New Orleans Pelicans: The Pels gave up on Frank Jackson too soon

Frank Jackson #5 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Frank Jackson #5 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans let Frank Jackson walk at the end of last season and most fans didn’t care.

I was one of the few who seemed to think Jackson was a player and hoped the Pelicans would re-sign him to a modest deal in the offseason to be a backup combo guard off the bench.

I get why the Pels did it. At the time, they had a glut of guards and added Kira Lewis Jr. in the draft, so having another tweener combo guard did not seem like a priority.

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But with the Pelicans have had one of the worst benches in the NBA this season and have struggled lately to even put a full team on the court after suffering myriad injuries.

Lonzo Ball has been in and out of the rotation with injuries. Josh Hart and Nickeil Alexander-Walker are probably lost for the season, J.J. Redick was traded, and suddenly the Pels have a big hole where Frank Jackson should be.

Jackson is not only playing well for the Detroit Pistons, but is doing things that the Pels desperately need.

New Orleans Pelicans: The Pels could use Frank Jackson right now

Frank Jackson has evolved into the exact type of player the Pelicans could use off their bench.

For starters, they just need bodies right now, as they have been hit with the injury bug. But they also need guards who can defend and shoot 3-pointers, as Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball have been broke lately and Bledsoe’s defense has been a mess.

Jackson is playing tough on-the-ball defense for the Pistons and shooting over 40 percent from the 3-point line, better than anyone currently on the Pelicans.

He has been instant offense off the bench for the Pistons and has scored at least 17 points in all but one of the last six games.

He’s been great in the second half of the season and has turned from a streaky shooter into a guy who has consistently made 3-point shots, which was always the knock against him.

Jackson has been an efficient and effective scorer off the bench and has played solid defense, which are two things the Pels could desperately use.

The Pelicans gave up on Frank Jackson too soon, as he is only 22-years-old and has signs that he is going to be a very good bench player for years to come.

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