With two weeks left in the NBA season, there really isn't all that much to talk about in the Fantasy basketball universe. Unless you are playing daily every day -- which can be exhausting at times -- chances are your Fantasy season is already over.
With that in mind, it's never too early to start looking forward to the offseason. Sure, between the playoffs and the draft, the offseason doesn't truly begin for another three months, but plenty of decisions will have to be made before then. Including, but not limited to, your potential keeper decisions.
The Pistons have a ton of potential Fantasy appeal on their roster, starting with Andre Drummond, who was covered yesterday. They also have a bunch of big decisions to make in Stan Van Gundy's second offseason as coach and president of basketball operations. What should Fantasy owners expect and hope for from the Pistons looking forward?
Where does Greg Monroe fit?
After five seasons in the league, there really isn't any question as to whether Monroe can be a Fantasy difference maker. Sure, you would like to see him block more shots or shoot a better percentage from the field, but the larger point is that his production is enough to make any Fantasy owner happy in the right situation.
Unfortunately, the last two seasons haven't exactly been the right situation for him. Monroe peaked in 2012-13 with 31.7 Fantasy points per game, in just his third NBA season. He looked like a long-term building block for the Pistons, the type of big man you could throw the ball to down in the block or on the elbow and run the offense through.
He has stagnated in three seasons since, and the writing for his departure from Detroit seems to be on the wall at this point. Though the team has maintained that they want him back, and Monroe hasn't indicated his preference either way, it seems like he might not be a great fit in Detroit. Van Gundy's offense requires spacing around Andre Drummond, and Monroe can't really provide that.
Fantasy owners who have Monroe on their dynasty or keeper rosters have to be hoping he goes somewhere else, especially with what the numbers indicate about his upside in a different situation. In 967 minutes with Drummond on the floor, Monroe is averaging 16.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per-36 minutes; with Drummond off the floor over 1,024 minutes, Monroe puts up 20.3-13.6-1.7 per-36.
As long as Monroe is paired with Drummond in this offense, there is going to be a ceiling on his Fantasy value. Monroe moving on would be the best-case scenario for him this summer, and probably for the Pistons and Drummond as well.
Who is the point guard?
The Pistons have two point guards on the roster who are probably worthy of running an NBA offense, even if neither has been much more than average for any extended stretch of their NBA career. However, it is fair to wonder at this point whether either will be around in any significant capacity next year.
For Reggie Jackson, the situation is pretty simple: if the Pistons opt to re-sign him this summer, he is the starting point guard. His play since arriving from Oklahoma City has earned him that much, at least. He is averaging 17.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. You can question his efficiency or whether he can keep this up -- his numbers look much better in eight games with Monroe sidelined by a knee injury -- but they traded for Jackson in order to see how he fits with Drummond, and his league-best 50.2 percent assist rate indicates that he can.
But, Jackson is a restricted free agent, which means there is some doubt about whether the Pistons will opt to bring him back, even with him looking like a solid fit. If Brandon Jennings were recovering from a less fundamentally debilitating injury than a rupture Achilles, it might make their decision more difficult. However, this injury is a notoriously difficult one to get back to full strength from, and Jennings might not even be back by the start of next season, so he isn't all that much of an insurance policy for Jackson's free agency.
If Jackson is re-signed, will the Pistons trade Jennings? Jennings appeared to put it all together before his injury, averaging 19.8 points, 7.0 assists and 2.6 3-pointers per game in 16 games after the team waived Josh Smith. With the floor opened up with multiple shooters surrounding him, Jennings looked every bit as good as Jackson does right now, and his ability to consistently hit the 3-pointer might fit better in Van Gundy's offense.
From a Fantasy perspective, the worst-case scenario is the Pistons begin next season with Jackson and a healthy Jennings on the roster. They probably don't have the size to play next to each other, and it's hard to see either player accepting a limited role off the ball; a big part of why Jackson landed in Detroit was his unwillingness to take a back seat to Russell Westbrook.
If Jackson re-signs, the Pistons will probably look to move Jennings, but it is hard to envision them getting much for him. It is tough to envision a scenario in which Jennings has much more than late-round value on Draft Day, but he could serve as a potential spoiler for Jackson down the road.