Welcome back the NBA Trade Deadline series; we’re already at part four, where we will take a look at the Detroit Pistons obtaining Reggie Jackson
I don’t understand how some members of the media are comparing Reggie Jackson going to the Pistons as anything close to James Harden to the Rockets. A much better analogy is Lance Stephenson to the Hornets; both are slightly overrated players who played in solid defensive schemes that have been in place for years, had very good teammates to play with, wanted to run their own teams, and who people expect heavy production from. Jackson is simply not ready for that yet; not to say he can’t do it, he just needs another two or threes years to get there.
Everyone expecting him to come to the Pistons and be who they need to be a playoff team needs to pump the brakes. It’s not as-if he’s replacing a scrub, as DJ Augustin is a solid player; he’s actually on-par with Jackson right now, even if Jackson has a higher ceiling. Plus, Jackson already declined a 4-year, $48 million extension from the Thunder last year. That means he’s going to have to play the best basketball of his life for the rest of the season of he expects to really get over $12mil a year; for a guy his age, going into his first major deal, that also means he’s going to be trying way too hard for the next three months.
So what happens when he over exerts himself, leading to turnovers and sloppy play? The Pistons will be very reluctant to offer him the mega-deal he is searching for, ending up with him settling for a funky short-term contract Ala Lance Stephenson. He’ll think, “It might not be what I really want, but if I’m patient then I’ll REALLY get paid in a year or two! I’M WORTH IT!”.
Being removed from the great Thunder organization will expose his flaws as a player, just like Lance has been with Hornets after he left the Pacers. He’s been so bad this year for them that the Washington Post declared him this season Least Valuable Player.
While I don’t think that he will struggle that badly, the thought of him being an immediately impactful player is overstating things. I’m sure that after a year or so with the Pistons, he will settle into his role and be a great starter, but he still has some growing to do.