It is time for the Pistons to trade their starting point guard Reggie Jackson and allow the backup floor general Ish Smith to run the offense.
The Pistons started the season without Jackson due to a knee injury. During that time the Pistons were a top 5 defensive team and had an overall record of 11-10. They are currently 25-28 and the number 8th seed in the Eastern Conference with Jackson returning as the head man.
Jackson is more of the prototypical “modern-day point guard”. He’s 6’3 208lbs, averaging 16 points, 2 rebounds and 6 assists per game, with a score first mentality . Ish Smith is a tradional pass first point guard who thrives in getting the entire team involved and pushing the tempo. He’s only listed at 6’0 but regardless of his size, he’s the better defender.
The players have expressed more happiness with Ish on the floor rather than Reggie. Reggie is a solid player, but he tends to have the tunnel vision and head-strong mentality and shot selection that his former teammate Russell Westbrook plays with every game. Ish is a below average offensive player, but with him on the floor players like Marcus Morris, Jon Leuer and Tobias Harris played some of the best basketball of their careers.
NBA Analyst and former hall of fame player Charles Barkley stated on TNT after a Detroit loss to Boston that “the problem with Detroit is that they have players there who thinks they’re better than what they really are.”
Head Coach Stan Van Gundy signed Reggie Jackson two seasons ago to a 5-year 80 million dollar contract. The Pistons reached the playoffs and were expected to make that leap into conference contention this season. It has easily been the exact opposite and it all starts with the primary decision maker.
Starting shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is in his contract year. He’s averaging 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists, and he’s only 23 years old. Sources have confirmed that he will be demanding 20 million dollars this upcoming offseason. With the core being young the Pistons have major decisions to make about the future.