There’s still movement and buzz two weeks into NBA free agency. On Tuesday, Reggie Jackson came up in trade rumors, Rajon Rondo continues to meet with teams and the New York Knicks could make a deal other than the potential Carmelo Anthony move to the Houston Rockets.
Point guards have been in high demand since the NBA draft. Three of the top five picks may develop into high-quality players at the position. Meanwhile, Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday and Jeff Teague cashed in on the market. Still, available veterans at the 1-spot continue to garner interest.
At this stage in free agency, clubs won’t hand out any lucrative deals, but short-term contracts with a high payout seem feasible. Despite the lack of commitment, it’s a consolation prize with the opportunity to test the market again after a solid 2017-18 campaign.
Which clubs have an interest in Jackson? Will the Los Angeles Lakers find a veteran counterpart for Lonzo Ball? How do the Knicks plan to bolster their backcourt without much cap-space flexibility?
Detroit Pistons Sending Reggie Jackson to the New Orleans Pelicans?
The Pistons could start the 2017-18 season with a brand new backcourt after the club acquired Avery Bradley and a 2019 second-round pick in exchange for Marcus Morris.
According to Basketball Insiders writer Michael Scotto, head coach and team president Stan Van Gundy will consider dealing Jackson to the New Orleans Pelicans:
In June, Scotto reported the team would gauge interest in Jackson. Essentially, the Pistons would lose their starting point guard to fill backup spots at center and shooting guard.
The Pistons lost Aron Baynes during free agency and renounced the rights to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Alexis Ajinca would likely slide behind Andre Drummond on the depth chart. Bradley played point guard through his first three years in the league, but he didn’t distribute the ball too well; he’d play shooting guard. Rookie Luke Kennard, a pure shooter from Duke, will have a sizeable role as well. Ish Smith would likely take over for Jackson.
The move would push Jackson back into a reserve role behind Holiday, who signed a five-year, $126 million deal with the team, per Spotrac. The Pistons guard contributes on both ends of the court, but he’s not considered a sharpshooter, which the Pelicans desperately need on the roster.
Unless Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry goes with a positionless backcourt, the two squads would swap assets to strengthen their second units.
Rajon Rondo Meets with Lakers
The Lakers continue to search for an experienced guard to pair with Ball for at least a year. The team discussed a one-year deal with George Hill, per ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, but he signed with the Sacramento Kings.
On Tuesday, team president Magic Johnson met with Rajon Rondo as a possible veteran to join a young locker room, per Wojnarowski:
For the first time since his rookie season, Rondo had to adjust to coming off the bench last year. He played a reserve role in 27 games with the Chicago Bulls.
Despite Rondo’s willingness to meet with the Lakers, it’s unclear how he would like to move forward with his career. He’s suited up for four teams in the last three seasons. Will he entertain a longer contract for the sake of stability or take a decent one-year payout in Los Angeles?
Knicks Interested in Trading for a Point Guard?
There’s Anthony trade fatigue within the Knicks fanbase. However, another potential transaction could add a building block for the future. According to ESPN.com reporter Ian Begley, the front office showed interest in Patrick Beverley prior to the sign-and-trade deal for Chris Paul.
In Begley‘s report, he mentioned league-wide speculation on Phoenix Suns guards Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight via trade. There’s no movement between these teams on a transaction, but the Knicks should emerge as potential buyers in trade scenarios.
Former team president Phil Jackson selected guard Frank Ntilikina with the eighth pick in the draft, but he’ll turn just 19 years old on July 28 and must deal with the transition to playing in an American basketball league. The Knicks won’t rush him into the starting lineup, which suggests a veteran will fill the spot for the upcoming season.
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