The Detroit Pistons have gotten solid play from some unexpected places this season including combo guard Frank Jackson.
Jackson has been very good in the second half, providing instant offense off the bench and averaging 12.1 points per game over his last ten.
He is on a two-way deal, so his production has come at a steep discount, but the question is whether he has done enough to earn a full-time contract.
If so, what could it be? Let’s take a look.
Detroit Pistons: Frank Jackson has been nice but can the Pistons do better?
I like Frank Jackson. I’ve been following him since his time in New Orleans and always liked his gritty style. He was always considered a streaky shooter who didn’t really have a position, which is why he had to settle for a two-way deal.
He has made the most of it for Detroit and has answered some of the questions people had about his game, namely if he could shoot the 3-point shot well enough to be considered a shooting guard off someone’s bench.
Jackson has shot over 41 percent from 3-point range this season on 3.5 attempts per game, both career highs. He has played solid but not spectacular defense and has shown he can handle defending both guard spots depending on the matchups.
He could definitely fill the role Wayne Ellington has had this season and be a spark off the Pistons’ bench. I don’t think Frank Jackson is quite good enough to be the primary backup shooting guard on a playoff team, but he can definitely be a third guard who can play both spots and occasionally carry an offense.
Even though he is a couple of inches shorter, I could see Frank Jackson ending up as a Gary Trent Jr. type player who can score double-digits off the bench and occasionally have a big game.
But how much will that cost the Pistons?
Detroit Pistons: Frank Jackson’s contract
Frank Jackson is on a two-way, so the Pistons will have to make him a qualifying offer or he will become an unrestricted free agent. The QO for two-way players is not much, so the Pistons will definitely do it just to make him a restricted free agent.
Here is how it works according to NBA.com:
“A Two-Way player will be a Restricted Free Agent at the conclusion of a Two-Way Contract if he was on the NBA team’s active or inactive list for 15 or more days of the NBA regular season in the last season of such contract and provided that the team makes a Qualifying Offer to the player.”
From there, the two sides can negotiate a deal. I imagine that Jackson has done enough to get himself a full-time contract for around the league minimum or slightly more, which will be somewhere around $1.5 million per season.
Can Jackson get more somewhere else? Yes, possibly, but that team will have to offer him a guaranteed contract that the Pistons aren’t willing to match. If some team does that, fare thee well Frank and I wish you good luck.
I think there is a good possibility that the Detroit Pistons will value his services more than anyone else and that Jackson will reward them for giving him an opportunity to rebuild his value.
My guess is that the Pistons retain Jackson for around the league minimum next season which seems fair given his age ad production.