It was an hour before the 2015 trade deadline, when all through the Palace, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Then Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Bower hopped on the phone and all hell broke loose.
Van Gundy wanted playmaker help since the Brandon Jennings injury and he went out and got it. The Pistons traded Kyle Singler and D.J. Augustin to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a 3-team deal that brought Reggie Jackson to the Pistons.
First off, good move for Van Gundy. I’ve said it before that Singler was not a starter in this league and he would constantly get beaten up defensively. Detroit will miss Singler’s 3-point shooting, but that’s what Jodie Meeks, Caron Butler, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are for. Losing Augustin hurts a little bit, but he’s bounced around the league and there’s a reason why he’s been bounced. Van Gundy knows more than what we know.
Jackson is a gamer and he’ll come in and make a big impact for Detroit. When Russell Westbrook was hurt in Oklahoma City last season, Jackson stepped in and played very well – the Thunder didn’t miss a beat. This season, when both Westbrook and Kevin Durant were out, Jackson again stepped up and played well. Earlier in the year when the Pistons edged OKC in overtime, Jackson was blitzing the Pistons with 20 points and 12 assists, setting up his teammates brilliantly. If it wasn’t for Jennings’ heroics, Detroit would’ve lost that game. Imagine Jackson with guys like Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. He will be an upgrade over Augustin.
Not to be outdone, Van Gundy brought back an old friend to the Palace. The Pistons sent Jonas Jerebko and Gigi Datome to the Celtics for Tayshaun Prince. The Palace Prince is back home to provide some veteran experience and try to get the Pistons back to the playoffs. Jerebko and Datome struggled to establish consistent roles Detroit and it was in Van Gundy’s best interest to move them.
Prince obviously isn’t what he used to be, but he’s a fan favorite and I’m sure people will come to the Palace to catch him on his second go-around. What I really expect out of him is veteran experience to lend to guys like Caldwell-Pope, Meeks, and Spencer Dinwiddie. Whatever production the Pistons get out of Prince will be an added bonus. It’ll be cool to see him in a Pistons uniform though and I can’t wait for PA announcer John Mason to yell: “Get on your feet for the Palace time Prince! Tayshaun Prince!”
Deadline Grade for Stan Van Gundy: B+.