At 15-19, the Detroit Pistons are two games outside the Eastern Conference playoffs. So they are by no means out of the postseason running.
But head coach and president Stan Van Gundy knows they’re running out of time to become the foregone playoff contender many expected them to be.
“We’re in jeopardy right now – that’s certainly not out of it by any means, but every loss puts you in more jeopardy, especially when you’re losing at home like we are. There’s no question that you have to understand that. You can’t run from the fact that all those losses are putting you in jeopardy.”
In an attempt to remedy the situation, Van Gundy will, per Beard, consider just about everything:
#Pistons SVG on looking at pulling out of skid: "Everything's an option; everything is on the table."
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) December 29, 2016
Van Gundy is clearly referring to the trade market. The Pistons didn’t project as fervid buyers or sellers at the beginning of the season, but a declining offense and a lower playoff ceiling has changed things.
Some will want Reggie Jackson gone, and perhaps Detroit will listen to offers. But the offense wasn’t setting the world on fire prior to his return. And while the Pistons have an excess of ball-dominant scorers, point guards, like Jackson, are supposed to control the rock.
One or more of Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Stanley Johnson are more likely to become collateral damage. Caldwell-Pope is the least likely of the bunch to be dealt. He is an all-world defender who has just found his three-point touch. The Pistons will gladly give him max money this summer–after all, if they don’t,, another team will.
The rest are interesting. Johnson is on a rookie-scale contract, which will be incredibly valuable financially with the cap going up and incoming newbies getting more money. But he still can’t shoot, and would be a great pot-sweetener in a deal that also includes Harris or Morris.
This all assumes the Pistons will be aggressive in acquiring some off-ball shooting. They might not. The Cleveland Cavaliers are still miles in front of everyone else in the East, and Van Gundy cannot close that gap. He may be content figuring things out over the offseason.