Other than big man Andre Drummond, Jackson was the one person that the Pistons could not afford to lose for a long period of time. He brings that toughness that embodies Detroit. His scoring ability at the one position was vital to the team’s success. Also, behind him is Ish smith, who has shown his trouble with running a team. Most importantly, Jackson absence could have a negative effect on Drummond’s ascension.
Drummond is arguably one of the best big men in all of basketball. He is a defensive juggernaut and a solid force down low offensively as well. Jackson and Drummond were two of the better pick-and-roll players last season. Jackson would lob it up and Drummond would seemingly throw it down time after time. With Jackson gone, that will hinder what Drummond does best, which could be detrimental to the entire team.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has seen his three-point percentage decline over the years but he is still Detroit’s best sniper. He is the definition of a three-and-D player and will need to step up at least until Jackson returns to the floor. Stanley Johnson is another player that is going to need to step up for the Pistons. Johnson is a young talent that shines on defense, but has a body built for attacking the rim. Both will need to make that leap next year if Detroit plans on having any say so in the conference standings.
With Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris rounding out the front court and signing 7’3 Boban Marjanovic, the Pistons front court will be stronger than in past seasons. But with knee issues clouding the future of Jackson’s effectiveness this season, the Pistons will enter the season with more questions than answers.