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Pistons don’t expect Brandon Jennings back until December

Detroit Pistons v Milwaukee Bucks

Detroit Pistons v Milwaukee Bucks

NBAE/Getty Images

When Brandon Jennings tore his Achilles in January, he tweeted 6-9 months.

That’s probably too optimistic.

Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy, via Detroit Sports 105.1:

We don’t know where Brandon is going to be health-wise. Right now, he’s still recovering. We’re probably looking at mid- to late-December to have him back.

After Jennings got hurt, the Pistons traded for Reggie Jackson and then gave Jackson a five-year contract. Jackson is Detroit’s unquestioned top point guard now.

Jennings says he’s fine coming off the bench when he gets healthy. There are a few reasons that makes sense:

1. He has to be. What else is he going to do? Not play? Jackson will get every benefit of the doubt to win the starting job, and it’s difficult to see Jennings supplanting Jackson in these circumstances.

2. The Pistons know a healthy Jennings is somewhat overqualified as a backup, and they also have Spencer Dinwiddie and Steve Blake off the bench. Detroit will probably try to trade Jennings, and the type of team that trades for him will offer a bigger role.

3. Jennings is in the final year of his contract. If he must accept a reserve role, it’ll be for only a season before he can pursue more desirable work conditions.

4. Van Gundy has maintained Jennings and Jackson can play together. That’ll make it easier for Jennings to get more than typical backup minutes.

I don’t think the Pistons are fretting about how to handle Jennings. Worst-case scenario, they’ll give him a small role and let him walk next summer. That’s not so bad.

But they surely hope they can get more from him – whether it’s on the court or in a trade.

First, they need him to get healthy, and it seems that will take a bit longer than expected.