Auburn Hills — The Detroit Pistons have gotten out to a 5-3 start, but that might not be stopping them from looking at opportunities to improve.
Reports began circulating Thursday that the Pistons are interested in Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe and could be in trade discussions that would include Reggie Jackson.
Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders, citing a league source, reported that the Pistons offered the Suns both Jackson and a first-round pick for Bledsoe.
Bledsoe, 27, is a 6-foot-1 point guard who caused a stir when he tweeted, “I don’t wanna be here,” on Oct. 22, after the Suns fired coach Earl Watson and were off to an 0-3 start. They’ve won three of four games since, while Bledsoe hasn’t played in a game since, leading to the likelihood of a trade.
Jackson has returned to form this season, posting 16.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists in eight games, after a down year last season because of knee tendinitis. He’s back to 100 percent and has shown the same burst and explosion on drives to the rim.
The contract situations make the Bledsoe-for-Jackson rumors intriguing. Jackson’s salary this season is $16 million and he has three years and $51 million left on his contract. Bledsoe is due $14.5 million this season and $15 million next season. The first-round pick would make up the difference in that extra year of Jackson’s contract.
Any deal would shake up the early chemistry the Pistons have established this season. Jackson reportedly was the subject of trade talks with multiple teams at the trade deadline last season.
The New York Times’ Marc Stein tweeted earlier Thursday that the Pistons “should be added to the list of teams showing interest” in Bledsoe, but adding that any potential deal would depend on what else in in the package, such as a draft pick
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Suns would prefer a third team to be involved in a deal, a signal that they’re not as interested specifically in Jackson, which would be a hurdle to trade talks.
Bledsoe is regarded as a high-level defender and paired with Avery Bradley and Stanley Johnson, could form a significantly upgraded defensive unit.