 turnovers in 28.6 minutes per game in the starting point guard slot. Many people would consider 4.3 assists to be not enough for the starting point guard of the team. He has a PER of this season of 14.1 which is also slightly lower than he’s been managing for the last few years.
The Detroit Pistons certainly need a change at the point guard spot, and with Reggie Jackson’s contract set to expire at the end of the season this is the perfect time to try to make a move for a new point guard. And lucky for them, there’s a young talent on the market right now with one year left on his contract left after this season and then a team option after that. Sounds like the perfect situation for the Pistons. Obviously there are enormous question marks over Fultz’s health and his shooting ability (although I guess those two are linked to some extent) but this is a risk that the Detroit Pistons need to take because the dire state of their point guards needs to change.
Blake Griffin has had more of the ball in a point forward role this season for Detroit, primarily because of the inefficiency of the point guards that Detroit has. If Detroit struck gold and Markelle Fultz was able to perform at a high level this season or next season then he could work with Griffin to allow coach Dwayne Casey to take the ball out of Blake’s hands and allow him to get into the post more and unleash his arsenal of unorthodox post moves to get buckets down low, or even to take his big defender out to the perimeter and drop 3s in their faces with his impressive (for a big) array of dribble moves to get separation.
Depending on who the Pistons lose in the trade, I think this trade could definitely be a positive move for them just because of the playmaking ability that Fultz brings. He has been a dreadful shooter in his young NBA career but he still has a tight handle and ability to find passing angles and free up shooters, as well as making post entry passes and lobs to his deadly frontcourt of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond both of whom are having fantastic years.
This will certainly be an interesting trade to see happen as it could affect the eastern conference hugely or it could have hardly any effect at all. We’ll have to wait and see for now but I would certainly encourage the Pistons management to take a chance and risk it in search of a top four spot in the East, which I believe they could reach with this move.