Last season, Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings ruptured his Achilles after just 41 games played. He has not appeared in a game until tonight, when he will debut with the NBDL’s Grand Rapids Drive on a rehab assignment. With the Pistons inactive tonight, head coach Stan Van Gundy was on hand to see Jennings’ first game of the season:
SVG and Brandon talking during pregame warmups. 30 minutes til tip! pic.twitter.com/XZu8RtLj7A
— Grand Rapids Drive (@grdrive) December 19, 2015
Jennings was acquired by former Pistons General Manager Joe Dumars in a transaction that looks incredibly imbalanced, in hindsight: in exchange for Jennings, Detroit sent Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton to the Milwaukee Bucks. Jennings is due to enter the free agent market this summer after earning $8.3 million this season, his third with the Pistons. It appears that Van Gundy already has plans to move on from Jennings: since the Achilles injury, Van Gundy traded for point guard Reggie Jackson, and then signed Jackson to a 5-year/$80 million contract.
Jackson has responded with a career year, starting all 28 games for the Pistons while averaging 20.5 points per game and shooting a career-best percentage on 3-point shots (35.0%). Jennings had been playing some of the most efficient basketball of his career before the injury, and he would be a huge upgrade over current back-up Steve Blake, who has averaged 16.1 minutes per game over 24 contests.