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Pistons’ Stan Van Gundy: I told Reggie Jackson he wouldn’t be traded for Eric Bledsoe

Reggie Jackson, Eric Bledsoe

Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) drives on Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)


That rumored Eric Bledsoe-Reggie Jackson trade? More details are emerging.

The big holdup appeared to be that the Suns didn’t want Jackson, but they found a potential third team – the Pelicans – to take him. Still, that wasn’t enough to complete a deal.

Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated:

After a morning of trade discussions, the proposed deal is now dead.
Phoenix would have received Detroit’s 2019 first-round pick, New Orleans’ 2018 first-round pick, Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik.
Detroit would have acquired Bledsoe
The deal would have landed Jackson in New Orleans

Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy, via Rod Beard of The Detroit News:

“It was crazy yesterday,” Van Gundy said Friday. “I left practice yesterday and there’s a rumor out on Reggie and Bledsoe so I had to get home and call Reggie and say we’re not trading you for Bledsoe. I don’t usually address all of them but it’s early in the (season). You can’t address all of them at the trade deadline, but I felt the need to address this.”

Did the Pistons want to trade Jackson for Bledsoe? Perhaps. It seems likely they at least explored a framework.

But I also believe Van Gundy would have assured Jackson the point guard wouldn’t be traded for Bledsoe only if Van Gundy were certain of that. Van Gundy might not have made that pledge a couple days ago, but by yesterday, Van Gundy was confident his deal wasn’t happening.

It would have been within the range of reasonable for all three teams, though that’s without knowing (highly important) pick protections and potentially other players involved.

The Suns would have gained valuable first-round picks for Bledsoe and accept the awful contracts of Asik and Ajinca. But that’s not so bad for Phoenix, which would have a tough time carving out significant cap space the next couple years, anyway (and probably an even harder time luring star free agents with it).

The Pistons would have gotten better and cheaper at point guard. Bledsoe and Avery Bradley would have formed a tenacious defensive backcourt duo. The savings would have have been important with Bradley headed toward free agency and the luxury tax looming.

The Pelicans would have gained much-needed backcourt help while unloading a couple bad contracts. With general manager Dell Demps on the hot seat and DeMarcus Cousins a threat to walk next summer, the present matters a great deal in New Orleans. What’s another first-round pick out the door?

Still, the deal wasn’t quite good enough for at least one of the teams involved. Considering Van Gundy’s message, it’s probably too late to salvage it.